Singapore’s senior minister of state (SMS) Lam Pin Min for the Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Health launched the sea transport sea transport industry transformation map (ITM) on 12 January.

Developed by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) in partnership with the industry, unions and other government agencies, the ITM builds on MPA’s strategic long term plans to develop Singapore’s next-generation port and strengthen its International Maritime Centre (IMC).

Sea ITM_1

In his opening address, Andreas Sohmen-Pao, chairman of Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) and the International Maritime Centre 2030 Advisory Committee said: “Singapore has established a strong and successful maritime cluster. To remain a leading global maritime centre, we will have to leverage connections within the cluster and with adjacent sectors to develop ideas and innovation.”

“Achieving this connectivity, and capturing non-physical flows, will add to Singapore’s competitiveness as a hub,” he added.

Some key strategies laid out in the ITM include:

  • Developing a future-ready maritime workforce
  • Driving growth through productivity enhancements and innovation
  • Strengthening connectivity and inter-linkages

Developing a future-ready maritime workforce

To ensure that Singapore’s maritime workforce is equipped with the relevant future skills, new programmes will help bring in well-trained personnel to the industry. In 2016, three maritime SkillsFuture Earn-and-Learn programmes (ELP) for seafaring professionals and port operations executives were launched where the placed 49 graduates so far.

This year, the two seafaring programmes will be opened to graduates from the Tripartite Nautical Training Award (TNTA) and Tripartite Engineering Training Award (TETA) programmes. Minister Lam commented: “This move will enable more junior seafarer to deepen their seafaring skills to take on higher-level jobs on board ships.”

The government plans to create multiple pathways to rewarding and enriching maritime careers through these programmes. As a result, this will also strengthen the quality of maritime training and education.

Driving growth through productivity enhancements and innovation

Dedicating resources to leverage new technologies and automation to improve operational efficiency, MPA has enhanced the Maritime Cluster Fund (MCF) last year to support maritime companies in developing in-house and customisable productivity solutions.

In fact, the MCF has co-funded a whole slew of projects (eg. cloud-based maritime enterprise resource planning systems) to encourage more companies to tap on the fund to invest in such solutions.

Not only that, MPA is also developing technology platforms such as the Maritime Single Window, which will be integrated with the National Trade Platform (NTP) to facilitate sharing of vessel and cargo-related information with the wider trading community.

Additionally, to deepen the industry’s research and development capability, the Singapore Maritime Institute will be investing $12 million to establish the Centre of Excellence in Modelling and Simulation for Next Generation Ports (C4NGP) under the National University of Singapore (NUS). Minister Lam said: “The C4NGP will leverage port modelling, simulation and optimisation capabilities in NUS to enhance our port’s ability to handle increasingly complex operations.”

Strengthening connectivity and inter-linkages

According to Sohmen-Pao, the Singapore port is connected to more than 600 ports. He said: “We will continue to boost our physical connectivity by actively anchoring and attracting shipping lines here - such as CMA CGM last year.”

Some initiatives in this area include expanding and deepening the industry’s maritime cluster and invest in future port; strengthen interlinkages with adjacent industries and overtime maritime clusters; as well as growing local maritime companies into global champions.


Tripartite partnership key to industry transformation

Aiming to grow the sector’s real value-add by $4.5 billion and create more than 5,000 jobs by 2025, most of these jobs will be PMETS vacancies in the maritime sector.

On that note, Minister Lam said: “The strategies and targets set out in the ITM are undoubtedly ambitious.”

“But with the partnership of the industry, the unions and government agencies such as SkillsFuture Singapore and Workforce Singapore, I am confident that we can reach these new heights together.”

Meanwhile, the launch also saw the signing of give MOUs between MPA and tripartite partners in areas ranging from growing maritime startups to developing electronic bills of lading.

Lead Photo / Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore

Infographic / Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore