SINGAPORE – A data sharing platform used in the logistics sector is being expanded with new applications, including one that will digitalise the certification process for sustainable trade financing in the construction sector.
The upgrades will also make it easier to pinpoint the causes of shipping delays and reduce the associated costs, known as demurrage, as well as increase transparency in the procurement of ship supplies and spare parts.
The expansion of what is known as the Singapore Trade Data Exchange (SGTraDex) were announced at the Asia Tech x Singapore (ATxSG) event on Wednesday (June 1) organised by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).
SGTraDex is designed to reduce long-standing supply chain inefficiencies, including a heavy reliance on manual, paper-based processes that undermine efficiency, transparency and sustainability.
It works by enabling regulatory, logistics and trade financing data to be shared, which in turn helps supply chain players optimise cargo handling and operations and builds confidence in trade financing.
The platform was first announced at last year’s ATxSG event and has since been piloted with three initial uses: strengthening the financing integrity of trade flows; enhancing end-to-end visibility of container logistics flows; and digitalising the bunkering or ship fuel supply industry.
More than 70 participants, from small-and-medium-sized enterprises to multinational corporations, have signed up to use SGTraDex, including Standard Chartered bank, commodity trader Trafigura, shipping company Pacific International Lines and energy giant ExxonMobil.
Communications and Information Minister Josephine Teo, who announced the SGTraDex upgrade, told the ATxSG event on Wednesday that the three use cases in operation now are expected to capture about $100 million worth of value by 2026, including time and manpower cost savings, a figure that will grow as more participants come on board.
Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services, a major local player in the bunkering sector, has benefited from SGTraDex.
Mr Choong Sheen Mao, a director, said about one-third of Equatorial’s vessels are “SGTraDex-ready” and have been fitted with sensors that capture data such as the volume of fuel being transferred through flow meters approved by the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore.
“When you have that enforcement, people trust what is being measured by the flow meters on board,” he said.
“The next step is to connect the flow meters to data loggers in order to remit the information to the cloud, and make sure the data flow is secured and trusted.”
This data can be immediately shared securely with clients and other parties like banks and financiers through SGTraDex.
Previously, the process would involve paper documents that needed to be manually checked against the meters, reviewed and audited for accuracy.
Equatorial estimates that it is saving about 50,000 man-hours a year after moving such functions to SGTraDex.
Mr Choong added that his company is also interested in exploring the possibility of tapping SGTraDex for green financing and procurement of ship supplies once the new applications are implemented.