Digitisation could save labour at Singapore port

Digitisation could save labour at Singapore port

October 24, 2023

Singapore is to launch a digital bunkering initiative to implement electronic processes and documentation from November 1 – a development that is expected to save about 39 000 man-days per year for the bunker industry.

Vital to the implementation is the electronic Bunker Delivery Note (e-BDN) and shipping companies have been running trials on how they can align their systems to interface with the Maritime and Ports Authority (MPA) and other requirements.

The adoption of e-BDN has always been a focal point for the digitalisation of shipping, according to a media statement from Ocean Network Express (ONE).

In July 2023, the International Maritime Organisation approved the acceptance of bunker delivery notes (BDNs) in both hard copy and digital formats, provided they met relevant international requirements of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Annex VI.

Specifically, Annex VI covers the prevention of air pollution from ocean-going ships.

According to an internet search, it applies to vessels of any type operating in the marine environment, including fixed or floating platforms.

ONE, headquartered in Singapore and Dutch energy multinational Shell, have jointly been running trials to meet the Singaporean deadline.

The trial for their digital bunkering solution, which was developed by Angsana Technology, was conducted on September 9, this year at the Port of Singapore.

As part of the trial, the cargo officer, chief engineer and bunker surveyor logged in to the platform via a unique link and one-time password to complete the electronic bunkering documentation for pre- and post-delivery.

Upon completion, the bunkering documents were transmitted to all parties before the vessels departed, according to ONE.

Teo Eng Dih, chief executive of MPA, said: “MPA is encouraged by the successful completion of the digital bunkering trial and we look forward to implementing electronic bunkering processes and documentation in the Port of Singapore from November onwards.

“Apart from ensuring more secure and transparent operations when used with Mass Flow Meters, e-BDN will help build higher levels of trust amongst bunker buyers, suppliers, and financial institutions and enable a more efficient and resilient ecosystem.

The adoption of digital documentation at scale will help reduce business costs at the port ecosystem level and bring greater value to stakeholders across the entire bunkering value chain.”

Jeremy Nixon, chief executive officer of ONE, said: “By adopting e-BDN, we will have greater visibility and reliability of our bunkering operations and a more sustainable footprint.

“We are excited to play a role in advancing  e-BDN practices.”

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