Digital landmark as Future International Trade Alliance formed with DCSA, BIMCO, FIATA, ICC and SWIFT

Copenhagen, Denmark - oct 30th 2021: Shipping containers stacked by a terminal ready for shipment.

Parties have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form a new alliance in a major progression of digital standardisation in the maritime industry.

The DCSA, in conjunction with its nine member carriers, announced the formation of the Future International Trade (FIT) Alliance with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between DCSA, BIMCO, FIATA, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and SWIFT in which the organisations commit to collaborating to standardise the digitalisation of international trade.

Through this initiative, the FIT Alliance will work together to generate awareness about the importance of common and interoperable data standards and common legislative conditions across international jurisdictions and platforms.

The DCSA contributed an editorial submission to our Digital Transformation journal on its Just In Time initiative. Read it here!

The aim is to facilitate acceptance and adoption of an electronic Bill of Lading (eBL) by regulators, banks and insurers and to unify communication between these organisations and customers, physical and contractual carriers, and all other stakeholders involved in an international trade transaction.

David Loosley, Secretary General and CEO of BIMCO, commented: “The digitalisation of documentation for container shipments will add value for international suppliers who rely on shipping across sectors.

“Aligning these standards with the electronic bill of lading standard for the dry and liquid bulk sectors, which we are developing with assistance from DCSA, will help accelerate the digitalisation of trade globally.”

Thomas Bagge, DCSA CEO, added: “From the beginning, DCSA has understood the importance of cross-industry collaboration to achieve the elusive goal of universal eBL.

“The FIT Alliance is one exciting result of our ongoing effort to drive that collaboration. Container ships carry 90% of the world’s goods. As such, an incredibly diverse set of stakeholders touches the B/L transaction—from government regulators, to insurers, to shippers from every industry.

“To achieve widespread use of eBL, they must all be on board with adopting digital B/L standards. The agreement between DCSA and these diverse industry associations is an exciting milestone in our journey towards standardising all container shipping documentation through our eDocumentation initiative.”

In November 2021 the DCSA published its framework of standards for port call activities.

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