Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) to what extent the recent Causeway jams have impacted businesses in Singapore; and (b) what measures are in place to reduce the extent and impact of such jams in future.
Oral reply (to be attributed to Minister for Trade & Industry Mr Chan Chun Sing)
1. The security and sustainability of supply chains are integral considerations for all of our businesses. To sustain business continuity, our economic agencies and businesses work closely together to:
a. Diversify our supply chains where needed and possible.
b. Anticipate and put in place measures to mitigate possible disruptions caused by natural disasters, seasonal factors or external circumstances. Such measures will include holding certain amount of buffer stock for factors of production, and timing the deliveries to minimise delays by avoiding expected seasonal peak periods.
2. ICA regularly releases notices to anticipate jams, for example during the year-end school holidays and festive periods, on the Causeway. Many companies will schedule deliveries to avoid peak periods and factor in additional travel time to buffer for any delays due to such seasonal factors or external circumstances.
3. If there are significant disruptions to supply chains over land route, businesses will also use alternative routes through sea or air freight, and/ or reserve stocks for essential supplies. So while the jams may affect the schedule or timeliness of deliveries, we have not received feedback that it constitutes a major source of business disruption for our companies recently.
4. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and work with our businesses to diversify and put in place anticipatory measures to ensure the security and sustainability of our supply chains, such that no one factor – be it natural disasters, seasonality or externally imposed actions can cause a major disruption to our economy.