A key goal of most synchronisation and optimisation strategies is to reduce financial and environmental costs, thereby increasing efficiency. The sustainability of maritime operations requires reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while maintaining the pace of global freight logistics. This means doing the same amount of transport work while lowering emissions. New technologies play a critical role in developing new efficiencies, but in maritime trade, there are also many opportunities to improve the efficiency of existing ship technologies.
Green corridor schemes, announced in 2022, embody emission reduction strategies targeting operational rather than mechanical or design efficiencies. These schemes are regulatory sandbox environments, private sector-led trade agreements, and green incentives. While many ultimately seek to align shipping and port services to develop alternative fuels, they also aim to eliminate wasted effort and foster collaboration to identify mutual-interest use cases for data exchange that produce value for all stakeholders.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore’s (MPA) impactful digitalPORT@SGTM project rolls out in phases to revolutionise port traffic handling and utilise the latest technologies. MPA Chief Information Officer Koh Chin Yong explained the precursor used technology to improve collaboration. In 2019, MPA launched the Singapore Maritime Data Hub, a platform promoting data sharing and secure data exchange between organisations that have catalysed innovative applications for industry use cases by Marine Tech companies.
In 2020, MPA addressed the need to facilitate system-to-system interoperability within the global digital ecosystem by launching digitalOCEANS to foster standardisation, data harmonisation, and common API (Application Programming Interface) specifications in maritime. The first API specifications for port clearance submission launched in November 2022 through collaborating with maritime and supply chain stakeholders.
The first digitalPORT phase introduced Singapore’s single window to enable seamless port clearance, saving the industry an estimated 100,000 man hours annually for regulatory reporting of ship arrivals and departures. For the second phase, starting in 2023, a Just-In-Time Planning and Coordination platform will optimise ship scheduling and resources to facilitate optimal arrival and departure timing, enabling faster ship turnaround and reduced waiting times to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Along with international partners, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore has piloted exchanging twenty-five ship certificate types for port clearance and Port State Control via APIs with China. They also collaborated with the Port of Rotterdam on the world’s longest green corridor for zero carbon shipping and signed an MOU with the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to establish another green and digital corridor. More green corridor MOUs are forthcoming.
Port of Rotterdam Director of Customer Digital Saskia Mureau sees data, digitalisation, and collaboration as critical for port efficiency, margins, and addressing climate challenges. The Port aims to explore new partnerships like the Green & Digital Corridor Initiative with Singapore, focusing on just-in-time sailing, paperless trade, and faster customs clearance. Three key areas for change are document, cargo, and trade finance flows. Data sharing enables supply chain decarbonisation, with the Port seeking all opportunities to collaborate across stakeholders, estimating €400 million in user benefits. Port digitalisation and green corridor schemes recognise operational efficiencies and sustainability gains from port and shipping data exchange. Global ports increasingly identify mutual interests, sharing data for collective efficiency and emissions reductions.
For a more in depth understanding of the topics covered in this article, refer to our latest report titled ‘Common Interest; How the maritime industry can share data, collaborate with trust, and build a mutually beneficial digital ecosystem.’ This comprehensive guide benchmarks shipping’s progress on using digital solutions to collaborate on decarbonisation goals and shows how industry frontrunners are breaking down the technical, legal, financial and cultural barriers.