Singapore launches Maritime Digitalisation Playbook to accelerate economic reboot

Authorities in Singapore have launched a new Maritime Digitalisation Playbook (MDP), to support maritime companies in accelerating their digitalisation plans as the economy reboots and adjusts to the changing global business environment.

The initiative is backed by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), and was announced by Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health, Dr Lam Pin Min.

“This pandemic has accelerated digitalisation, regardless whether you are a multinational company or a local SME. The Playbook will serve as a guide to help maritime companies uncover opportunities in digital transformation,” said Dr Lam.

“Our hope is that no matter where you are in your digitalisation journey, the Playbook will help support your vision and development of concrete digitalisation plans to improve the competitiveness and productivity of your company.”

The MDP incorporates key findings from the IMDA-commissioned 2020 Digital Acceleration Index (DAI) survey for the sea transport sector, where over 200 maritime organisations submitted a self-assessment of their digital maturity, which MPA has used to establish the state of digitalisation of subsectors such as the shipping line, ship management, ship agency and harbour craft.

To help maritime companies to plan how new modern technologies could assist their businesses in a post-COVID market, MPA has partnered with SSA and IMDA to develop the MDP as part of its Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map efforts.

The Playbook is aimed at helping maritime companies, in particular small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to formulate their digitalisation roadmaps, outlining how they can benefit from maritime digital platforms covering port clearances and services, trade documentation and trade operations and financing.

This includes an overview of key global trends driving digitalisation, examples of technology use-cases and the potential impact on planning, operations, commercial and support functions within a maritime business. A digital transformation framework is also included, to help identify digital business strategies and prioritise digitalisation initiatives.

MPA notes that the MDP complements the existing Sea Transport Industry Digital Plan launched in 2019, under which companies can apply for co-funding from MPA’s Maritime Cluster Fund – Productivity Development (MCF-PD) to develop their digital systems.

“SSA initiated the co-development of the Maritime Digitalisation Playbook with MPA and IMDA as both parties saw the need to provide a practical guide to help maritime companies develop or retool their digitalisation capabilities to grapple with the fast-changing anomalous world,” said Caroline Yang, President, SSA.

“The MDP contains information and resources, that include templates and support programmes, to help companies identify and address target gaps to formulate or rethink their digitalisation strategy. We strongly encourage maritime companies, especially the small-medium enterprises (SMEs), to make use of the MDP to achieve their digitalisation vision.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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