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Asia’s first Shippers’ Academy launched in Singapore

3 March 2010

The local and regional shippers’ community reached a milestone today with the launch of Asia’s first shippers’ academy – the Singapore Shippers’ Academy (SA) in Singapore. The new Academy aims to bridge the gap in the continuous education and training (CET) landscape for the community and raise standards to the next level by providing comprehensive education and training needs tailored for shippers. 

The launch and MOU signing ceremony is to be held today at International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore), with Mr. Chong Lit Cheong, CEO of IE Singapore, as the guest of honour officiating the occasion. IE Singapore and Spring Singapore are supporting partners of the academy, which is funded under the Local Enterprise and Association Development (LEAD) Programme. Among the guests are key representatives of the industry and partners, many of whom have arrived from overseas to be present for today’s occasion.

Strategically located downtown in Singapore, the academy is the brainchild of the Singapore National Shippers’ Council (SNSC), a national body representing cargo owners including importers, exporters, manufacturers and international traders. The council is known for having played pivotal roles in the shippers’ community locally, regionally and internationally. 

Currently, training programmes in the marketplace are either too generic or too specialised for logistics and business professionals and catered for service providers, with nothing specific for shippers. SNSC addresses this problem by setting up the SA and bringing together industry leaders, experts and shippers to provide specialised shippers-centric curriculum and training. The academy’s launch is timely and resonates with recommendations made recently by the Economic Strategies Committee and initiatives proposed in the Singapore 2010 Budget, encouraging productivity and innovation.

Mr. John Lu, Chairman of SNSC, said: “We are in constant pursuit to advance productivity and innovation for shippers, especially SMEs. From market observations and feedback, we know that shippers can benefit from better understanding of international trade, supply and value chain and security issues. Unfortunately, the lack of quality education and training programmes to improve knowledge and expertise among shippers is holding us back from achieving the values we seek. With the Singapore Shippers’ Academy and our international connection, we will overcome this hurdle and help international traders, importers and exporters achieve meaningful and enriching life-long learning.”

Mr. Chong Lit Cheong, CEO of IE Singapore, said: “A top concern of Singapore companies with overseas business dealings is not to be bogged down by trade processes. They desire to be efficient when they look for growth opportunities and are conscious of the need to maintain business sustainability. They can now obtain the comprehensive import and export training they need from the Shippers’ Academy.”

A comprehensive academy

Mr. Ng Kok Lip, Chairman of the SA, explained: “The concept for the Shippers’ Academy was first mooted in 2006, and we were cautious in deciding on the mode of operation and funding, and thorough in selecting course partners and formalising course content. This is to ensure that the academy kick-starts as a trustworthy continuous education and training institution. We have started the first phase of our professional development courses and are looking at having all core programmes fully developed by 2012.”

Courses and certification offered by the SA

The SA will offer relevant courses related to the following areas:

  • international trade and trade facilitation
  • export promotion and international business
  • trade finance and insurance
  • maritime and shipping
  • transport, logistics and supply chain management
  • international environment and trade laws
  • SME development
  • in-house customised training programmes, on request.

The types of certification range from short-term professional development courses to longer-term certificates, diplomas and advanced diplomas. The variety of courses and certification types ensures there is something suitable for all levels, from operators to decision-makers, to cater for their day-to-day business needs. The SA will also hold seminars and conferences on current and pertinent industry topics.

Professional development courses like Bills of Lading, Dangerous Goods Management, Incoterms 2000 and Certificate in Trade Documentation and Procedures are already in session. Some upcoming courses will include International Trade Procedures and Customs Requirements, Advanced Certificate in Trade Documentation and Procedures, and Certification in Transportation and Logistics.

Distinguished partners on board

The SA has already partnered established overseas institutions - such as the American Society of Transportation and Logistics, the Cambridge Academy of Transport, and the Freight Transport Association - to offer joint courses.

The academy will also be developing its own certification programmes with distinguished partners like Edexcel (part of Pearson Education) and Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Their involvement will spur the SA on to develop courses of international standards. In particular, Edexcel, the leading global qualifications body behind academic qualifications like GCEs (A levels), GCSEs and IGCSEs, will be working with the SA to have all the courses on offer certified. The MOUs will be signed with all the partners at the launch ceremony today.

Overseas training opportunities

Shippers and course participants can also look forward to study trips and internship opportunities regionally and internationally, made possible through the SA’s link to SNSC, the Asian Shippers’ Council and Global Shippers’ Forum. These trips, conducted with industry partners, will further enhance their learning experience.   

Another groundbreaking SNSC initiative in the pipeline

Another project was initiated by the SNSC alongside the SA to further the interests of the shippers’ community: the Freight Booking Centre (FBC). This is a direct response to help shippers reap maximum benefits from TradeXchange, a neutral and secure trade platform that facilitates the exchange of information within the trade and logistics community. TradeXchange is an IT infrastructure to help generate cost savings of S$741 million over 20 years from improved efficiency, and shippers are expected to enjoy about 60 per cent of these savings. 

The FBC, a premier e-marketplace for shippers, hopes to sharpen shippers’ competitiveness. It will act as an independent neutral platform to help shippers reduce their logistics costs, enhance operational efficiency and improve their time to market.  FBC is scheduled to be launched towards the end of 2010.  


Recent news items:

About the Singapore National Shippers’ Council

The Singapore National Shippers’ Council is a non-profit organisation formed in 1972. The SNSC is a national body representing cargo owners, including importers, exporters, manufacturers and international traders. The council is known for having played pivotal roles in the shippers’ community locally, regionally and internationally. For more information, visit www.snsc.org.sg.

About Singapore Shippers’ Academy  

The Singapore Shippers’ Academy (SA) is Asia’s only continuous education and training institution dedicated to the needs of the shippers’ community. Founded by the Singapore National Shippers’ Council, the SA is currently in operation with a selection of professional development courses and certification courses. The full suite of programmes, including certificates, diplomas and advanced diplomas, is expected to be available by 2012.

Courses at the SA are related to international trade and trade facilitation; export promotion and international business; trade finance and insurance; maritime and shipping; transport, logistics and supply chain management; international environment and trade laws; and SME development. The academy will also hold seminars and conferences on current pertinent industry topics.

For more information, please visit www.shippersacademy.com.sg.

For media queries, contact and interviews:

Mr Greg TING Wee Liang
Mobile:  (65) 9791 7870
Email:  gregting@i1920.com.sg

Notes to editors:

Address and contact at the SA:

Grace Ng, CEO, Singapore Shippers' Academy

51 Cuppage Road, #10-13 Starhub Centre, Singapore 229469

Tel: (65) 6838 0626
Fax: (65) 6732 4716
Email : graceng@shippersacademy.com.sg