CONTAINER shipping giants A.P Moller-Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC and Ocean Network Express have combined to establish the Digital Shipping Container Association in The Netherlands.

To be led by Thomas Bagge, the association is to drive standardisation, digitisation and interoperability across the industry.

Following regulatory approval from the Federal Maritime Commission last month, the DSCA was officially launched on April 12.

“For the first time in 20 years, the container shipping industry has come together with a common goal to move the industry into the digital era,” Andre Simha, chief intelligence officer of MSC and chairman of the supervisory board of DCSA said.

“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.”

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It is expected the concept will help overcome some of the “biggest pain-points” in the industry and one of the first projects of the association is overcoming the lack of a common foundation for technical interfaces and data.

The association is also creating an industry blueprint for processes. This work is expected to benefit the entire industry, as all standards are to be made available free of charge.

The association has no intent to develop or operate a digital platform and is not working on topics of a commercial or competitive nature.

“We are pleased to have with Thomas Bagge the first one of a strong leadership team in place, who is supported by all founding members and represents container shipping at its best,” Mr Simha said.

The association’s headquarters are to be located in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

“DCSA is working for the benefit of the entire container shipping industry, hence it was important for us that the headquarters is located on neutral grounds, so no specific stakeholders or companies are favoured,” Mr Simha said.

DCSA is already in discussions with other container shipping lines that have expressed an interested in joining DCSA.

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