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Singapore completes world’s first live paperless cross-border trade

Trade involved ExxonMobil Asia Pacific, Bunkerchain and VLK; Bunkerchain provided digital solution supporting key logistics documentation processes for cross-border liquid chemical trade.

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The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) on Thursday (30 March) said together with industry players, they successfully executed a live shipment from Singapore to Thailand during Q1 2023. 

This fully paperless, live cross-border trade involved the use of an ETR, that is functionally equivalent to a paper Bill of Lading (BL) using Singapore’s TradeTrust framework.

Pioneered by IMDA, TradeTrust was designed to address the challenges of paper-based cross-border trades, leveraging international standards and frameworks, utilising blockchain-powered technology to enable digitalisation of transferable documents into ETR. IMDA’s TradeTrust framework harmonises the legal recognition of digital documentations between various jurisdictions which has adopted the United Nations Commission on International TradeLaw (UNCITRAL) Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records (MLETR).

The world’s first ETR cross-border trade involved ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. as the shipper, Bunkerchain as the TradeTrust-enabled digital platform provider and VLK as the vessel owner who is supported by their Protection & Indemnity (P&I) Club. 

Bunkerchain provided a digital solution that supported the key logistics documentation processes for the cross-border liquid chemical trade involving multiple parties such as a surveyor and custom broker. 

The use of TradeTrust has enabled the digitalisation of the issuance, ownership title transfer and surrender of the ETR as an electronic Bill of Lading (eBL) between the different stakeholders across different systems, that is compliant to the UNCITRAL MLETR requirements.

How the Shipment was Conducted 

  • ExxonMobil Asia Pacific shipped liquid chemicals from Singapore to Thailand. 
  • VLK issued an electronic Bill of Lading (eBL) using Bunkerchain, a TradeTrust-enabled digital platform. 
  • The use of Marine Vessel Pass, a joint project between S&P Global Market Intelligence and Bunkerchain, created a Digital Passports for Ships on the eBL ensured that digital identity used in the signing, was onboarded, and verified by S&P Global Market Intelligence. This was tied to their International Maritime Organization number.
  • The eBL was subsequently surrendered on the TradeTrust Reference Implementation, demonstrating interoperability across different systems without the need to develop inter-system connectivity protocols such as APIs. It also established the interoperability between digital and paper-based processes. 
  • VLK was supported by their Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Club, on the basis that the P&I liabilities arising from the use of a TradeTrust-issued eBL is equivalent to the liabilities that could have arisen under the use of a paper-based Bill of Lading. 
  • The eBL was legally supported solely by statutory law without the use of any contract law or rulebook. This shipment showed that an eBL issued using the TradeTrust framework can be used in a non-MLETR jurisdiction, such as Thailand. 

The introduction of eBLs has enabled greater efficiency by streamlining and automating existing processes. The benefits include shorter waiting times and reduced costs. This pilot builds on cooperation with industry partners like ExxonMobil to encourage the use of ETRs and facilitate cross-border trade. Using the TradeTrust framework, ETRs can be issued, transferred, and surrendered between multiple stakeholders in a trusted manner, across different digital platforms, which is necessary in the context of cross-border trade. 

“Since 2019, Singapore has looked to reshape, reimagine, and redefine the way the world trades. International trade ecosystem is heavily reliant on physical paper documents and signatures for validation,” Mr Loh Sin Yong, Director, TradeTrust, IMDA, said. 

“This live transaction for consignment of liquid chemical from Singapore to Thailand, leverages on the TradeTrust framework to create an eBL that uses UNCITRAL’s MLETR compliant statutory law framework.”

“More importantly, we are excited to have demonstrated that the industry can potentially use eBL even if there was no basis of a contractual legal framework. We believe this will illuminate wider adoption of eBL in cross-border trade.”

“This pilot is part of ExxonMobil’s efforts to increase our supply chain resiliency through digitalisation of business processes. We welcome frameworks like TradeTrust as an important part of our journey towards digitalisation. Such frameworks increase efficiency and cost savings while maintaining high standards and trust, and we hope that this successful trial will lead to increased interest from industry to adopt similar standards,” Mr Low Say Lim, Asia Pacific Liquids Logistics & Distribution Manager, ExxonMobil Asia Pacific, said. 

 

Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 4 April, 2023

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Business

Singapore: DNV FuelBoss and Equatorial Marine Fuel enter digital bunkering MoU

To build digital delivery platforms that are interoperable, compliant to data and security standards set by the MPA and Singapore Standards Council.

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Singapore DNV FuelBoss and Equatorial Marine Fuel enter digital bunkering MoU cover

FuelBoss, a subsidiary of DNV, and Singapore bunker supplier Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services (EMF) on Friday (19 April) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further develop digital bunkering capabilities for all marine fuels.

The objective of the MoU is to strengthen the partnership between both organisations to build digital delivery platforms that are interoperable, compliant to data and security standards set by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Singapore Standards Council.

The scope of the MoU allows the development of integrated services across both organisations’ technological platforms to provide seamless operations, real-time insights into bunker delivery processes to industry stakeholders, international shipowners, bunker suppliers, and bunker traders for all marine fuels.

It will also enable the sharing of experience, materials, and expertise between the two organisations with the industry to accelerate the pace of digitalisation and support companies in implementing digital bunkering solutions.

Singapore DNV FuelBoss and Equatorial Marine Fuel enter digital bunkering MoU 1

Singapore DNV FuelBoss and Equatorial Marine Fuel enter digital bunkering MoU

“We are committed to pioneering digital solutions that enhance the safety and trust in marine fuels transactions. This MoU with EMF underscores our dedication to advancing Digital Delivery and Live Delivery Insights in the maritime industry and we are honored to partner with them,” said Martin Wold, Head of FuelBoss.

“By collaboratively developing interoperable platforms that align with the latest data and security standards, we aim to set a new benchmark and replicate this for the rest of the industry.

“Our partnership with EMF will leverage both organisations' strengths to provide comprehensive, real-time insights into bunker delivery processes, benefiting all stakeholders in the maritime ecosystem.”

EMF is the leading supplier of marine fuels in Singapore in 2022 and 2023. As part of their growth strategy, EMF has been investing in digitally transforming the business and operations since 2018.

Over the years, EMF has integrated several of their systems to streamline operations and has built an in-house technology team to customise solutions to better serve their customers and stakeholders.

“We have always believed that digitalisation is one of the keys to the future for the Maritime industry. Over the years, we have participated in and supported the digital initiatives launched by MPA,” said Collin Ng, Chief Technology Officer of EMF.

“The digital bunkering initiative launched by MPA on 1 November 2023 is core to completing the digitalisation of the bunker supply chain for the industry.

“With the signing of the MoU with FuelBoss, we are looking forward to providing an extensive and comprehensive digital delivery platform for our collective customers and stakeholders.”

 

Photo credit: DNV FuelBoss
Published: 19 April 2024

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Alternative Fuels

SMW 2024: Yinson GreenTech partners with EPS on electric vessel trials

YGT’s marine electrification business, marinEV, and EPS will perform trials involving the first cargo delivery with an electric vessel and the first crew transfer with an electric vessel in Singapore.

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SMW 2024: Yinson GreenTech and EPS forge alliance on electric vessel trials

Yinson GreenTech (YGT), a leading green technology solutions provider, has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS), a global leader in maritime transportation, during Singapore Maritime Week 2024, both parties said in a joint statement on Thursday (18 April). 

This collaboration, spearheaded by YGT’s marine electrification business, marinEV, marks a significant step towards cleaner and more sustainable maritime operations in Singapore, with the following key milestones on the horizon:

Electric vessel deployments

  • First cargo delivery with an electric vessel in the Port of Singapore: marinEV and EPS aim to be at the forefront of maritime history by jointly facilitating the first cargo delivery using an electric vessel within the Port of Singapore. This aligns with both companies’ commitment to environmental responsibility and demonstrates their dedication to creating a net zero world.
  • First crew transfer with an electric vessel in Singapore: Recognising the critical role of crew transfers in maritime operations, marinEV and EPS will collaborate on the first crew transfer conducted by an electric vessel in Singapore. This trial will provide valuable data on the feasibility, efficiency, and safety of electric vessels for crew transportation, paving the way for wider industry adoption.

SMW 2024: Yinson GreenTech and EPS forge alliance on electric vessel trials

The Hydromover and Lake Herman

Building upon their commitment to sustainability, marinEV will enter into a collaborative agreement with EPS. This partnership aims to integrate electric vessels into last-mile delivery operations, significantly reducing Scope 3 emissions and contributing to a cleaner shipping industry. By jointly defining ambitious emission reduction goals, marinEV and EPS will work together to create a more sustainable future for maritime transportation.

“At Yinson GreenTech, we believe that collaboration is key to unlocking a cleaner future for our oceans. Our partnership with Eastern Pacific Shipping on these groundbreaking electric vessel deployments in Singapore signifies a major leap forward,” said Jan-Viggo Johansen, Managing Director of marinEV. 

“Together, we are not only making history but also paving the way for a future where clean and efficient transportation solutions become the norm. This is an exciting moment for us, and we are committed to working closely with EPS, our existing partners and other industry leaders to achieve a truly sustainable maritime landscape.

“It is heartening to see like-minded partners in the industry adopt the ‘act now’ approach like us, taking action and exploring innovative solutions on all fronts,” said Cyril Ducau, Chief Executive Officer of EPS.

“This collaboration with Yinson GreenTech not only offers a greener transportation alternative, it also builds on the industry’s collective commitment to accelerate the decarbonisation of shipping. We don’t do things because they are easy. We do it because they are difficult so that we leave no stones unturned in our efforts to decarbonise.”

Related: Yinson GreenTech all-electric crew transfer vessel to undergo sea trials in Singapore

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 19 April 2024

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Bunker Fuel

SMW 2024: Maritime International Advisory Panel discusses decarbonisation, green financing, digitalisation

Panel noted that financial institutions were willing to provide lending for suitable projects to support maritime decarbonisation with sufficient assurance that the default risks were managed.

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SMW 2024: Maritime International Advisory Panel discusses decarbonisation, green financing, digitalisation

The Maritime International Advisory Panel (IAP) held its third annual meeting on 16 April 2024, during the Singapore Maritime Week 2024. 

This year, the Maritime IAP held in-depth discussions on the key developments in the maritime sector, including decarbonisation, green financing, digitalisation and cybersecurity. 

Members of the panel who were present included Hiroaki Sakashita, President and CEO, ClassNK, Stephen Fewster, Managing Director, Global Head, Shipping Finance, ING Bank, Nick Brown, CEO, Lloyd’s Register, and Jonathan Wright, Global Managing Partner, Global Finance and Supply Chain Transformation Service Line Leader, IBM.

Established in 2022 by the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Maritime IAP aims to seek international perspectives on key long-term trends and developments that will shape the maritime industry. 

It comprises global leaders from the maritime sector, adjacent industries and academia, and is chaired by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Finance. Local industry and union leaders also joined the meeting to share their perspectives.

IAP comprises global leaders from the maritime sector, adjacent industries and academia, and is chaired by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Finance.

IAP comprises global leaders from the maritime sector, adjacent industries and academia, and is chaired by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Finance.

Key Trends and Opportunities for the Maritime Sector

The Maritime IAP highlighted that despite geopolitical uncertainties and supply chain shifts, there were significant opportunities for the global maritime sector in the following areas:

  • Accelerating the green transition towards a low- and zero-carbon future, supported by important enablers such as financing for green shipping;
  • Deepening the utilisation of technology and digitalisation while strengthening cyber resilience; and
  • Training and re-skilling the maritime workforce to take on the new job opportunities of the future.

The Maritime IAP emphasised that Singapore plays an important role in facilitating global trade flows, supporting global maritime decarbonisation, and advancing maritime digitalisation and cyber-resilience. 

Singapore’s position as a trusted and established maritime eco-system could catalyse green financing solutions, unlock the benefits of deeper utilisation of technology and data, and position it as a training hub to develop the skills needed by the future maritime workforce.

Strengthening Maritime Ecosystem Amid Global Shifts and Green Transition

Against the backdrop of global uncertainties, the Maritime IAP highlighted that Singapore could be an important trade and maritime intermediary, given its status as a neutral, trusted, and leading maritime hub. With growing trade to emerging regions as trade flows shifted, the panel believed Singapore would be an important conduit for new trades going forward. The panel further suggested for Singapore to become a trusted maritime technology hub for the development, installation, and accreditation of critical technologies, especially for those fitted onboard ships.

The Maritime IAP noted that amidst the ongoing green transition, there would be competing demands for various low- or zero-carbon fuels (e.g. hydrogen, ammonia, methanol) from other sectors.

The Maritime IAP highlighted the need to draw on a wide range of green financing instruments and investments to catalyse change, address hurdles and accelerate the sector’s green transition. 

The panel also noted that financial institutions were willing to provide lending for suitable projects to support maritime decarbonisation with sufficient assurance that the default risks were managed. To address the financing needs of the sector, the panel suggested for maritime stakeholders to pool their needs, while demand aggregation would help smaller companies gain better access to suitable solutions and financing, and also allow financial institutions to better determine and manage the risks involved.

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 19 April 2024

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