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Container shipping digitalisation association launched Featured

IT executives from container shipping heavyweights A.P. Moller – Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC and Ocean Network Express have announced plans to establish a new association to encourage collaboration on digitalisation, standardisation and interoperability in the container shipping industry.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The members of the group said that they are currently discussing the creation of common information technology standards which would be made openly available, free of charge, to all stakeholders of the wider container shipping industry via a neutral non-profit body.

“It’s in the customers’ and all stakeholders’ best interests if container shipping companies operate with a common set of information technology standards,” said André Simha, CIO of MSC Group and spokesperson for the new association.

“We are striving for less red tape and better transparency. The timing is right, as emerging technologies create new customer friendly opportunities. Together, we gain traction in delivering technological breakthroughs and services to our customers compared to working in our own closed silos.”

“That is why we will also welcome new members with open arms to join the association.”

The association says that it has no intention of developing or operating any digital platform, but merely aims to ensure interoperability of systems through standardisation. Similarly, commercial or operational matters will not be discussed by the members.

“MSC believes that we’ve reached the point in the carrier world where we need something that is common, open and done in the framework of a neutral and non-profit association. By collaborating on standardised solutions, we think that’s the best way to respond to shippers’ demands for technology and innovation, thus shaping the future of the shipping industry,” added Mr Simha.

In addition to Mr Simha, participants to date include Adam Banks, chief technology & information officer at A.P. Moller – Maersk; Madhana Kumar, vice president, transformation, data & digital at CMA CGM; Martin Gnass, managing director information technology at Hapag-Lloyd, and Noriaki Yamaga, managing director, corporate & innovation at Ocean Network Express.

“Ocean Network Express sees a wave of innovation technology development in the shipping and logistics industry over the recent years, which can bring good opportunity to the whole industry for digital transformation. But, at the same time, we’re a little bit cautious about adopting new technology by an individual company since there is no common standard in the market, which may be ending up with re-integrating work among all stakeholders in the supply chain,” said Mr Yamaga.

“With this in mind, we feel it would be necessary to do some discussion and collaboration on the area of new technology and innovation to establish common IT standards and governance for the industry to streamline and digitise shipping process in a modern way.”

“In the end, we believe this style of collaboration can bring value and opportunity to our customers as well as logistics companies, leading the shipping and logistics industry to a new ecosystem of the digital supply chain.”

The association expects to start officially operating from early 2019, subject to any applicable regulatory requirements.{/mprestriction}

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