Sustainability and global supply chain technology are converging at Tuas Port in Singapore, which is on track to become the world’s largest fully automated port. Meeting the ambitious efficiency and sustainability goals of Tuas Port involves a multifaceted integration of automation and artificial intelligence (AI).
Need for digital transformation
Central to the intelligent logistics initiative at Tuas Port is the need for global supply chain technology that offers high-performance processing for tasks such as machine learning and big data analytics. Developing a state-of-the-art digital port required PSA Corporation (PSA), which operates Tuas Port, to create a multicloud environment that supports the rapid development and deployment of highly reliable and scalable AI-powered applications.
PSA’s goal is to connect supply chain stakeholders with what it calls a global “Internet of Logistics (IoL).” This requires a technology infrastructure that facilitates fast and seamless sharing of applications and data services. Phase 1 of the project opened in 2021, but the entire build-out will not be completed until the 2040s. In the interim, PSA projects a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions at Tuas Port by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.
“By working closely alongside technology partners such as Dell Technologies, PSA aims to create an ecosystem of connected logistical operational platforms, enabling plug-and-play exchange and interoperability among our logistics and supply chain partners,” says Sriram Ramanujam, assistant vice president at PSA.
Innovative automation solutions
PSA’s innovative port modernization project relies on flexible and scalable infrastructure that it developed in partnership with Dell. The interconnected multicloud network includes centralized, on-demand access to software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) options. These cloud computing platforms work in tandem with VMware Cloud Foundation infrastructure, the Dell VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure platform, and Dell Unity XT and Dell PowerScale storage solutions. The result is an efficient network infrastructure with the storage and data processing capacity to support a wide range of AIapplications.
VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure is at the core of PSA’s multicloud solutions—facilitating easy setup, monitoring and optimization of both private and public cloud experiences. This enables PSA to use built-in management tools and APIs to effortlessly scale its on-premises infrastructure and to incorporate public cloud resources as needed. Moreover, reusable virtualization components developed with VMware improve efficiency and save time by providing developers with the pre-configured services essential for various applications. Customized control and management technology enhances PSA’s ability to manage its hybrid cloud environment.
Among the intelligent features already online at Tuas Port are the ability to analyze port traffic trends, predict vessel movement and detect congestion hotspots in Singapore’s waters. AI is also facilitating the use of electric-powered, autonomous vehicles and hands-free container loading and unloading at the mega port.
“PSA employees can now deploy PaaS and SaaS with unprecedented ease—regardless of location—and gain increased insights, controls, and access to virtualized platforms,” says Andy Sim, vice president and managing director, SIngapore, Dell Technologies . “These solutions from Dell translate to greater data usage, hardware utilization, and higher operational efficiency.”
Improved efficiency and sustainability
PSA is already reaping benefits from its technology investments. Access to multicloud services has reduced the time it takes to develop new IT solutions from months to weeks. A fully integrated multicloud network is also simplifying management while improving performance and reliability. Developers have faster, easier access to compute, storage and software services, and IT staff spends less time on manual administrative tasks.
PSA’s development and use of innovative technology solutions is transforming the logistics landscape and redefining supply chain efficiency. The goal is to create a more holistic global ecosystem for moving goods anywhere in the world—faster and more reliably. Technology is an enabler for innovation at PSA. This is consistent with data from the Dell Technologies’ Innovation Index, which found that 86% of business leaders are actively looking for technology that helps them reach their innovation goals.
The digital infrastructure at Tuas Port is also designed to scale to meet future needs. Capacity at Tuas Port is expected to nearly double from the 37 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) handled in 2022 to 65 million TEUs by the time the project is completed in 2040s.
While the port will be highly automated, it will continue to rely on a skilled workforce. PSA believes that intelligent automation supported by a tech-savvy workforce will make Tuas Port the world’s largest automated transhipment hub, driving trade growth and global connectivity for Singapore’s economy.
The power of technology
The digital initiatives at Tuas Port underscore the power of AI and automation to transform the maritime shipping industry and to make it more sustainable. Working in partnership with companies like Dell is enabling PSA to drive innovation and champion transformational solutions for supply chain logistics and environmental sustainability.
Implementing a multi-cloud solution has been a critical enabler of the Tuas Port vision, facilitating agility, scalability, and robust security – and fueling the quest for operational excellence, environmental sustainability, and industry leadership.