Going digital would open doors to more business collaborations for Singapore's maritime industry. Source: Shutterstock

Going digital would open doors to more business collaborations for Singapore’s maritime industry. Source: Shutterstock

Singapore goes digital with a one-stop portal for maritime services

THE MARITIME industry, if optimized to its full potential, can boost a country’s economy tremendously.

For Singapore, it is an especially lucrative industry given its strategic location in Southeast Asia, and the years of work it has put in to create favorable policies and build suitable international relationships.

To keep up with the pace of an increasingly digital world and a need to adopt more technology solutions to improve maritime operations, Singapore has decided to launch a one-stop digital portal.

The intention is to make the port a much more attractive hub as logistical procedures are streamlined, offering a much more efficient trading environment. According to a recent announcement, the digitalized maritime services portal will be available in December this year.

The initiative launched by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) aims to digitalize maritime regulations and procedures as well as port transactions.

Christened digitalPORT@SG, the hub will also be the main hosting platform for all transactions and is expected to roll out in two phases.

In the first stage, the portal will make it easier to obtain arrival and departure approval for all customers, allowing them to avoid the existing, long-drawn process involving up to 16 different forms.

The digital portal will merge all 16 forms into a single unit making up one application. The approval will be granted through a single portal by three public agencies namely the MPA, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority, and the National Environment Agency.

The move towards digitization also means that Singapore’s community ports such as Portnet and Jurong Port Online will receive relevant data to improve the communication of information.

For instance, any operation involving carriage of dangerous goods at the port terminals would be communicated to the community ports as well. This would improve safety and enhance security.

Meanwhile, the second phase promises an extension of the services offered. The digital portal, upon maturity, will serve as a one-stop digital shopfront for booking terminal and marine services. This would also facilitate just-in-time operations – within the Singapore port – for optimal vessel passage planning.

Following the launch, Singapore’s Finance Minister, Heng Swee Keat, voiced his support for the digital hub by emphasizing that it will elevate the maritime value chain and increasing digital connectivity.

In a progressively digital-first world, it is uplifting to see the maritime industry adopting digitization measures to improve the overall ecosystem. After all, going digital is the first step towards better services and bigger returns.