February 27, 2024

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Singapore Government to Digitise Maritime Industry with Electronic Bunker Delivery Note

Digitalisation and new developments in artificial intelligence, blockchain, IoT and automation are becoming increasingly important for maritime transportation. They support the streamlining of existing processes, the development of new business opportunities, and the transformation of supply chains and trade geography. Despite the potential, opportunities, and benefits offered by these technologies, they also hold risks and potential costs for developing-country maritime actors.

Thus, it is necessary to create a level playing field. This policy brief discusses the role of interoperability and global standards in driving technological innovation while avoiding monopolistic outcomes, as well as the need to ensure that digitalisation contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Singapore’s first live bunker delivery financing pilot transaction was completed by the Development Bank of Singapore Ltd (DBS) via an electronic bunker delivery note (BDN) with a maritime company and a container transportation and shipping company. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) supported the transaction, which was in collaboration with the maritime company – the marine fuel supply and procurement of a joint venture. The container transportation and shipping company provided the underlying technology to digitalise the BDN in this pilot, as per the bank.

Maritime transport transports more than 90% of global merchandise trade, totalling approximately 11 billion tonnes of cargo per year. The digitalisation of the sector would have far-reaching economic consequences and would contribute to a stronger, more sustainable recovery.

A report on the maritime supply chain describes how the collaborative use of digital technology can help streamline all aspects of maritime transport, from cross-border processes and documentation to communications between ship and shore, with a particular focus on ports. The COVID-19 crisis demonstrated a key benefit of digitising waterborne and landside operations: meeting urgent needs to minimise human interaction and improve supply chain resilience in the face of future crises.

DBS said the digital BDN was part of efforts to “up the ante on the digitalisation of Singapore’s bunkering sector”, and it follows a joint agreement between DBS and the MPA in 2020 to accelerate the digitalisation and innovation of financial services and payments across Singapore’s maritime industry.

Adopting digital documentation will assist stakeholders across the value chain in moving toward more efficient and transparent operations aided by data-driven decision making, according to MPA’s assistant chief executive (industry). The digitalised process will allow clients to obtain financing for their underlying trade in less than two hours, compared to previous practises that took a few days to a week because clients had to manually deliver the physical BDN back to shore for compilation with other paper documents before submitting a trade finance application, according to the bank.

It also stated that the digital BDN reduces fraud risks because it can determine trade data at the source using the mass flow metre (MFM) system. Physical BDNs could previously be manipulated to request financing for underlying deliveries that had already been financed by another bank.

The global head of the bunkering company noted that the MFM system increases transparency for customers in terms of the amount of fuel received and can also be adapted to provide real-time information as digital BDNs.

Group head of trade product management at DBS added, “the digitalisation of bunker delivery notes is one of many pivotal steps necessary to transition Singapore’s bunkering sector into the digital era and to ensure our port and shipping industry is future-ready.” DBS said it also has plans to integrate the digital BDN to be used on the Singapore Trade Data Exchange (SGTraDex), once the data exchange system is operational in 2022.

In the maritime industry, the transition to digitalisation and automation is accelerating. Digital technologies and solutions are being used to improve operational efficiency and increase competitiveness. They are also being implemented to accelerate the industry’s decarbonisation to achieve zero emissions from international shipping by mid-century.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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