Boao Forum promotes solidarity, cooperation for development amid challenges

Quah Ley Hoon, CEO of Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore spoke with South China Morning Post’s Asia Editor,  Lynn Lee on how Singapore is leading
the charge in supply chain innovation in a world redefined by the pandemic

In another episode of SCMP Conversations: The Next Normal, moderator Lynn Lee talks to Quah Ley Hoon, CEO of Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore. As the leader of an international maritime hub, Quah Ley Hoon is driving innovation, digitalization, and port productivity forward despite global supply-chain disruptions.

The biggest challenge Maritime and Port Authority has seen this past year has been finding the balance between mitigating public health risks and continuing to operate. Because ports are vital for global trade, Ley Hoon had to keep them safe while enabling goods to get where they needed to go.

Singapore has remained relatively strong throughout the pandemic. However, as an international company, Ley Hoon says the future of global trade depends on countries’ ability to roll out the vaccine and control the virus. For now, they can only prepare for the changes that are happening within their industry.

The current biggest trends in maritime and trade are diversifying supply chains, intermodal transport, and shifts in the market structure. To keep up with these trends and continue to connect Asia to the world, Ley Hoon and Maritime & Port Authority are focusing on digitalization, innovation, and productivity.

Automation and contactless operations have been essential for keeping everyone safe while the ports stayed open. Ley Hoon wants to increase these measures to improve efficiency and safety. One example of these efforts is their current development of a one-stop portal for vessel clearance to lessen contact between people and save themselves and administrators work.

The focus of these efforts is keeping the supply lines open, even in the event of future trade disruptions. Should the world see another major crisis like COVID-19, countries will still need supplies and access to trade lines. M&P strives to make sure they can survive further disruptions.

Perhaps the epitome of this mindset is their current project to rebuild Singapore’s Tuas port. Over the next few years, M&P will create the world’s largest container port in a single location. They plan to make it fully automated with significant measures to operate more efficiently.

Though there have been major supply-chain disruptions over the past year, Quah Ley Hoon and her company, Maritime & Port Authority, are leading the industry in overcoming the challenges of COVID-19. With innovation, digitalization, and productivity at the forefront of their strategies, this international maritime hub is striving to rebuild its industry to be more efficient and reliable.

Check out the full conversation between Lynn Lee and Quah Ley Hoon below: