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Speech by SMS Lee Yi Shyan at the Opening Ceremony of the Logistics and Transportation Conference 2014 at Resorts World Convention Centre

Speech by SMS Lee Yi Shyan at the Opening Ceremony of the Logistics and Transportation Conference 2014 at Resorts World Convention Centre

Mr Sharafdeen Abdul Rasak, President of Container Depot Association (Singapore),
 
Distinguished Guests,
 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
A very good morning.
 
          It is a pleasure to join you at the opening of the second Logistics and Transportation Conference. To all our overseas friends, I wish you a warm welcome to Singapore.
 
2                 The Logistics and Transportation Conference 2014 is a key event that brings together industry players and experts to discuss trends and opportunities in logistics, share ideas and best practices, and establish business connections within the logistics community.
 
Importance of the Logistics Industry
 
3                 The logistics and transportation industry plays an important part in our economy. It is a key enabler for manufacturing, trading and services industries. Last year, the sector contributed about 7% of our GDP, and employed some 227,000 workers[1]. This year’s World Bank Logistics Performance Index continues to rank Singapore as the top logistics hub in Asia. Singapore is also recognised as the world’s largest container transhipment hub, handling more than 32 million containers in 2013[2].
 
4                 The outlook for the sector is positive. The sector is projected to expand at a CAGR of 6.2% in Singapore, to reach over US$40 billion in 2016[3]. There are two main reasons for this.
 
5                 First, Singapore has become the choice location for leading manufacturers in industries such as semi-conductors, electronics and chemicals. Key industry players have based themselves in Singapore, and centralised key functions such as sourcing, procurement, supply chain planning, and network design here. With Asia playing a greater role in global supply chains, our logistics companies are well positioned to take advantage of this to grow along with our manufacturers.
 
6                 Second, we expect broad growth in trade and other services, which will drive demand for logistics services. The growth of e-commerce in the region, for example, will provide opportunities for retail-focussed logistics companies. Retail online sales are expected to make up over 40% of total global retail sales by 2016, and this will require sophisticated logistics solutions. More generally, strong business developments in China and India is set to drive double-digit growth in the overall Asia-Pacific 3rd Party Logistics (3PL) market over the next 5 years. This year alone, B2C ecommerce transactions in Asia Pacific are expected to reach over $525 billion dollars, making it the largest regional ecommerce market[4]. And with global brands such as Alibaba and Amazon also growing their presence in the B2B space, there are many opportunities to be found.
 
The Need to Improve Productivity and Connectivity
 
7                 To stay competitive and seize these growth opportunities, logistics companies need to upgrade their supply chain capabilities and maximise productivity by taking advantage of new technology and improving their processes. In recognition of this, the Economic Development Board (EDB) and SPRING Singapore have embarked on an S$42million, 5-year productivity roadmap for the logistics industry. The roadmap contains a suite of capability building initiatives that have benefitted more than 180 logistics enterprises since it was launched in March 2012.
 
8                 Some of the recent productivity initiatives for the logistics sector that SPRING has supported include the ‘Mobileye’ initiative and ‘Software-as-a-System Total Logistics Information System’.
 
9                 The ‘Mobileye’ initiative[5] is an effort by the Singapore Transport Association to incorporate the use of assistive driver technology for safety. It can help to increase the productivity of trucking companies by about 20% by reducing the number of accidents. Since it was launched six months ago, 15 trucking companies have already signed up for the initiative.
 
10             The ‘SaaS Total Logistics Information System[6]’ is a low-cost cloud computing technology solution tailor-made to support logistics management. Since May, six pioneer companies have signed up for the system, which provides shared services and also enable better management of resources. This will increase productivity by up to 50%.
 
11             As more businesses adopt the Internet of Things in their operations, such technology is likely to become the standard tools for logistics operations. The Internet of Things has the potential to drastically change the playing field for logistics companies. By 2020, up to 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet, generating and consuming massive data. Logistics companies that succeed in implementing real-time management of their operations will be able to improve service offerings and reduce costs. Capabilities such as fleet optimisation, dynamic supply-chain tracking and tracing, big data management and analytics, and real-time security are up and coming in the sector.
 
12             The government is therefore keen to support the adoption of such technologies, and I am therefore glad to see Container Depot Association (Singapore) (or CDAS) as our partner in encouraging this.
 
Launch of the Container Management System
 
13             CDAS, as a leading trade association for the logistics sector, plays an important role in helping companies in this industry to upgrade.
 
14             In 2008, CDAS, together with the Singapore Logistics Association and Singapore Transportation Association, launched the Containerised Traffic System. This was done with the support of International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and SPRING, and I had the opportunity to launch that system. To date, this system has been successfully adopted by some 211 large and small transport operators, which covers about 3000 prime movers and lorries.
 
15             Today, I am pleased to witness the launch of another new initiative that has been developed by CDAS with SPRING support. The Container Management System, or CMS for short, is a web-based information and visibility system for the container depot and container transport community, to track and deploy the containers through effective scheduling and resource planning.
 
16             Through the successful implementation of CMS, container transport operators can expect a 30% reduction in queuing time at the container depot, which can lead to a 20% increase in deliveries. The container depot operators can also expect an overall 30% increase in container depot handling efficiency.
 
17             In addition, the CMS will integrate with TradeXchange, an online government platform to facilitate the sharing and exchange of the information on a secure network. Through this seamless online integration, it will help to eliminate manual data entry error and result in more efficient transfer of information along the entire supply chain. It is an example of how logistics companies can come together to jointly develop horizontal platforms that boost collective productivity.
 
Conclusion
 
18             Given the rapid development of the industry, to describe it as a “logistics” industry may no longer accurately describe its key activities. Increasingly, the industry in Singapore has to be amongst the first adopter of IT and smart technologies; technologies that provide the necessary overall visibility and operational reach for optimal resource utilisation and productivity. Technologies that enable the industry to compete globally. It is now an industry characterised by frequent investments in IT systems and solutions, increased R&D spending and a highly skilled workforce. It is therefore better called a “logistics innovation” industry, to highlight the many innovations that are being undertaken at both the firm and industry level. And it is through continuing to update and innovate, that Singapore can maintain its lead as a global logistics hub.
 
19             On this note, I wish all of you a fruitful and insightful session ahead.  Thank you.


[1] Department of Statistics, 2013
[3] Specifically, US$40.79 billion (or S$51.7 billion), Frost & Sullivan Market Report, 2012
[4] eMarketer’s “Worldwide B2C Ecommerce: 2013 Forecast and Comparative Estimates”.
[5] The Mobile initiative is launched by Singapore Transport Association (STA) and supported by SPRING Singapore.
[6] The Software as a System (SaaS) Total Logistics Information System is a cloud computing solution specially customized for the Logistics industry. The SaaS model is built upon a purely subscription-based shared platform model.  SPRING Singapore is supporting the logistics companies that subscribe to the system.
 
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