Singapore Looks to IBM for Traffic Solutions


Published Aug 19, 2015 2:01 PM by The Maritime Executive

IBM and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) have announced a partnership to develop new analytics-based technologies aimed at improving operations in the face of increasing growth in vessel traffic in Singapore. 

Singapore remains one of the busiest ports in the world and the region, with an estimated 1,000 vessels calling at the Port of Singapore at any one time. Every year, there are about 130,000 vessel calls at the Port of Singapore, which means there is a vessel arriving or leaving Singapore every two to three minutes. 

As part of the 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.

Using the IBM Traffic Prediction Tool, predictive analytics will be applied to forecast vessel arrival timings and potential traffic congestion. The partnership will also uncover new methods for sense-making and aid in event monitoring to detect unusual behavior of vessels and prevent illegal bunkering through fusion analytics, anomaly detection and data mining, leveraging the IBM Incident Detection Module and IBM System G. These digital capabilities are intended to improve port security and safety.

"MPA is happy to partner IBM on this important MOU to leverage new technologies and harness data analytics that not only enhance current maritime operations, but support our smart port initiatives for the Tuas Next Generation Port," said Andrew Tan, Chief Executive, MPA.

New Safety Council

The MPA has also announced the establishment of a National Maritime Safety at Sea Council (NMSSC), to spearhead the drive for maritime safety on a national level, and to ensure the sustainability of 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. I am confident that the newly-formed National Maritime Safety at Sea Council will strengthen the efforts for safety at sea and ensure the sustainability of our safety efforts," said Lucien Wong, Chairman of the MPA.

NMSSC is chaired by Professor Richard Lim and comprises 14 other professionals from across the industry with extensive maritime-related experience. 

The Council has decided on the following aims:

•    To serve as an advisory body to MPA Board on maritime safety
•    To promote and build a progressive safety at sea culture by addressing both human and non-human elements that contribute to maritime safety
•    To help raise the level of maritime safety and standards through public awareness campaigns, conferences, workshops and safety studies
•    To endorse initiatives and projects proposed by MPA-Industry Safety Working Groups and maritime industry for follow-on implementation
•    To recognize exemplary efforts and promote good practices in the maritime industry

The first priority of the Council is to address issues related to navigational safety and raise levels of maritime safety standards. In the long-term, the Council plans to collaborate with other organizations and countries to promote a culture of maritime safety in the region.