Shipping Patterns in the Malacca and Singapore Straits: An Assessment of the Risks to Different Types of Vessel
- Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 29, Number 2, August 2007
- pp. 309-332
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With the objective of improving the quality of assessments of the threat to shipping in the Malacca and Singapore Straits, this article provides an appreciation of the pattern of shipping traffic and of the types of vessel using the Straits. It is based on the notion that statements about the number of ships passing through the Straits on a per day, per month or per year basis obscure more important assessments about the relative vulnerability of different types of ship. Consideration must be given to the types of vessel, their routes and location. The paper distinguishes between through traffic transiting between the Pacific and Indian Ocean; local traffic operating between ports littoral or adjacent to the Straits; and other vessels, notably fishing vessels, working within the Straits. It identifies the types of vessel using the Straits that are most at risk.