As a founding member of the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) welcomes the creation of the Future International Trade (FIT) Alliance, bringing together five leading industry associations in a commitment to standardise digital trade. Jointly cofounded on 15 February 2022, through the signing of a memorandum of understanding, the Alliance brings together the nine members of the DCSA, BIMCO (the world’s largest international shipping association), FIATA (International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association), ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) and SWIFT (the world’s leading provider of financial messaging services). It represents a significant milestone in the DCSA’s ongoing journey to further digitalisation of container shipping technology standards.
All hands on deck
These key industry players had been in action behind the scenes since early 2021 via a working group aimed at bringing a joint vision into line. Now formally established, the FIT Alliance intends to facilitate acceptance and adoption of electronic bills of lading (eBL) throughout the industry, including by banks, regulators, and insurers.
The Alliance will also cooperate on developing relevant standards. Working collectively, it plans to generate awareness about the importance of shared and interoperable data processes and legislative conditions across the broader shipping community. Ultimately, it hopes to accelerate digitalisation, making end-to-end shipping more efficient, more straightforward, and secure for all.
The leading lights
MSC has long been an advocate of digitalisation in the shipping industry. Conscious that only a collective, industry-wide approach will ensure this happens most effectively, André Simha, MSC's Global Chief Digital & Innovation Officer and DCSA Chairman, is delighted to have been involved in the new Alliance's formation.
“MSC believes that for digitalisation to work at its best, everyone needs to be on board, working hand-in-hand establishing a common language, defined by the whole industry.” explained André. “It doesn’t just begin and end with containers; we need to look at the entire journey and create best practices that work for our customers all along the supply chain. By bringing together so many important trade associations, the FIT Alliance represents a major step forward, and it I’m excited to see the benefits that this collaboration will bring about.”
Join MSC at TPM22
André Simha will provide more insights into the FIT Alliance - and how this represents a positive step towards his broader vision for digital innovation for 2022 and beyond - on 25 February at this year’s global shipping and logistics TPM22 conference organised by the Journal of Commerce. In a session titled ‘What Needs to be Standardised in Global Shipping?’, André will join Michele Sancricca, Head of Worldwide Tech Solutions at Amazon Web Services, and Bill Dobie, CEO of communication software provider SEDNA Systems. Together, they will take stock of the industry's adoption of common processes and data format standards.
Further to discussing the FIT Alliance in greater detail, André will explain the other ways the DCSA aims to streamline international shipping, including by improving the reliability of shipping and port operations, creating a chain of cargo visibility from warehouse to destination, and facilitating the use and adoption of electronic documentation for international trade
You can register for the TPM22 conference on the JOC website.
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Related links: DCSA press release: Future International Trade Alliance