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SHIPPING companies are among the founders of a new data exchange platform launched in Singapore to help overcome supply chain inefficiencies.

The Singapore Trade Data Exchange (SGTraDex) was built to be a secure and easy-to-use digital utility connecting ecosystem partners in the local and global supply chains via common data infrastructure.

Pacific International Lines and Ocean Network Express founded the digital initiative alongside banks, ports, new energy and logistics companies. More than 70 participants have signed up so far.

SGTraDex is expected to unlock more than US$100 million in cost savings for participants, generated by improved efficiency and productivity, optimal use of assets and faster access to financing.

SGTraDex Services CEO Antoine Cadoux said the physical exchange of paper remains the norm across the global supply chain.

“Digitalisation has transformed many sectors, but in the global supply chain and trade sector, its promise has yet to materialise,” he said.

“We believe that the plug-and-play digital infrastructure we have created at SGTraDex will go a long way to make it easy for all participants to share data under an agreed set of rules.

“Our goal at SGTraDex is to enable global trade to happen more quickly, more reliably, and with higher integrity.”

SGTraDex Technologies CEO Liau Eng Soon said the platform would raise participants’ productivity as they move from manual, paper systems to sharing data through neutral common data infrastructure.

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“Participants will also have complete autonomy in what data they wish to share with their ecosystem partners, and no one will be forced to share confidential information,” he said.

SGTraDex leaders raised the issue of limited access to timely data in container logistics, leading to congestion at ports and transport nodes.

They said the platform would, in this case, enable the exchange of data between shipping lines, hauliers and port operators to improve planning, increase the use of assets and boost productivity.

In bunkering situations, SGTraDex would allow ecosystem partners such as storage facility operators, barge operators and financial institutions to digitalise their relationships, mitigate inefficiencies and strengthen trade.

The platform was also designed to build trust and resilience in the ecosystem by allowing documents to be verified using the TradeTrust framework and distributed ledger technology.

TradeTrust reportedly provides participants with proof of authenticity and origins of the documents exchanged through SGTraDex infrastructure.

Mr Cadoux said the platform had undergone multiple rounds of testing prior to its launch this week.

“We are encouraged by our live testing recently and are pleased that more participants are being onboarded every day,” he said. “We urge others to sign up as early as possible to maximise the benefits.

“We are working with industry participants to identify problems that digitalisation can help resolve and demonstrate the value of co-opetition, the idea that competitors should build differentiated capabilities and competitive advantage, but they should also collaborate to solve common problems.”

SGTraDex is reportedly working with partners to pilot three new use cases in the coming months on green and sustainable trade financing, reducing demurrage costs, and increasing transparency in supplies and spare parts in the maritime industry.

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