Logistics sector gets productivity boost with new container system

SINGAPORE - The growing logistics and transportation sector has gotten a productivity boost, with a new system that lets firms plan container deliveries more efficiently.

Such innovations help the industry keep ahead of the pack, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Lee Yi Shyan said on Tuesday.

Singapore is the world's biggest container transhipment hub, having handled more than 32 million containers last year, he noted at an industry conference at Resorts World Sentosa attended by about 200 people.

The logistics and transportation industry made up about 7 per cent of economic output and employed about 227,000 workers last year.

Mr Lee said that to stay competitive, logistics firms "need to upgrade their supply chain capabilities and maximise productivity by taking advantage of new technology and improving their processes".

One example is the new container management system, which is a web-based application that lets its users track what is happening in the container depot.

The technology will cut waiting times in queues at the container depot by up to 30 per cent and let container transport operators deliver 20 per cent more containers in the same amount of time, Mr Lee said.

Operators of the container depot will also be able to raise their container handling efficiency by 30 per cent, he added.

The Container Depot Association (Singapore) developed this system with the help of Spring Singapore.

The logistics and transportation industry in Singapore is expected to grow at a compound rate of about 6.2 per cent every year to become worth more than $51 billion in 2016, according to a report by consultancy Frost and Sullivan in 2012.