By Godwin Oritse
FIVE major container shipping firms, namely A.P. Moller – Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC and Ocean Network Express are set to form an association with a view to digitalizing, standardising their interoperability in the container shipping industry.
In a statement signed by A. P Moller African communication Manager, Mr. Austin Fischer, IT executives from A.P. Moller – Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC and Ocean Network Express are currently discussing the creation of a 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”, says 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 adds.
Whilst the shipping industry already has multiple organizations and associations, the members of the group 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 concludes.
The association according to the statement, has no intent of developing or operating any digital platform, but aims to ensure interoperability through standardization. Similarly, the association will not discuss any commercial or operational matter
Some of the plans according to the statement is to establish a neutral and non-profit association, and pave the way for digitalization and standardization in the industry
Chief Technology & Information Officer, A.P. Moller – Maersk, Adam Banks said that 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 digitalization. Ultimately this will benefit all parties in our customers’ supply chains”.
For CMA CGM, its Executive Vice President IT & Transformations Rajesh Krishnamurthy said “CMA CGM is always looking for best practices and standards to support the innovation and digital strategy of the company. Being a founding member will enable us to work together on setting the standards for digitization of the entire industry,”
Martin Gnass, Managing Director Hapaq Llyod said “Hapag-Lloyd welcomes the creation of this association as we firmly believe that the challenges of the future can only be tackled with a common approach. While we remain competitors in the markets, together we will manage to shape the future of our industry,” says, Hapag-Llyod.