A.P. Moller – Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC and Ocean Network Express plan to establish a container shipping association, which they say in a release today is to pave the way for digitalisation, standardisation and interoperability in the container shipping industry.
IT executives from the companies – among the largest liners in the world – are currently discussing the creation of common information technology standards which shall be openly available and free of charge for all stakeholders of the wider container shipping industry.
“It’s in the customers’ and all stakeholders’ best interest, if container shipping companies operate with a common set of information technology standards”, said André Simha, CIO of MSC and spokesperson of the group.
“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”, he added.
Whilst the shipping industry already has multiple organisations and associations including the World Shipping Council for liners, the members of the group said today they have identified a need for a neutral and non-profit body for ocean carriers that is driven by delivering benefits for the industry and its stakeholders.
“That is why we will also welcome new members with open arms to join the association”, Simha concluded.
The association has no intent of developing or operating any digital platform, but aims to ensure interoperability through standardization. Similarly, the association said it will not discuss any commercial or operational matters.
The as yet unnamed assocation will start in early 2019.