Symbioswiss Singapore

EGMS Project

Early 2014, Symbioswiss UCF won a tender submitted by JTC Corporation, the lead Government agency spearheading the planning and development of a dynamic industrial landscape in Singapore.

The Symbioswiss-UCF (EGMS) project is a new conceptual approach of an underground supply chain system for smart cities in emerging countries, especially in Asia. Its purpose is to facilitate the further industrial and trade development of fast growing urban areas and the leapfrog development  of their infrastructures. In the specific case of Singapore, their key challenge is to achieve a massive land and labor optimization, in order to continue expanding their manufacturing activities, despite the very limited size of the national territory (720 km²).

The first phase of the study is to evaluate the feasibility of a revolutionary industrial estate concept with many factories being served by one single distribution center. It was successfully approved by the JTC.

It will imply a high level of automation: high bay warehouse, production buffers and auto guided vehicles (AGVs) between the distribution center and the manufacturing plants.

The second phase of the project foresees a direct underground connection between the future Tuas port and the various industrial estates of the Jurong area. Containers would be off loaded from the vessels on automated guided vehicles (AGV), scanned and directed to tunnels where there would be driven to distribution centers. In those industrial estates, the goods would be processed, added value would be generated, before being re-exported.

 That concept developed for optimizing the industrial supply chain, can also be adapted to last miles deliveries in commercial centers. Electric propulsion of AGVs and a constant low speed in the tunnels will ensure a drastic energy consumption saving ( -90%), and a much lower carbon footprint (-95%), as well as cost effectiveness.

The major advantages of such an approach will be:

  • a) Further industrial development despite the lack of available urban space,
  • b) Better usage of the land surface for higher yield activities (housing, commercial centers),
  • c) Labor optimization through automation,
  • d) On time deliveries for last mile distribution,
  • e) Less traffic congestion,
  • f) Improve ecological foot print, reduction of CO2 emissions, of temperature raise, vibrations, etc…,
  • g) Better life quality, parks and gardens, recreations land

The engineering details of such infrastructure need to be understood in detail in order to assess its scalability, applicability within different terrain conditions, flexibility in accommodating multiple end-users’ needs, security and predictability of goods delivery. A cost-benefit analysis of such a system will allow to assess the operational and business model of this revolutionary approach of the supply chain. It should help designing the nucleus of a new regional logistics hub and contribute to an integrated economic development of South-East Asia. If proven successful, it could be replicated later on to other territories.


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