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Fours container shipping leaders form digital association

After gaining regulatory approval from the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) last month, four container shipping companies – A.P. Moller – Maersk, MSC, Hapag-Lloyd and Ocean Network Express (ONE) – officially established the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) on April 10, 2019 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The four giants aim to develop common information technology standards in order to increase the industry’s efficiency for both customers and shipping lines.

According to a statement, the plan to create a neutral, non-profit association for ocean carriers was first announced in November 2018. The association, focusing on driving standardization, digitalization and interoperability in container shipping, is now starting operations with a leadership team made up of industry veterans, including Thomas Bagge, who is appointed CEO.

André Simha, Chief Information Officer of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DCSA commented:

“For the first time in twenty years, the container shipping industry has come together with a common goal to move the industry into the digital era. With the regulatory approval in place, we look forward for the association to take up work and to begin to collaborate with multiple stakeholders from the entire value chain.” 

Digital standards are priority

To create value quickly and to overcome some of the biggest pain-points in the industry, one of the first projects is focusing on standards to overcome the lack of a common foundation for technical interfaces and data, according to MSC’s announcement.

The association is also creating an industry blueprint for processes, which will be another significant part of the future of shipping.

The work undertaken will be for the benefit of the entire industry, as all standards will be openly published and available free of charge to interested external parties.

Thomas Bagge appointed CEO

Thomas Bagge from A.P. Moller – Maersk is appointed CEO and Statutory Director of the DCSA.

“DCSA is working for the benefit of the entire container shipping industry; hence, it was important for us that the headquarter is located on neutral grounds, so no specific stakeholders or companies are favored,” says André Simha.

Headquarters in Amsterdam

The association’s headquarters will be in Amsterdam, an attractive location for talented employees. At the same time, it provides proximity to shipping infrastructure and ease of access, according to the statement.

“DCSA is working for the benefit of the entire container shipping industry, so it was important for us that the headquarters is located on neutral grounds, with no specific stakeholders or companies being favoured,” says Simha.

New members joining

DCSA is in discussions with multiple other container shipping lines around the globe who are interested in joining. Preparations for two more companies to join are already in process.

Fact box: The Digital Container Shipping Association

  • Neutral and non-profit association
  • Purpose is to pave the way for digitalization and standardization in the industry
  • MSC, A.P. Moller – Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd and ONE are founding members
  • All ocean carriers are invited to join, and close collaboration with the entire industry is expected
  • No intention of developing or operating any digital platform
  • Not working on topics of commercial or competitive nature

Digital Container Shipping Association Leadership Team

  • Thomas Bagge, CEO and Statutory Director, Digital Container Shipping Association
  • Andre Simha, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Digital Container Shipping Association, CIO MSC

Fact box: Members of Supervisory Board

  • MSC Group: André Simha, Chief Information Officer
  • A.P. Moller – Maersk: Adam Banks, Chief Technology & Information Officer
  • Hapag-Lloyd: Martin Gnass, Managing Director Information Technology
  • Ocean Network Express: Noriaki Yamaga, Managing Director, Corporate & Innovation



Source: MSC