Continued from previous pageIT executives from the companies will discuss “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 for 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.
ONE said while the shipping industry already has multiple organizations and associations, the members of the group identified a need for a neutral and nonprofit 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 said.
ONE said the group 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 matters.
In addition to Simha, executives involved in the discussions leading to the creation of the group included Adam Banks, chief technology and information officer at A.P. Møller – Maersk; Madhana Kumar, vice president of transformation for data and digital at CMA CGM; Martin Gnass, managing director of information technology at Hapag-Lloyd; and Noriaki Yamaga, managing director for corporate and innovation at ONE.
The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission is expected to review the carriers' digital standards agreement.
“Based solely on press reports, it would appear such an agreement would require filing and review," an FMC spokesman told American Shipper. "These are sophisticated parties and we are comfortable that when discussions reach the appropriate point, an agreement will be filed at the commission.”
This is not the first time ocean carriers have formed a group to address common IT issues. Five of them asked the FMC for approval to form INTTRA in late 2000.
Austin,Texas-based E2open announced in mid-October that it was acquiring INTTRA, which over the years had developed into an ocean freight scheduling and booking platform.