MSC, A.P. Moller – Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd and Ocean Network Express have officially established a Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) to drive standardisation, digitalisation, and interoperability and to make the industry more efficient for both customers and shipping lines.
The official launch of the association on April 10, 2019 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, comes following regulatory approval from the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) last month. The association, which plans to create a neutral, non-profit association for ocean carriers will be led by industry veterans including Thomas Bagge from Maersk, who is appointed CEO.
To create value quickly and to overcome some of the biggest pain-points in the industry, one of the first projects is focusing on standards to overcome the lack of a common foundation for technical interfaces and data.
The association is also creating an industry blueprint for processes, which will be another significant part of the future of shipping.
“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,” said André Simha, chief information officer of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company and chairman of the Supervisory Board of DCSA.
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.
“DCSA is working for the benefit of the entire container shipping industry; hence, it was important for us that the headquarter is located on neutral grounds, so no specific stakeholders or companies are favored,” said Mr Simha.
The location of the association’s headquarters in Amsterdam will not favour any of the large shipping companies and will provide proximity to shipping infrastructure and ease of access. It is also an attractive location for employees.
“DCSA is working for the benefit of the entire container shipping industry, so it was important for us that the headquarters is located on neutral grounds, with no specific stakeholders or companies being favoured,” stated Mr Simha.
DCSA is in discussions with multiple container shipping lines around the globe who are interested in joining. Preparations for two more companies to join are already in process.
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