Singapore’s Maritime Road Map: on course & full ahead to 2025 and beyond

Singapore is now world renowned for its city state dynamism and excellence in shipping, trading, port services and high tech ship building. But Singapore knows that to stay out in front, you must have a carefully charted voyage plan. And you need the skills and determination to implement and keep the maritime industry engine operating at optimum speed. This Singapore has done, in the face of a long shipping downturn and its now gradual but positive recovery. Even better, there is no sign that Singapore is going to run out of gas in the race to ensure its maritime global leadership.
Singapore’s Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map (ITM), unveiled on Friday (Jan 12), aims to grow the maritime industry’s real value-add by S$4.5 billion and create over 5,000 new managerial and high tech jobs by 2025. The Sea Transport ITM, which covers port, shipping and maritime services, is spearheaded by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) in partnership with the maritime industry, unions and other government agencies.

Singapore already has a highly developed and world class Maritime Cluster of maritime industry skills inclusive of ship owners, managers, lawyers, arbitrators, insurers, adjustors, surveyors, bankers, repairer’s, builders, terminals and other essential service organisations. The Sea Transport ITM’s goal is to further intensify the existing Maritime Cluster and Singapore’s Government will continue to invest in creating the further skills and technology to make this happen.

For Singapore’s leading providers of maritime degrees and higher education, inclusive of NTU, NUS, SMU and the Singapore Polytechnic, this is all great news. It’s even better news for the students at those institutions who will soon have more options to choose from in terms of maritime career direction and opportunities. And for those now making career and training choices and for mid-career people thinking about a possible transition to the marine industry, it seems the timing has never been better.

Another key thrust of the ITM is to drive industry growth and profitability through productivity improvements and innovation, particularly through the use of automation and digitalisation. The funding for such developments and industry implementation is already available from the MPA’s Maritime Cluster Fund (MCF) that also funds training grants for both external and in-house education. Don’t miss the MCF website if you are interested in moving into the future!
To promote digitalisation and boost overall productivity, the MPA is developing technology platforms such as the Maritime Single Window. This will be integrated with the National Trade Platform to facilitate the sharing of vessel and cargo information with the wider trading community. The MPA, together with the Singapore Shipping Association, is also focusing on digitalising trade and maritime documentation to facilitate more efficient trade flows. This will include the use of electronic bills of lading in conjunction with block chain driven clearance to enhance trading and prompt delivery. Full details are available in the very important IMC 2030 Report.
To intensify research and development capabilities, the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) will invest S$12 million to set up the Centre of Excellence in Modelling and Simulation for Next Generation Ports. This centre of excellence will connect into the NUS’ pre-existing port modelling, simulation and optimisation capabilities. The outcome will be to enhance the Port of Singapore’s ability to handle increasingly complex operations as containerships continue to get ever larger and container volumes grow.

Some of the amazing new technology that will be utilised at Singapore’s new mega Tuas Port development (now building at the south western end of the island) was showcased last week at the PSA’s ‘Intelligent Port of the Future’ Exhibition. Featuring technologies not used before in Singapore, the exhibition displayed amphibious drones for ship and quay inspection as well as parts delivery to ships at anchor and ship exhaust monitoring. Other exhibits included fully automated container cranes, robotic arms capable of operating container twist locks as a work safe replacement for human stevedores and even bolt-on exo-skeletons to amplify human strength and endurance.

The underlying message from the Singapore government and the MPA is clear: there has never been a better time to be in the business of shipping as the global economy steadily powers its way out of a long and dreary downturn. It’s also clear that Singapore intends to be at the epicenter of this new and exciting era of global change and trade growth.

Are you, your company and your team ready for the many opportunities that are already emerging in the form of rising demand for commodities, energy and finished products and the associated rise in freight rates and vessel values? The next ‘Key Elements of Shipping’ course, 13-15 March 2018 in Singapore, will provide interactive learning on maritime economics, shipping market analysis, future ports and all of the essential knowledge required to accomplish 21st Century maritime industry success.

We invite you to join us for 3 days of intensive and interactive learning provided by top academics and leading industry executives. Bring your interests, share your experiences and network with maritime colleagues in a fast paced but friendly classroom atmosphere where every question asked is a good question.

Full details of the KES course are available by heading to our Course Calendar Page. They include the course brochure along with details of fees, generous MCF training grant support and all you need to know before registering on line. If you may have any questions, then please contact Helen, our Course Administrator who will be pleased to assist you.

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