Industry needs to innovate to meet challenges ahead - Singapore minister
SINGAPORE's Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Transport, Choi Shing Kwok, has urged the maritime industry to make changes to meet increasing demands for greater efficiency and safety, while minimising costs and environmental impact. Thursday, 26.Apr.2012, 01:49 (GMT+3)
SINGAPORE's Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Transport, Choi Shing Kwok, has urged the maritime industry to make changes to meet increasing demands for greater efficiency and safety, while minimising costs and environmental impact.
Speaking at the opening of the MARSIM conference and exhibition at the Singapore Polytechnic, the minister told the 300 participants that the industry was faced with an "increasingly complex environment".
The global nature of shipping, together with challenging market conditions, requires the industry to constantly innovate to meet increasing demands, he said.
"More specialised and sophisticated ships are being built and coming on stream. At the same time, shipping and port operations have also become more complex to accommodate the growth in vessel sizes," he said.
Mr Choi pointed out that there is also a greater demand for environmentally sustainable designs and practices to be used for ships and ports. These advancements have been made possible by the industry's strong technology base, including within the maritime simulation community. He said training and operational planning were two areas where maritime simulation has played a key role in advancing Singapore's maritime industry.
"Our seafarers operate in an increasingly challenging environment on board more sophisticated ships plying in busier waterways where the margins for error are getting smaller. Training needs have consequently become more specialised and demanding. Many aspiring seafarers have to cut their teeth on a wide range of vessel types before they are allowed to operate on board an ocean-going ship. This is where simulators can play a useful role by providing seafarers with realistic training in a risk-free environment and within shorter training times," he said.
Mr Choi also said that seasoned seafarers can also return to more advanced ship simulators to refresh and upgrade their skills. "As technology advances and regulations evolve, ship simulators can also be used by designers and crew to test new ship designs and operational procedures before they are brought to sea," he added.