The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) and cargo owner representative group the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) have announced plans to collaborate to accelerate the adoption of DCSA supply chain data standards.
The associations plan to leverage DCSA’s open-source, vendor-neutral standards to help their members and other business partners make data exchange more interoperable. Standardising documents such as the bill of lading to enable paperless trade is also a key element of the collaboration, the organisations said.
“Global supply chains have been continuously optimised over decades; present-day technologies allow for the further improvement of customer experience,” said Thomas Bagge, Chief Executive Officer for DCSA.
“Unstandardised, paper-based processes for exchanging information to conduct business and keep goods moving should not be needed in the 21st century. The lack of digitalisation limits progress towards greater transparency and end-to-end, real-time cargo visibility.”
“We can only bring about digital transformation together. That is why we are committed to closer collaboration with the ESC and its like-minded members and are confident our joint efforts will accelerate standards adoption among cargo owners and other industry stakeholders.”
Both organisations intend to devote resources to supporting their respective members in adopting and implementing DCSA standards, which will likely include the participation of ESC members in proof-of-concept trials and pilots, as well as ongoing education and training and the promotion of successes for best practice learning.
DCSA also aims to gather input from ESC members to optimise its existing standards and ensure future standards are developed in close alignment with the needs of shippers.
“Our members need seamless data exchange across the supply chain to optimally orchestrate the movement of their goods. In the digital realm, this can only be achieved when communication is standards based,” said Godfried Smit, ESC Secretary General.
“Collaboration with DCSA is one of the three pillars of our strategy going forward because its work on standards aligns with our own goals for transparent, stable and resilient supply chains.”