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Digital Transformation of Shipping in a Post-Pandemic World

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) jointly organised a webinar for the international shipping and port community yesterday, 8th October 2020.

The message at the “Future of Shipping – Digitalisation” webinar was that international standards and collaboration are needed to unlock digitalisation’s full potential to drive efficient, resilient and green shipping.

Maritime digitalisation offers clear benefits to the international maritime and port community

“Digitalisation across global supply chains is a mammoth task, and IMO has a vital role to play in this transformation,” said Mr Chee Hong Tat, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State of the Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in his opening remarks.

Mr Chee added, “Digitalisation is a national imperative for Singapore. Together with our industry, Singapore will continue to collaborate with IMO and Member States in their digitalisation efforts.”

“The pandemic has shown that shipping remains the leading facilitator of global trade,” said Mr Kitack Lim, IMO’s Secretary-General. “Digitalisation is key in enabling the post-COVID recovery, strengthening the resilience of the global supply chain and taking shipping into a new era.”

“IMO is working to ensure shipping can embrace the digital revolution – while ensuring safety, environmental protection as well as cyber security. Cooperation between all relevant stakeholders, from shipping, ports and logistics, will be vital to drive the digitalisation of shipping, enhance its efficiency and the sustainability, and therefore facilitating trade and fostering economic prosperity.”

Enhancing cybersecurity awareness within the maritime sector

The Port Authorities Chief Information Officer (CIO) Cybersecurity Network (PACC-Net) was also launched at the webinar. With the support of nine ports, this network will enhance cybersecurity awareness within the maritime sector and facilitate early sharing of cyber information to counter potential and active maritime cybersecurity threats.

The participating partners are Abu Dhabi Ports, Port of Antwerp, Port Klang Authority, Port of Kobe, Port of Long Beach, Port of Montreal, Port of Rotterdam, Port of Seattle and MPA.

Mr David Foo, MPA’s Senior Director, Operations-Technology, presented how maritime digitalisation offers clear benefits to the international maritime and port community to improve the efficiency and resilience of supply chains.

IMO, MPA and the World Bank agreed that one key step to realise these benefits is the digitalisation of workflows and increased data exchange between ships, ports and value chain stakeholders. This will facilitate global trade, increase supply chain resilience, and improve ship operations.

The webinar had over 400 participants from around the world to discuss digitalisation and decarbonisation in a post-pandemic world.

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