The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is to collaborate with IBM in ‘first of a kind’ research to improve maritime and port operations in Singapore using analytics-based technologies.
The two have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a two-year agreement.
IBM will create a unified platform to integrate real-time data and provide a consistent view of data points across MPA to empower port operators to make more informed decisions. For example, with vessel positional and weather data, the platform will report on any vessel path inferences to avoid accidents.
The analytics include the IBM Traffic Prediction Tool, which will forecast vessel arrival times and potential traffic congestion. It will also uncover new methods to help event monitoring to detect unusual behaviour by vessels and prevent illegal bunkering. This process will involve fusion analytics, anomaly detection, and data mining, leveraging the IBM Incident Detection Module and IBM System G.
This application of analytics is described by Tim Greisinger, managing director of IBM Singapore, as the “first of its kind” in handling port data and predicting potential hazards.
“The capabilities that will be created in this initiative are aligned to Singapore’s aspirations to be a smart nation, and we are honoured to be partnering MPA in our joint commitment to improve the long-term efficiencies of the maritime industry and enhance Singapore’s position as a world-class international maritime centre,” said Greisinger.
The MPA believes the research will go a long way to enhance maritime operations, notably at the country’s next-generation port in Tuas.
“Our collaboration with IBM will see a good mix of our research expertise, software technologies and maritime domain knowledge to create new capabilities for the maritime industry to support Singapore’s vision towards a safe, smart and efficient port,” said Andrew Tan, chief xxecutive of MPA.
In the meantime, the MPA has launched the National Maritime Safety at Sea Council (NMSSC) in Singapore, spearheading a drive for maritime safety on a national level and to ensure the sustainability of those safety efforts.
“We all have a part to play in improving safety in our waters, and I am heartened by the strong collaborative effort between MPA, the private sector, and the maritime industry to inculcate a safety-first culture.” said Lucien Wong, chairman of the MPA.
The NMSSC will be chaired by Richard Lim and comprise 14 other professionals from across the industry and the council. It will serve as an advisory body to the MPA on maritime safety. In the long run, the council plans to collaborate with other organisations and countries to promote a culture of maritime safety in the region.
These developments were announced during Safety@Sea week, an industry-wide effort to increase awareness of safety practices and inculcate a safety-first culture at sea.
The Safety@Sea programme was launched in November 2014 and in that year Singapore experienced one of its lowest ever incident rate: 0.005 incidents per 1,000 vessel traffic movements, compared with 0.008 in 2013.
It looks set to record an even lowest incident rate as for the first six month of 2015. The most recent figures suggest an incident rate of 0.003 incidents per 1,000 vessel traffic movements.