PSA lifts the lid on 'living lab' for industry

Initiative aims to develop ideas and test-bed integrated systems in a live port environment

Port operator PSA Corporation has opened a "living laboratory" for the port and logistics industry.

The company will commit close to $100 million to the Singapore project over the next three years, it said in a statement yesterday.

The lab, comprising two operational berths at the Pasir Panjang Terminal, will enable start-ups and technology firms to collaborate with PSA to develop ideas and test-bed integrated systems in a live port environment.

PSA is one of the world's largest hub centres for container movement, handling about 64 million containers out of the 700 million globally.

Supported by the Economic Development Board and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the initiative is part of PSA's ongoing efforts to develop "innovative and cutting-edge technology solutions" for its existing terminal operations in Singapore as well as for the future Tuas Terminal, the company said.

A key project is the automated guided vehicle system, which will ramp up operations to a fleet of 30 vehicles next year.

"Operationally-ready solutions have the potential to be deployed at terminals of the PSA Group worldwide," added PSA.

The PSA Living Lab will also complement the port operator's unboXed incubator programme launched early last month. 

That programme aims to nurture start-ups to create solutions that will "revolutionise" container terminal operations, streamline global supply chain logistics and enhance the efficiency of international trade.

Mr Ong Kim Pong, regional chief executive of South-east Asia at PSA International, said the living laboratory will act as "an enabling environment to nurture and grow potentially game-changing innovations and technologies for the container port sector".

"As Singapore consolidates its container port activities in Tuas from the next decade, it is imperative for PSA to become even more efficient, innovative and productive to be future-ready and contribute to the country's status as a global hub port," said Mr Ong.

The upcoming mega-terminal in Tuas has been earmarked as the centrepiece of Singapore's Next Generation Port vision.

The port, which entered the first phase of construction in April, will have a total capacity of up to 65 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) when completed over a span of around 30 years.

MPA chief executive Andrew Tan said: "A strong hub port will help strengthen our efforts to develop Singapore into a leading international maritime centre, and PSA must stay ahead of the game to remain relevant."

Correction Note: This article has been edited for clarity.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2016, with the headline 'PSA lifts the lid on 'living lab' for industry'. Print Edition | Subscribe