The restructuring of mega-alliances has increased competition amongst ports; technology is disrupting and transforming the way the port industry operates - we will see more port operations being automated and in the longer term, autonomous surface vessels; changes in the global operating environment with new regulatory requirements will also play a key role in determining our effectiveness. We must address these and other challenges if we want to be relevant and compete with the rest of the world.

According to Mr. Chiang Meng, technology today has reached a critical turning point, with an extremely fast take up in technology use in many industries and ports cannot stay behind. The industry needs to collaborate and share knowledge and information. Much of these will be driven by lower technological cost and exponential growth in technological developments whether it be battery technology, autonomous vessel technology, nanotechnology or Artificial Intelligence (AI).

We need to strengthen our level of collaboration and cooperation. We cannot go it alone anymore. Not only will that be difficult to do because of insufficient resources but it will also not be wise as we need to be plugged into the global grid so that we are aware of what is happening quickly and can help solve problems or seize opportunities.