SS Teo unveils new Singamas aligned to new container realities

In a sign of how global trading patterns are changing and box shipping is evolving, one of the world’s largest container manufacturers has said it intends to diversify as demand for plain old metal boxes is drying up.

Singamas Container Holdings, run by SS Teo, who also oversees Pacific International Lines (PIL), has said it will look to focus more on specialised containers used in transporting chemicals, or even to get the boxes to be converted into solar power units or modular data centres after revenues slid 40% in the first half.

Teo has sold a number of his box manufacturing sites in China recently to Cosco to help shore up finances, quartering Singamas’s manufacturing output in the process. He said in a press briefing the decision to slim down Singamas and become more specialised had been taken some time ago, but the programme had been accelerated by the ongoing trade war between the US and China.

Teo said his goal was to create a “new Singamas” whereby half of its output by 2021 will be in specialised containers.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Makes sense – not ‘another sign of peak container’ but signs of peak profitability and scale. The company have accepted that fighting against a giant like CIMC makes no sense in low-tech manufacturing, so (just as European shipyards worked out …or were forced to accept when their state subsidies dried up…..) going for special projects such as passenger ships or cable layers or FPSO conversions would make more sense than banging out more and larger tankers and boxships.
    Having said that, CIMC also build a lot of reefers, tanks and offshore equipment and modules, so Singamas will have to look far and wide to find their golden goose niches.

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