Singapore – Coronavirus Disease Update

The Port of Singapore remains open for cargo operations and marine services, including shipyard repairs.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is enhancing safety measures in the Port of Singapore, in view of the heightened risks of importing COVID-19 cases into Singapore.

Given the increasing number of crew change applications, MPA will need to prioritise new crew change applications. MPA is also working with the industry taskforce to provide more detailed guidelines to safeguard the crew change process. These will include the need for signing-on crew to self-isolate for the 14 days before departing for Singapore, shipowners, managers and agents ensuring accurate COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, and direct transfers to the ship upon arrival in Singapore.

As an added precaution in the Port of Singapore, all shore personnel in contact with ship crew are advised to don face shields or goggles in addition to face masks and gloves when working on the ships. For ships which have conducted crew change in the past 14 days, shore personnel are advised to ensure that there is no contact with the ship crew. Additionally, these are the measure and requirements for vessels calling Singapore:

  1. Before leaving the last port of call (before calling at the port of Singapore), the vessel’s master, owner, manager or agent should ensure that any suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infected crew on board the vessel received proper medical treatment before leaving the port and starting its journey to Singapore.
  2. All ships scheduled or intending to call at the Port of Singapore must immediately notify and seek approval to enter the Port of Singapore if there are suspected COVID-19 cases on board or if it had conducted crew change in the past 14 days before arrival in Singapore.
  3. All vessels arriving in the Port of Singapore must submit the Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH) to the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) Port Health.

MPA has also separately provided guidance to all Singapore-registered ships on the best practices that they can adopt. MPA circulars are available here for more details

Due to recent positive cases of signing on crew tested upon their arrival in Singapore Airport, MPA is tightening the measures & will only allow crew change under the following circumstances/conditions:

  1. Crew has completed their seafarer’s contract with flag state letter stating that they’re unable to allow them to further extend their seafarer’s contract & henceforth required to be signed off from ship on the next convenient port.
  2. Compassionate grounds (immediate family members at home on critical condition & require crew to attend on urgent basis – must provide documentary proof as supporting document).
  3. Medical ground (to get doctor to go on board to certify that crew is not fit for work – final approval depending on crew’s condition & MPA’s final no objection approval)

Cargo ships meeting this criteria and circumstances may submit their applications to MPA by filling up the online form at least 14 days before the planned crew changes, at

MPA will give priority for Singapore registered flag ship (applies only for signing off seafarers), MPA may consider to allow the crew to sign off if they’ve completed their seafarer’s contract (subject to MPA’s final approval/changes). Only when sign off crew request is approved, sign on crew request will then be considered.

Panama flag vessels are allowing seafarer contracts of up to 17 months

Ben Line Agencies’ global partner – WaterFront carves new territory with Houston move

18 July 2019 – Global port agency business, WaterFront Maritime Services (WaterFront) has today opened a local agency office in Houston, Texas. The company, which is one of the world’s largest port agency networks, says its Houston office has been established to help charterers, owners, and operators to manage their risk in this strategically important high-volume location.

WaterFront’s Houston office is managed by newly appointed Director for North America Lars Westerberg, a port agency industry veteran who was formerly Regional Director Americas for Seven Seas and Managing Director of Wallem Americas. Prior to these roles, Westerberg also served as Regional Managing Director of Inchcape Shipping Services in North and Central America.

The team in WaterFront’s Houston office will attend vessels directly from Corpus Christi to Lake Charles, including all terminals and all facilities. The Houston office will also serve as the regional hub for WaterFront in North, South and Central America including the Caribbean and is linked to WaterFront’s existing regional hubs in Dubai and Kuala Lumpur to provide 24-hour coverage to its global client base.

Terry Gidlow, Chief Executive Officer of WaterFront, commented:

“On a global basis we see how significant political developments, evolving trade policies and rapid shifts in the supply and demand of raw materials and bulk commodities are impacting traditional trade patterns. Meaning our clients are faced with a whole new range of opportunities and challenges in executing their day to day business. With the opening of our Houston office we are able to bolster the presence we have in other major oil & gas import/export and refining centres such as the Middle East and in Asia.”

The WaterFront global network currently handles more than 45,000 port calls per year through a network of 483 offices in 93 countries worldwide. Unlike other global agencies, Waterfront focuses on providing port and husbandry services for vessels transporting coal, grains, iron ore, minor bulks as well as crude oil, clean and dirty products, chemicals and gas. The company also handles the husbandry requirements of 3rd party and in-house ship managers.

WaterFront’s Director for North America, Lars Westerberg, commented:

“By focusing on specific commodities, we can work with customers operating in this region to add quantifiable value to their businesses. Our work is all about understanding our clients business and their  specific needs and then using our local knowledge and relationships to assist them to mitigate their risk, turn their vessels and cargoes around faster and save them money, while maintaining the highest levels of  safety and compliance.”

Terry Gidlow, chief executive officer of WaterFront, added:

“Lars and his team in Houston bring to the table decades of local experience and relationships in ports and terminals throughout Texas. The Regional Hub function of the Houston office also serves to give our clients in North and South America better access to our Global network.

WaterFront was established by leading regional ship agency businesses Sharaf Shipping Agencies and Ben Line Agencies in 2016. WaterFront is headquartered in Dubai with commercial offices in China, Singapore, Dubai, Norway and the USA. WaterFront has strategic partnerships in the rest of North and South America with renowned local partners such as ACGI on the west Coast of the US and Canada, UNIMAR in Brazil and the Ultramar group in Spanish-speaking South America. For more information about the organisation, visit

Support for Children’s Charities Association

The Children’s Charities Association of Singapore extends support to their 6 member charities to cater to the needs of member charities’ disabled and less privileged children, ensuring that every physically and socially disadvantaged child is able to lead a normal childhood. Charities included are:

  • Singapore Children’s Society
  • The Singapore Association for the Deaf
  • Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore
  • Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore
  • St. Andrew’s Mission Hospital
  • Association for Person with Special Needs

As part of our continuing support, Ben Line Agencies Singapore and its staff made a total donation of SGD 2,140 to support this cause.

WaterFront continues global expansion with senior appointment

01 November 2018 – Global ship agency business WaterFront Maritime Services (WaterFront) has today announced the appointment of industry veteran Tormod Ognedal as its new Business Development Manager for Europe, to support the company’s continued growth and expansion.

After 17 years with Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) as Senior General Manager and having gained over 30 years experience in international shipping & logistics, Ognedal has been appointed to oversee the expansion of WaterFront’s client portfolio across Europe. Prior to his role at ISS, Ognedal worked for Barwil Agencies (now Wilhelmsen) as a Sales Manager.

Tormod will head up WaterFront’s business development and relationship management functions in Europe. He will work as an integral part of the WaterFront Business Development Team, which operates from strategic bases in Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai and Miami. Ognedal will report directly to Chief Executive Officer, Terry Gidlow.

Speaking on his appointment, Ognedal commented:

The port agency business has changed a lot in the last few years, and there is huge demand from customers for their port agent to find new ways for adding value, ensuring best practice, delivering cost efficiencies and providing a first-class service. This demand for cost savings and synergies requires local knowledge, financial strength, local relationships and excellent teamwork, which is exactly what WaterFront provides.

By combining a really intuitive data management system and established networks with serious pedigree, WaterFront provides a new platform for delivering significant value to the market. In working as part of a global team, I will be able to maintain good relationships and work closely with business partners, owners, charterers, and traders, as well as crew and ship managers.

Terry Gidlow, Chief Executive Officer, WaterFront Maritime Services, commented:

Tormod is well known in the industry for his integrity, commitment and relationships in the market, and we are delighted to welcome him to our team. His experience, skills and relationships within the market will dovetail perfectly with our strategy of winning sustainable business by creating tangible value for our customers.

WaterFront was established by leading regional ship agency businesses Sharaf Shipping Agencies and Ben Line Agencies in 2016. Having built a global network comprising Proprietary and Network Partner offices, the company is now represented through over 415 offices in more than 67 countries. This makes WaterFront comparable in size to the largest global ship agency companies.

WaterFront is headquartered in Dubai with commercial offices in Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai and Miami. For more information about the organisation, visit or call +971 (0)45520404.

Tormod Ognedal

Tormod Ognedal

Refinery Project Oil & Gas

Ocean shipment door to door of approx. 1,009.60 cbm / 139.7319 tons with max weight per piece 41 tons plus 5 x 40’ GP SOC.

Client Profile:

The chemical division of a large American O&G multinational with existing network of refineries all over the world and major activities in Singapore. A large multinational EPC contractor contracted to execute the FEED + EPC 1 of the project.

Challenges Faced:

  • The project consisted of downstream units including a steam cracker ethylene complex; two downstream plants for the production of ethylene and propylene derivatives such as ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol, acrylonitrile, propylene oxide, cymene / phenol, oxo alcohols, acrylic acid and isopropyl alcohol
  • BLA were responsible for the largest part of the project in terms of cargo volumes (550,000.00 FRT over a period of 24 months)
  • The project consisted in the construction of a second train to double the capacity of the Singapore plant of our customer.
  • PO’s placed on a worldwide scale with shipments into Singapore

Project Solving Process:

  • Cargoes inbound Singapore from worldwide locations
  • Cargoes comprising of general freight, HLV, ultra HLV etc
  • Multimodal logistics solutions
  • Time chartering of Tug & Barge
  • Project implants in Batam fabrication yard
  • Special scheme customs clearance
  • HLV’s chartering
  • Daily Status Reporting
  • Warehousing

Dinner & Dance 2018

Ben Line Agencies Singapore held its annual Dinner and Dance on 23rd March at One Degree 15 Marine, in Sentosa. It was a joyous and wonderful event where all the staff gathered together to enjoy fabulous food and drinks as well as activities planned for the night.

The most remarkable moment was the appreciation of long service awards being presented to the staff who have been in this big family for more than 10 years. Everyone plays an important role towards the success of Ben Line Singapore.

It was an unforgettable night for all and we look forward to a prosperous year for Ben Line Singapore.

History Bites – Our heritage

During the course of the 19th and 20th centuries Ben Line forged its name in the maritime sector with its premier cargo and passenger services between Europe and Asia.  We cannot forget our rich heritage and this image illustrates the services we offered the market at the time.

Today, the Ben Line name continues to prosper as it grows its Marine, Liner Agency representation and Integrated Logistics business across Asia and Oceania.

Jack Up Rig Blocks – B Class

BLA was appointed to carry out customs clearance (both ends), vessel agency (both ends) and barging the cargos back to Singapore.
We carried out beach preparation a few days in advance. When actual operation day arrived, we performed RoRo operation (for the blocks) from yard onto the barge.
After this, sea fastening took place. Once approval from Marine Warranty Surveyor was obtained, vessel set sail back to Singapore.

Client Profile:

Client and its network of offshore yards have successfully delivered almost half of the world’s new-build jack-up rigs and semi-submersibles in the past decade

Client Relationship:

Ben Line Agencies was awarded the ocean and heavy lift task to ship two blocks of a jack-up rig from Thailand to Singapore. Till date, we have completed 4 shipments

Challenges Faced:

  • Beach preparation
  • Ramp installation on the beach
  • Having SPMT safely lift the blocks and move them from yard onto barge, across the beach – RORO OPS
  • Ballasting – Seafastening – Engineering
  • Ocean transport TH – SG
  • Custom clearance of cargos
  • Vessel agencies both ends

Project Solving Process:

  • The team was flown in a few days earlier to ensure that the ramp supports were erected as per engineering plans.
  • When the barge beached, ramp was installed immediately. Sometimes, it took longer than usual, due to varying tide.
  • With ramp properly installed, RORO ops is then almost a success. However, we still need to clear out a defined path for the SPMT
  • Ballasting and Sea fastening were carried out as per engineering calculations
  • Cargo custom clearance and vessel agencies under BLAS account