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Industry-led coalition developing common data infrastructure to improve supply chain ecosystem

Photo: Markus Spiske - Unsplash Markus Spiske - Unsplash.jpg
The industry-led coalition Alliance for Action (AfA), an initiative of the Singapore government, is piloting a new data infrastructure to interconnect supply chain ecosystem, amidst the global crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The AfA on Supply Chain Digitalisation was formed to examine how ecosystem players can participate in the digital economy, to co-create a supply chain to share data in a trusted, secure and inclusive way.

The AfA is co-led by Tan Chong Meng, group ceo of PSA International and Tan Chin Hwee, ceo-Asia Pacific of Trafigura Group.

“Covid-19 has revealed both vulnerabilities and opportunities in the global supply chain ecosystem. The development of a common data infrastructure is our opportunity to enable large and small businesses to optimise their supply chain flows through Singapore, promote long term sustainability as a key nodal hub in the global supply chain, and at the same time, support Singapore businesses in expanding their export markets,” commented PSA’s Tan.

The common data infrastructure will augment existing data sharing systems and platforms by connecting the supply chain end-to-end, creating visibility and transparency, linking importers/exporters, shipping companies and financial institutions.

As part of the pilot phase for the common data infrastructure, the AfA will conduct trials with industry players for two use cases: strengthening trade finance and converging efficiencies, and container flow node decongestion.

Financial institutions currently have limited visibility over the physical movement of goods in the supply chain. The common data infrastructure will serve to improve process flow efficiency where the financial institutions will be able to access data directly in order to reconcile trade details with the physical movement of goods.

Logistics players also frequently face congestion at container flow nodes such as depots and warehouses, due to limited end-to-end visibility of container flows. Through common data infrastructure, major shipping lines, depot operators, warehouse operators and hauliers can share operational and event data such as container bookings, time slot bookings, job management and other data to enhance end-to-end logistics operations visibility.

“During this pilot we are working alongside Singapore banks to access data directly from reliable sources and parties to reconcile trade details with ease and potentially to detect and mitigate trade related fraud,” said Trafigura’s Tan.

“Building a ‘digital twin’ of the physical movement of goods will improve visibility across the trade process, and help stakeholders reduce dependency on physical documents in the long term,” he added.

Geraldine Chin, director of ExxonMobil Asia Pacific, said: “The pilot common data infrastructure seeks to help companies along the entire supply chain ecosystem – from logistics and warehouse companies, oil terminals, the shipping industry to manufacturers – operate more efficiently. This cooperation builds on Singapore’s strength in harnessing public-private sector partnership to deliver positive outcomes for Singapore as a business and logistics hub.”

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