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Liner giants to form new association for digitalisation and standardisation

AP Moller-Maersk, CMA CGM, Ocean Network Express (ONE), Hapag-Lloyd and MSC have joined hands to form a new container shipping association to pave the way for digitalisation, standardisation and interoperability in the container shipping industry.

The world’s five major lines have nominated their IT executives to discuss the creation of common information technology standards which will be openly available and free of charge for all stakeholders of the container shipping segment.

Andre Simha, cio of MSC, said it is in the best interest of customers and all stakeholders if container shipping companies operate with a common set of information technology standards.

“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 closed silos,” Simha commented.

The five lines identified a need for a neutral, non-profit body for ocean carriers. The association will not discuss any commercial or operational matters, and has no intent of developing or operating any digital platform. It only aims to ensure interoperability through standardisation.

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

The new association is planned to operate from early-2019, subject to any applicable regulatory requirements.

Read more: INTTRA urges industry-led standards for containers and logistics

“A joint set of technical standards will ensure interoperability and enable all parties to concentrate on value adding differentiation as we move the container shipping industry towards further digitalization. Ultimately this will benefit all parties in our customers’ supply chains,” said Adam Banks, chief technology & information officer at AP Moller-Maersk.

Noriaki Yamaga, managing director, corporate & innovation, ONE, has seen a wave of innovation technology development in shipping and logistics industry over the recent years.

“But, at the same time, we’re a little bit cautious about adopting new technology by 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,” Yamaga said.

“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 standard and governance for the industry to streamline and digitalise shipping process in a modern way,” he added.

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