Four container shipping giants, Maersk, MSC, Hapag-Lloyd and Ocean Network Express (ONE), established the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) on Wednesday last week, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The parties said that the aim of the association is to create common information technology standards to make the industry more efficient for both customers and shipping lines.
The plan to create a neutral, non-profit association for ocean carriers was first announced in November 2018.
The association, focusing on driving standardization, digitalization and interoperability in container shipping, is now starting operations with a leadership team made up of industry veterans, including Thomas Bagge from A.P. Moller – Maersk, who was appointed CEO and Statutory Director of the DCSA.
“For the first time in twenty years, the container shipping industry has come together with a common goal to move the industry into the digital era. With the regulatory approval in place, we look forward for the association to take up work and to begin to collaborate with multiple stakeholders from the entire value chain,” André Simha, Chief Information Officer of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DCSA, said.
To create value quickly and to overcome some of the biggest pain-points in the industry, one of the first projects of the association is focusing on standards to overcome the lack of a common foundation for technical interfaces and data.
Additionally, the association is creating an industry blueprint for processes, which will be another significant part of the future of shipping. The work undertaken will be for the benefit of the entire industry, as all standards will be openly published and available free of charge to interested external parties, the companies informed.
DCSA is in discussions with multiple other container shipping lines around the globe who are interested in joining. Preparations for two more companies to join are already in process.