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Singapore leverages advanced technologies for faster shipping

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Singapore is a premier global hub port as the country handles over 1,000 tonnes of cargo. Tech tools like AI are analysing data from the ships, the ports and various other agencies to ensure that ships can arrive and depart on time. Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is trialling a new system to help ensure that ships depart from and arrive at Singapore’s docks on time. The authority uses AI to provide recommendations for the most efficient distribution of docking spaces and areas where ships can be anchored.

The algorithm assesses data such as the available sea space and the purpose of the ship’s travel to make these suggestions. It aims to shorten the amount of time that ships are anchored at sea or docked, boosting the port’s productivity. This also cuts the carbon footprint of these ships, as they no longer speed up and then end up having to wait. This reduces the amount of time when ships idle and produce carbon emissions unnecessarily.

The digitalPORT@SGTM System also allows easier data sharing between the port, ships and relevant services like refuelling teams. This data sharing helps ensure that the port is ready when a ship docks, and that it is refuelled before its expected departure time.

Phase 1 of digitalPORT@SGTM serves as a one-stop port clearance portal for ships calling at the Port of Singapore. It streamlined up to 16 regulatory applications that were previously submitted via three separate portals (MPA, ICA & NEA) into an integrated port clearance service.

This is the second phase of the digitalPORT@SGTM initiative to digitalise the docking process. Phase 2 aims to provide a more complete and seamless experience that will cover the integration of digitalport@SGTM with PSA’s Portnet and Jurong Port’s JP Online as well as other commercial platforms. It will include a one-stop platform for the booking of marine services and a Just-In-Time service to orchestrate vessel call activities for optimal passage planning.

This simplified the docking process as previously ships had to submit 16 different forms on various government platforms. Keeping the process in a single location saves shipping companies over 100,000 man-hours every year.

MPA also oversees a hub of maritime data for use in public sector projects relating to Singapore’s waters. This hub collects animal habitat and biodiversity records, information about developments on the country’s coastline, and data on Singapore’s seabeds.

The GeoSpace-Sea platform can show users 2D and 3D images of the sea environment based on data it has collected. This information helps ships accurately navigate the country’s waters and improves maritime safety.

MPA regularly shares data with other government agencies like the National Environment Agency and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority. The organisation uses government-provided data sharing tools to share information with these agencies.

These tools are found in a central platform that helps government agencies securely transfer data between one another. The platform provides a catalogue of pre-made tools, reducing the number of data “silos and the duplication of efforts”.

In terms of keeping this data secure, MPA’s data-sharing technology and computer systems are assessed by Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency and GovTech. The authority created a centre for maritime cybersecurity in 2019 to look out for potential cyber threats across marine information systems.

The authority is working towards the full launch of a completely automated port in 2040. This port will use autonomous and electric vehicles, making transport greener with a lower carbon footprint. MPA is using technology to support this industry, improving the convenience of its processes while helping to mitigate climate change.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, MPA partnered with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to launch The NextGEN (Green and Efficient Navigation) portal, an online collaborative global ecosystem of maritime transport decarbonisation initiatives. The online portal aims to encourage information-sharing, create critical networks and opportunities for collaboration, and facilitate capacity-building

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