We cannot deny the fact that the future of the shipping industry lies in digital and it is a reason that the maritime sector is aligning and adapting itself to the growing demands of a digitalized platform. Echoing this thought, four of the major container shipping organizations (namely the Ocean Network Express, Maersk, MSC and A.P. Moller- Maersk) has collaborated to successfully to establish a digital-based initiative called the Digital Container Shipping Association or the DCSA on April 12, 2019, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. This initiative had received regulatory approval from the renowned Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) before it was revealed to the public. In fact, the approval will go a long way in forging new connections with several stakeholders who are essential components of the entire value chain.
According to the opinions put forward by Andre Simha, the CIO of MSC as well as the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Digital Container Shipping Association, the initiative has been fueled by the common goal shared by the major players in the maritime arena, in order to usher in the digital era without any difficulties and obstacles. This non-profit initiative will be successful in representing an approximate of 70% in the shipping markets after the sanctioning of the regulatory approval for the members that are new to the association. The team members of DCSA believe that the modern concept of standardization will act as the key to bring forth interoperability and digitalization for establishing a well-connected supply chain. Of recent, five well-established companies (namely CMA CGM, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation, Evergreen Line, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services and Hyundai Merchant Marine) have joined the global association to attain the common goal of a digital-based future in the maritime industry.
However, we should not overlook the fact that this is not exactly the first time that the famous shipping organizations have collaborated together to find new methods and strategies to tackle the present-day issues in the containerized freight industry. Years ago, INTTRA had been launched as a neutral digital network and of course, as a joint effort undertaken by the organizations that believe in the necessity of change. Similarly, the Digital Container Shipping Association aims to elevate the information technology standards to improve the marketing scenario for both the shipping lines, as well as the clients. There is no doubt regarding the fact that the primary objective of DCSA is to solve some burning issues and to create new standards to form a strong foundation for processing data and technical interfaces. Apart from this, the association has made it absolutely clear that any progress will be recorded and shared with the entire industry, with a special focus on publishing the newly launched standards for the welfare of all the interested organizations.
With the formation of the Digital Container Shipping Association, it is universally agreed that such a powerful move to unite the containerized shipping industry based on digital grounds, has not been encountered for any less than twenty years! Embracing this positive change, the joint association will design open-source tools to propel the process of digitalization in the maritime arena. It is a known fact that ocean shipping has been really slow in adapting to the digital influences. Therefore, it is an absolute necessity to generate a common set of standards that will play an instrumental role in producing industry-wide digital networks, which will enhance the freight-related tracking operations for the carriers and simultaneously boost the visibility of the stakeholders involved in the transaction.