A new, $54 million initiative in Singapore will research port management and urban congestion to help boost the country's port efficiency.
The Urban Computing and Engineering Centre of Excellence, a joint venture by the country's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore University and Fujitsu, will research sustainable options for improving port operations. The project examine the flow of shipments to and from the port in order to reduce wait times for ships, and will also help the port authority predict volumes due for arrival, The Straits Times reported.
Channel News Asia reported A*STAR will contribute analysis and data visualization, while the other parties will apply research in high-performance computing and behavioral economics.
The center's funding is on top of the $24 million being spent by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and PSA Corp. to develop next-generation technology that will enhance terminal operations in the future, including plans for terminal automation and control systems.
After a disappointing July, Singapore's Augustand September volumes have shown year-over-year growth. Preliminary numbers released by the port authority show Singapore handled 2.8 million TEUs in September, 3.5 percent higher than September 2013. Year-to-date, the port has seen 3.5 percent more volume than last year.
Singapore had 73 total berth moves per hour in 2013, placing it near the top among major transshipment ports, based on preliminary JOC Port Productivity figures, but still lower than ports such as Jebel Ali, with 95 moves per hour, and Busan and Shanghai, at 92 moves per hour.
The port has a large-scale investment plan to increase its terminal capacity, but because the country is running out of space, those plans are centered around the construction of a new port with a capacity of 60 million TEUs in Tuas, near the Malaysian border.