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MSC becomes first major carrier to fully adopt standardised depot codes

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MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has fully adopted BIC Facility Codes (BFC) for all depots globally.

All of MSC’s depots are now identifiable with a 9-character BFC, moving one step further on the digitalisation journey.

The transition process was completed across 2021, in order to ensure that every MSC depot globally was included.

The BIC Facility Codes were created through a major harmonisation project conducted in November 2020 by the Bureau International des Containers (BIC) with the assistance of the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA)

Active collaboration from DCSA member ocean carriers and several of the largest leasing companies means that more than 17,000 container facilities in 192 countries can now be easily identified for supply chain events without ambiguity, with enhanced addressing and latitude/longitude coordinates.

Andre Simha, Global Chief Digital and Information Officer for MSC, commented, “MSC has been a vocal proponent of harmonising facility codes since the DCSA was founded and has provided significant support to this project. Adopting the BIC Facility Codes is a great example of a variety of digital workstreams at MSC coming together to make strides for the digital future of shipping.”

The BIC manages the database and offers an open API to allow trading partners to ensure their IT systems are kept up to date.

Today, there is a lack of a common language throughout the industry, adding extra steps to the already complex and fragmented shipment journeys from end to end.

This leads to inefficiencies and time-wasting procedures, causing uncertainty or delays.

A standardised language brings simplicity, improves efficiency, and provides certainty for multimodal or multi-carrier transportation that allows for future growth opportunities.

In day-to-day interactions, this will lead to smoother communication, increased data clarity and accuracy, and a simpler and more efficient process throughout.

DCSA CEO Thomas Bagge added, “The digital transformation of the container shipping industry is underway.

“DCSA and its members are creating the framework for it, and we invite all stakeholders to become part of this transformation. Adopting baseline standards such as location code standards is a mandatory step in establishing an interoperable digital foundation which will simplify current complexities. Ultimately, customers, stakeholders and the entire industry will benefit.”

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