A.P. Moller – Maersk, CMA, CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC and Ocean Network Express have planned to establish a container shipping association, with the aim of leading the way for standardisation, digitalisation and interoperability in the container shipping sector.
IT executives from the firms are currently discussing the development of a common information technology standard, which will be available for free for all stakeholders of the wider container shipping industry.
MSC chief information officer André Simha said: “It’s in the customers’ and all stakeholders’ best interest, if container shipping companies operate with a common set of information technology standards. We are striving for less red tape and better transparency. The timing is right, as emerging technologies create new customer friendly opportunities.
“Together, we gain traction in delivering technological breakthroughs and services to our customers compared to working in our own closed silos. That is why we will also welcome new members with open arms to join the association.”
Although the shipping industry already has associations and organisations, the members of the new group have identified a need for a neutral and non-profit body for ocean carriers that is driven by producing benefits for the sector and its stakeholders.
The association has no intention of creating or operating any digital platform, and it will not discuss any commercial or operational matters.
It aims to be established and operating in early 2019 and has invited all ocean carriers to join the association.
A.P. Moller – Maersk chief technology and information officer Adam Banks said: “Digital is key for A.P. Moller – Maersk in delivering on our strategy to become an integrated container logistics company that offers simple, end-to-end services with seamless customer experience.
“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 digitalisation. Ultimately this will benefit all parties in our customers’ supply chains.”