The Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has launched a new grant scheme to develop and deploy digital initiatives such as electronic Bills of Lading (e-B/L).
The plans include $10 million from the Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINIT) Fund to support the growth and development of projects in Singapore.
Under this expanded effort, the MPA will also develop a digital technology marketplace and start-up playbook. The marketplace will connect maritime and venture capital companies with start-ups and facilitate discovery of solutions.
The playbook serves as a comprehensive guide for start-ups to springboard into Singapore tapping on schemes and support programmes relating to talent, capital and research and development resources.
The plans were announced by Chee Hong Tat Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Transport at Singapore Maritime Technology Conference (SMTC).
Additionally, the MPA also announced the successful completion of an e-B/L trial which it said demonstrates the “interoperability between digital trade platforms”.
In January 2021, Singapore and the Netherlands completed a shipment where an eBL “shadowed” a live shipment from Qui Nhon, Vietnam to Rotterdam, the Netherlands via transhipment in Singapore.
The trial showed that there were significant time savings in the Bills of Lading documentation process from an average of six to ten days when using a hardcopy to less than 24 hours when using an e-BL.
This successful trial also marks one of the first title transfer, across different digital platforms, which was facilitated by TradeTrust, an open-standard digital utility to enable interoperability.