Page 10 - AMOID 2122 eBook v2
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Over the years, the Government, industry and unions have established strong partnerships anchored on trust. This close relationship between tripartite partners has helped the country to navigate through many storms together.
Addressing the COVID-19
In 2020, there was a period when hundreds of thousands of seafarers globally were stranded at sea, as a result of border closures and the stoppage of air travel.
Seafarer unions raised their concerns on the welfare of seafarers which saw the banding together of tripartite partners to come up with innovative solutions to facilitate safe crew change for vessels calling at the Port of Singapore.
With support from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and other international organisations, the COVID-19 Singapore Crew Change Guidebook was launched to provide guidance to the shipping community on how to effect crew change in Singapore during the crisis.
On 1 September 2020, MPA, with the support of PSA Singapore, set up a Crew Facilitation Centre (CFC) at the Tanjong Pagar Terminal. The self-contained facility came with an onsite medical centre, testing and holding facilities. Dedicated to sign-on crew, the CFC would house crew for up to 48 hours prior to their boarding their ships, when their ship and flight schedules do not match. The CFC facilitated more crew change to take place in Singapore and keep both the ships and local community safe. Sign-off crew would proceed to depart Singapore or stay at existing designated holding facilities for up to 48 hours, and be strictly segregated from the community.
Singapore Shipping Tripartite Alliance Resilience (SG-STAR) Fund was established to enhance upstream measures in the home countries where the crew originate from.
These initiatives allowed Singapore to play its role in tackling a humanitarian crisis for the crew, and showing the way forward for the global maritime industry.
In the fight against COVID-19, one important next step for the maritime sector is to vaccinate and protect workers in Singapore, starting with those who have to go on board
vessels such as seafarers, pilots, surveyors and cargo officers. Singapore became one of the first countries to prioritise COVID-19 vaccinations for frontline maritime personnel. Under the Sea – Air Vaccination Exercise (SAVE), over 10,000 frontline maritime personnel were expected to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by end January 2021. The trust built up amongst the tripartite partners has helped with the vaccination exercise.
Inter-modal Connectivity
Another example of the strong collaboration arising from the high-trust environment in Singapore is the enhancement of inter-modal connectivity.
As a cargo solution, inter-modal connectivity is cheaper than full air freight, and faster than full sea freight. It is not required in all situations, but it is useful as an additional logistics option for companies to move their supplies and products.
Singapore previously worked with the industry to develop inter-modal connectivity solutions for specific goods such as chilled meat, and to meet increased e-commerce volumes.
In January 2021, government agencies partnered industry stakeholders to roll out a new inter-modal express cargo solution between Batam and Singapore, where high-value, time- sensitive cargoes such as electronic components manufactured in Batam were transported by sea, before being trucked to the airport, to be flown to other countries.
The entire shipment process occurred within a single day, and benefitted manufacturers and logistics companies in Batam and Singapore by enabling a quicker, more efficient and cost- effective distribution of cargo. It also enabled Singapore-based companies to leverage on cost efficiencies through extended production bases in Batam.

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