Singapore Launches Trial of TradeTrust Blockchain Shipping Initiative
Business news service Asia Middle East Maritime Focus has reported that the Singapore government will move forward with a trial of its blockchain-based maritime trade platform TradeTrust. The piloting of the project is carried out through a partnership between the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), MPA (Maritime Port Authority), Singapore Customs and the Singapore Shipping Association. Back in January, the parties had signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
The parties will work together under the partnership to develop Singapore’s Maritime TradeTrust project through the advancement of electronic lading bills (EBLs). Declaring the pilot in Singapore’s parliament on March 4, Minister of Communications and Information Iswaran said “TradeTrust is an initiative to develop a set of standards to help companies exchange digital trade documents securely.”
TradeTrust aims to minimize cross-border trade shortfalls and intricacies resulting from paper-based records such as conventional lading bills. It will include a string of governance and legal structures, standards and digital framework fully prepared for the future and will be fully backed by distributed ledger knowledge technology, widely known as blockchain, to provide participants with proof of legitimacy and origin of exchanged documents.
IMDA stated the maritime sector may be the first to gain from this initiative, with documentation and trade processing calculated to save upto 20% of the physical cost of shipping a single container. IMDA, MPA, Singapore Customs and the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) entered into a memorandum of understanding in January 2019 and asserted continued backing for the project. With support from Singapore Customs and SSA, IMDA and MPA will take the initiative in improving TradeTrust for EBLs.
The primary focus of the initiative will be on creating digital infrastructure, championing EBLs and conducting scientific trials to illustrate interoperability of EBLs across various digital ecosystems, working with industry and government. In order to collect opinion on the effort, IMDA will organize industry advice workgroups within the maritime, logistics and finance segments and publish a request for suggestion from industries on the technical deployment of TradeTrust framework.
PSA has teamed up with a CrimsonLogic subsidiary GeTS and other associates to launch a global digital trade expedition and supply chain network. The platform is called Calista, an acronym for Cargo Logistics, Inventory Streamlining and Trade Aggregation, and aims to facilitate trade and increase efficiency for those engaged in the supply chain of shipping and logistics. It draws together non-physical, such as monetary and legislative, and logistics physical activities in a digital ecosystem designed to serve the logistics chain’s entire group of stakeholders.
The program is designed to simplify the supply chain by using digital technologies by mingling with stakeholder structures, lowering information duplication, enhancing information flow veracity and typically simplifying procedures, paperwork and data as products move within and across countries around the world.
The main objective is to directly ramp up exposure of their products in movement by manufacturers and to allow transportation service providers to work jointly to create supply chain remedies that bring value to clients. Capitalizing on the current world trade interoperability offerings of GeTS, Calista will jointly operate with other national platforms for trade, legislative and supply chain.
Tactical partners will be pursued along the international supply chain, and agreements with Singapore agencies, including the Ministry of Trade Trade and Industry, the Economic Development Board and the National Trade Platform, have already been forged. DBS Bank provides the collaboration with banking and financial technology services.
Tan Chong Meng, PSA group chief executive said “Greater cargo flow visibility and improved co-ordination benefits everyone, from manufacturer to consumer.”
Comment on the project, DBS Bank chief executive Piyush Gupta said “We are […] honoured to play our part in supporting the digitization of the shipping and logistics industries. With cross-border trade growing and Asian enterprises doing more business internationally, Singapore is well-placed to lead the charge in digitizing trade financing solutions.”