MPA partners with Amazon to back maritime digital transformation, green transition

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company, to support the maritime industry’s digital transformation and green transition.

MPA Singapore

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the partners was signed on April 16, 2024, during the Singapore Maritime Week 2024. MPA plans to tap into AWS services including cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), and digital twins to enhance the industry’s efficiency, safety, and sustainability outcomes. 

The partners will also develop the maritime Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI–ML) Digital Hub, the first-of-its-kind in the region.

The AI–ML Digital Hub will leverage AWS cloud to enable the maritime industry to pilot innovative AI and generative AI (GenAI) capabilities to trial on the green and digital shipping corridors, optimizing routes and fuel consumption, carbon emissions accounting, and just-in-time arrivals. The hub is expected to help ships operate more efficiently, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and enhance the safety of operations.

Furthermore, MPA will use the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative to accelerate sustainability research and innovation by minimizing the time required to acquire and analyze large sustainability datasets.  

MPA and AWS will also conduct training, incubation initiatives, and immersion programs to equip maritime industry employees and stakeholders, particularly those in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with cloud, data, and AI skills.

The first training program is expected to roll out by the end of 2024. 

Boosting maritime digitalization and cybersecurity

At Singapore Maritime Week 2024, MPA also signed an MoU with S&P Global Market Intelligence and Bunkerchain to use the Port of Singapore as the test bed to trial and pilot the use of digital ship identity in maritime applications such as digital port clearance and digital bunkering.

Digital identity refers to the unique representation of an entity in the digital world, which consists of various attributes and data that distinguish it from others. Electronic transactions may be vulnerable to various risks as such identity fraud and data integrity breaches.

According to MPA, digital ship identity plays a crucial role in making electronic transactions more secure, trusted, and efficient in the maritime sector. When deployed in tandem with electronic signatures, these digital technologies will eliminate the need for physical ship stamps and wet ink signatures.

As Singapore expands its hub port, the port waters are expected to become busier with higher traffic volume, making navigation more complex.

To strengthen vessel navigational safety and efficiency of the port, MPA is developing an AI-enabled Next Generation Vessel Traffic Management System (NGVTMS).

In April 2024, MPA awarded the NGVTMS prototyping tender to three key global players for Vessel Traffic Management (Tidalis B.V., Kongsberg Norcontrol AS, and Wartsila Singapore Pte. Ltd.) to develop prototypes at MPA’s Maritime Innovation Lab 2.0 over the next 15 months, before embarking on full-scale development of the system.

Another MoU was signed at the event with Estonia-based Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech), Foundation CR14, Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI), and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). It aims to enhance cybersecurity in the maritime industry, in particular joint cybersecurity research and development, test bedding, and skills training projects.

MPA Singapore

Moreover, an agreement was inked with Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and SUTD. The goal is to improve collaboration and information sharing on cybersecurity among maritime companies, develop maritime cybersecurity capabilities, and strengthen the cybersecurity talent pipeline.