The New York Times reported a few days ago that a recent count showed 735 ships jamming anchorages in Singapore and its environs, an indication of the state of the shipping market. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore apparently took exception to the article.
The port authority said that even in normal times, 400 to 500 ships are in port anchorages daily, but that more than 95 percent are there for less than 10 days. As a major port, Singapore attracts ships awaiting employment, undergoing repairs or taking on fuel at the world's largest bunkering port.
But there's no question that the number of ships laid up just outside the harbor has increased. These include ships in "hot" layup, maintained for quick reactivation, and an increasing number of vessels in "cold," or long-term layup. Most of these ships are anchored outside the harbor where they don't have to pay port fees.