Singapore’s Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map aims to grow value-add by S$4.5 billion by 2025

Singapore’s Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map aims to grow value-add by S$4.5 billion by 2025

Singapore’s Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map (ITM) was
on January 13 by Dr. Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Ministry
of Transport and Ministry of Health, at the annual Singapore Maritime
Foundation New Year Cocktail Reception.

The maritime industry contributes 7% of Singapore’s Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) and employs over 170,000 people. The aim of the ITM is
to grow the sector’s value-add by S$4.5 billion and create more than 5,000 good
jobs by 2025.

This ITM has been developed by the Maritime and Port
Authority of Singapore (MPA) in partnership with the industry, unions and other
government agencies­­­­(IMC). Specific initiatives have been laid out under the
Sea Transport ITM to catalyse innovation, drive productivity improvements, as
well as enhance the skills of the maritime workforce.

SMS Dr Lam said, “The strategies and targets set out by the
ITM are undoubtedly ambitious. But with the strong partnership from the
industry, the unions and government agencies such as SkillsFuture Singapore and
Workforce Singapore, I am confident that we can achieve our vision for
Singapore to be a Global Maritime Hub for Connectivity, Innovation and Talent.”

At the ITM launch, five Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs)
were signed between MPA and various partners to underscore the
collective commitment of stakeholders to drive innovation, productivity and
human capital development in the transformation of Maritime Singapore.

The five MOUs are: 1) MPA-NUS Enterprise MOU On Maritime
Technology Acceleration Programme; 2) MPA-Singapore Customs-Singapore Shipping
Association (SSA) MOU on digitalisation
of trade and maritime documentation in the industry; 3) MPA-Singapore Shipping
Association-Glee Trees Pte Ltd MOU on the application of robotic process
automation technology in the ship agency sector; 4) MPA-Jurong Port Pte
Ltd-National Transport Workers’ Union MOU on human capital development for next
generation multipurpose port; 5) MPA-PSA-Singapore Port Workers Union-Port
Officers’ Union MOU on human capital development for next generation container

Companies like CMA-CGM,
COSCO and the merged Ocean
Network Express (ONE), have grown their
corporate presence in Singapore. For instance, CMA-CGM has established its Asia
regional office, its global Navigation and Port Operations Centre and, more
recently, its Asian digital activity hub in Singapore. It has also entered into
a container terminal joint venture with PSA.
ONE has chosen Singapore as its global liner headquarters; COSCO has expanded
its joint-venture with PSA for a third berth at Pasir Panjang Terminal. These
activities in turn have drawn in other maritime services providers such as
insurance, broking, financial services, classification societies, P&I
Clubs, legal and arbitration.

To sustain Singapore’s competitive advantage and strengthen
port connectivity, MPA is also working with the industry to develop the port
eco-system in adjacent sectors, such as logistics and e-commerce.

Innovation will continue to be a key area of focus as
Singapore develops future capabilities and solutions built on emerging
technologies such as autonomous systems, robotics, data analytics and
artificial intelligence. To drive this next phase of growth, MPA will support companies
to embark on innovation and productivity-driven growth by putting in place an
enabling environment and infrastructure.

The MPA Living Lab will offer technology developers and
industry partners a rich maritime data platform and a real operating environment
at the port to co-develop and pilot innovative solutions. MPA will also work
with stakeholders to promote greater sharing of data and information within the
industry. In addition, new research centres of excellence at NTU and NUS will
deepen Singapore’s maritime R&D capabilities and accelerate technology
transfers and spinoffs to the industry.

Singapore is investing in new port capabilities that will capitalise
on emerging technologies arising from Industry 4.0. The under construction Tuas
will be an efficient and intelligent port that harnesses data
analytics to optimise operations such as just-in-time vessel arrivals and the
Maritime Single Window for quicker port clearance.

Under the MPA-PSA Port Technology Research and Development Programme
(PTRDP), MPA and PSA will jointly step up R&D and capability development in
the areas of digitalisation, connected community systems as well as automation
and robotics. A fleet of 30 automated guided vehicles (AGVs) have been deployed
in a trial with automated yard cranes and quay cranes in the Pasir Panjang Terminal.
Deployment of such automated systems will be scaled up in the Tuas Port.

MPA also renewed
the MOU
with Jurong Port on “Next Generation Multipurpose Port Programme”
in 2017 to support efforts to digitalise multipurpose port operations. The Jurong
Port Living Lab launched last October will provide opportunities for Jurong
Port to experiment with innovative ideas and deploy leading edge technologies
to enhance productivity.

Singapore can also leverage digital solutions to enhance
operational efficiencies and provide greater value to its customers. For
instance, the use
of Electronic Certificates
(E-Certs) onboard Singapore-flagged vessels
since 2016 has helped reduce the administrative burden and costs associated
with traditional paper certificates. MPA, Singapore Customs and the Singapore
Shipping Association will be jointly looking at the digitalisation of trade and
maritime documentation in the industry to co-develop cross-sector solutions,
such as the development and adoption of electronic bills of lading (e-BL),
which would facilitate more efficient trade flows through Singapore and bring
about benefits to the wider supply chain ecosystem.

As jobs evolve with increasing automation and digitalisation,
new maritime programmes, such as the Earn and Learn Programmes
for seafarers and port operations executives launched by MPA in 2016, will
continue to be developed to meet the needs of the industry and to prepare
workers for the jobs of the future. Maritime companies can also tap on the
Maritime Cluster Fund (MCF)
to upskill their employees not only in specialised areas, but also in more
general areas like data analytics, cyber security, as well as in soft skills,
like communication and executive leadership.

[1] Roadmaps are
being developed for 23 industries to address issues within each industry and deepen
partnerships between Government, firms, industries, trade associations and
chambers. The ITMs are grouped into 6 broad cluster: Manufacturing, Built
environment, Trade & connectivity, Essential Domestic Services, Modern
services and Lifestyle.