Singapore Harbor from Its Founding to the Present: A Brief Chronology

George P. Landow, Professor of English and Art History, Brown University; Distinguished Visiting Professor of English, National University of Singapore, 1998-1999

1818 Lord Hastings, Governor-General of India, tacitly approves trading station at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula.
29 January 1819 Sir Stamford Raffles, Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen, arrives in Singapore to establish trading station for East India Company.
30 January 1819 Raffles concludes preliminary treaty with Temenggong Abdu'r Rahman to set up a trading post.
6 February 1819 Raffles makes a formal treaty was with Sultan Hussein of Johor and the Temenggong.
1820 first East India Company chart of Singapore Harbour.
1822 139 square-rigged vessels enter Port of Singapore
1823 Profitability surpasses that of Penang.
March 1824 Anglo-Dutch Treaty: the Dutch agree to British occupation of Singapore.
August 1824 treaty with Sultan Hussein and Temenggong Abdu'r Rahman cedes Singapore to British for cash payments and pensions.
1834 517 squarerigged vessels totalling 156,513 NRT use port.
1840 first Admiralty charts of Singapore waters
1845 Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P & 0) inaugurated its first scheduled steamship service through Singapore.
1849 survey of New Harbour (Keppel Harbour) leads to deep water berth.
1851 first lighthouse, named after James Horsburgh, Hydrographer, erected at the eastern approaches to the Singapore Strait.
1852 P & 0 opens coal-bunkering pier at Tebing Tinggi
1 April 1867 Straits Settlements became a Crown Colony under the jurisdiction of the Colonial Office in London.
1868 Tanjong Pagar Dock Co opens first dry dock, the Victoria Dock
1869 Suez Canal opens, and Singapore becomes a major port of call for ships plying between Europe and East Asia.
1870 tonnage of steamers surpasses that of sailing ships; Paten Slip & Dock Co opens its dry dock.
1871 submarine cable links Singapore with Madras thus allowing telegraphic communication with Europe.
1874 steam winches and cranes increase amount of cargo handled at Tanjong Pagar wharves from 200-300 tons/day to 500-800 tons/a day.
1879-1887 Telok Ayer reclamation extends foreshore to Raffles Quay, providing additional 18 acres for new access roads between Keppel Harbour and the Singapore River.
1879 Tanjong Pagar opens its second dock, Albert Dock.
1880 tonnage reaches 1.5 million NRT, steamships accounting for 80%.
1884 Tanjong Pagar leases Jardine Matheson Wharf.
1885 Tanjong Pagar purchases Borneo Wharf and Purvis Wharf and their adjoining properties.
1897 introduction of electricity to wharves, roadways, and docks doubles harbor working hours.
1899 Tanjong Pagar amalgamates with Paten Slip & Dock Co, thus controling almost all Singapore shipping business with its 5 dry docks, 1 1/4 miles of wharf frontage, and 375 acres of properties.
1900 tonnage rises to 5.7 million NRT.
1905 Government expropriates Tanjong Pagar Dock Co. properties.
1907 Extension of Tank Road-Kranji Railway between Keppel Harbour and town center; second phase of the Telok Ayer reclamation and the construction of the Offshore Mole, a granite-rubble breakwater, which creates second entrance to Singapore Habor.
1912 Straits Settlement Port Ordinance creates Singapore Harbour Board.
1914 Breakwater completed.
1932 Telok Ayer Basin formally opened; Port of Singapore encompasses Singapore River, Telok Ayer Basin, and Keppel Harbour or 36 1/2 sq miles (23,168 acres).
1936 Port limits extended with the Singapore Port Rules.
8 December 1941 Japanese bomb Singapore.
February 1942 Japanese occupy Singapore, which they rename Syonan (Light of the South).
1941-1945 Bombing damages 70% of Keppel Harbour warehouses; harbor cluttered with sunken vessels.
1946 Singapore Harbour Board resumes control.
1947 Shipping reaches 20.4 million NRT.
1963 82.9 million NRT shipping.
1 April 1964 Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) formed and replaces Singapore Harbour Board.
23 June 1972 Container berth opens at Tanjong Pagar (East Lagoon), making Singapore first S. A. Asian port to accomodate third-generation container vessels.
October 1997 Pasir Panjang Terminal begins operation with 4 berths equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including remote controlled bridge cranes.
March 1998 Port of Singapore voted "Best Seaport in Asia" eleventh time by Hong-Kong based Asian Freight Industry Awards (AFIA).

Main Web Page Singapore [History] Economy