Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), has called for greater digitalisation and harmonisation of data in the maritime industry to be part of the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking during the UN Global Compact video conference on sustainable shipping, Hoon said the pandemic had had “far-reaching” repercussions for the global supply chain.
However, she said it could also “restore the ocean to its natural balance” while offering an opportunity to leave behind “business-as-usual” mindsets and explore sustainable ways of maintaining trade.
To that end, Hoon put forward proposals based on decarbonisation and digitsation, claiming MPA’s initiative ‘digitalOCEANS’ can enable stakeholders to achieve both.
“We need greater digitalisation and harmonisation of data in the maritime supply chain,” Hoon said.
“In times of a pandemic, the digitalisation of shipping not only reduces human interactions, but it also allows shipping to yield a new level of efficiency.
“digitalOCEANS can allow ships, ports and global trade platforms to share data and interoperate seamlessly with each other. This allows us to commit to common data exchange protocols, and connect isolated ‘data lakes’.
“The outcome? More efficient voyages. Lower resultant emissions. We have got some industry partners onboard and will be looking at bringing in port authorities to collaborate on digitalOCEANS.”
On decarbonisation, Hoon said the MPA receognised “he value of partnership among government, industry and academia” and have set up projects to “harness the expertise of local and international leaders”.
“We have also launched a S$40 million Maritime GreenFuture Fund to create ecosystems of trials and test-bedding of low-carbon technologies,” she said.