Five of the biggest container lines in the world are planning to establish an association with the purpose of paving the way for digitization, standardization and interoperability in the shipping industry.
IT Executives from Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC and Ocean Network Express (ONE) are currently discussing the creation of common information technology standards.
These standards will be openly available and free of charge for all stakeholders of the wider container shipping industry.
According to a statement, the new association will be key to delivering many of the stakeholders’ key business objectives, such as pursuing technological innovation and finding common ground on data sharing.
The announcement comes in the same month as nine leading ocean carriers and terminal operators, including COSCO, DP World and Yang Ming, signed a statement of intent to develop an international blockchain shipping platform.
The global top 5 ocean carriers (including #ONE) will soon launch a new global association which aims to pave way for digitalization in the container industry.
— OceanNetworkExpress (@OceanNetworkExp) November 15, 2018
Speaking on behalf of Maersk, the world’s biggest container shipping line, Adam Banks, Chief Technology and Information Officer, said: “Digital is key for delivering on our strategy to become an integrated container logistics company that offers simple, end-to-end services with seamless customer experience.
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“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.”
Rajesh Krishnamurthy, Executive Vice President IT and Transformations, CMA CGM, commented: “CMA CGM is always looking for best practices and standards to support the innovation and digital strategy of the company.
“Being a founding member will enable us to work together on setting the standards for digitization of the entire industry.”
MSC’s Chief Information Officer, Andre Simha agreed and said it “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.”
Martin Gnass, Managing Director Information Technology, Hapag-Lloyd, welcomed the association and insisted that “while we remain competitors in the markets, together we will manage to shape the future of our industry.”
Finally, Noriaki Yamaga, Managing Director, Corporate and Innovation, ONE, said: “We believe this style of collaboration can bring value and opportunity to our customers as well as logistics companies, leading shipping and logistics industry to new ecosystem of digital supply chain.”