Merchant Marine 2.0: SIT and TradeFlow Capital announce joint-program to enhance shipping through AI

Category: AI Asia

On the 6th of December 2021, TradeFlow Capital Management and the Singapore Institute of Technology announced a joint collaboration to create an AI-based solution to enhance both the efficiency and the risk management inherent to international shipping.

With globalization being one of the most significant phenomena of the modern era, uniting the entire global community of nations together in a delicate web of supply chains and free trade, it would be amiss to forget that maritime trade has been the pillar on which this economic era of prosperity was built. According to official data by UNCTAD, marine transport constituted 70 percent of global trade by value and 80 percent by volume in the year 2018. It would therefore come as no surprise that the pioneers of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 would see the potential of using frontier technology to augment the efficiency of one of the oldest foundations of international commerce.

While this sector is almost universally important to any littoral state, Singapore is even more acutely influenced by maritime trade with this sector contributing approximately 7% of the nation’s GDP and over 130,000 ships making port at Singapore per annum. Hence, any sophistication of the industry would be highly prosperous to the metropolis.

As an island-state, maritime trade composes a vital pillar of Singapore’s economy

To elaborate on the partners, The Singapore Institute of Technology is one of the main educational, training and research centers in the island-nation with a goal to provide integrated work-study programmes in innovative industrial areas such as engineering, information technology, cybersecurity and energy. On the other hand, TradeFlow is the world’s first commodity trade enabler specifically catering to SME, built on Fintech. Composed of a vast team of experts, it seeks to close the trade-finance gap by global SMEs and strengthen international trade by creating more opportunities for growth.

Speaking to SIT, the executive board of TradeFlow elaborated on the potential and intent of this partnership moving forward. John Collis, CRO of TradeFlow, elaborated that “our solution can go a very long way towards reducing the risks and ensuring the profitability of shipping.” Dr.Tom James, CEO and CIO of TradeFlow, also contributed stating that “this solution which also helps chart the environmental impact of goods shipped is part of our overall strategy for greater sustainability in our industry, alongside other initiatives like carbon-neutral shipping which we have implemented since December 2020.”

In terms of sustainability, TradeFlow also operates by a policy aligned with the goals of the Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) objectives adjunct to the greater goals of the United Nations’ SDGs referred to internally as the Climate Impact Strategy (CIS).

Can AI contribute in making international shipping more ecofriendly, efficient and less risk-prone?

The SIT has also chimed in with Scott Jones, Senior Lecturer and Principal Investigator of the Institute, noting that “Our project is aligned to SIT’s goal as a premier University of Applied Learning, and in creating innovative solutions that directly address the industry’s needs, and providing students with invaluable learning opportunities through real-world experiences. With over 11,000 bulk carrier vessels and over 5,200 container carrier vessels on the high seas, we see a huge potential impact for our solution in the global shipping industry in increasing operational efficiencies whilst reducing carbon footprints.”

Story was sourced from the Singapore Institute of Technology News. Information on trade sourced from UNCTAD and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

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