Major association brings shipping one step closer to global standards

Cargo ship in the sea

The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) has published a common set of processes, as well as a data and interface standards for Track and Trace (T&T), as part of its efforts to enable collaboration across the maritime supply chain.

In a statement, the DCSA said the new standards can be implemented by carriers, shippers and third parties to enable cross-carrier shipment tracking.

Formed in April 2019, the DCSA is comprised of several of the world’s major container shipping lines, including CMA CGM, A.P. Moeller-Maersk, MSC, Evergreen Ocean Network Express (ONE), Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine and Zim.

Its goal is to is to create common information technology standards that will improve the overall efficiency of the shipping sector.

The DCSA went to say that the standards will be the first of many initiatives it will put forward to “transform inefficient practices and accelerate digitalisation through a unified industry effort.”

The DCSA T&T standard comprises an information modal and interface. The data model ensures track and trace data definition are consistent for all users on any system.

These definitions are based on the industry blueprint published by DCSA in 2019, which established a consistent vocabulary and proposed a common set of industry processes.

For shippers, the new standards will simplify shipment visibility across multiple carriers, which will enable to better plan and optimize shipment handling activities.

Carriers will have accurate and efficient communication regardless of the underlying technology or platform. The DCSA hopes that T&T standards will set a new bar for collaboration across the industry as a whole.

“We are thrilled to introduce T&T standards for the industry that enable its customers to reduce complexity, cut costs and, over time, better manage their end-to-end supply chains,” remarked Thomas Bagge, CEO of DCSA.

“As DCSA standards are technology- and vendor-neutral, every organisation providing shipment tracking information to its customers today will benefit by adopting our T&T standard, because it will simplify data integration with carriers and improve information quality.”

André Simha, Chairman of the DCSA Supervisory Board and Global Chief Digital & Information Officer of MSC also spoke.

“The ocean carrier community is enthusiastic and committed to advancing industry standards for the good of all parties,” Simha said.

“T&T standardisation is a huge advancement for container visibility and trade overall.

“Current DCSA ocean carrier membership represents 70% of the global container shipping market, and all carriers are invited to join us in collaborating to develop more efficient, automated digital container shipping.

“This will ensure global shipping in 2020 and beyond will benefit from digitalisation and the significant value interoperability offers.”

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