Shipping lines will only be more relevant and effective in responding to shippers’ technology needs, by considering how they can collaborate on standardized solutions, according to MSC Chief Information Officer Andre Simha.
Speaking at the Global Liner Shipping conference in Hamburg, Simha identified the development of smart container technology as a major example of how shipping lines are responding to shippers’ demands for innovation.
“We’ve reached the point in the carrier world where we shouldn’t always be competing on technology, because it’s not necessarily in our customers’ interests to do so,” Simha said. “Some startups have had some very good ideas on segments that need improving – on smart containers, for example, we’re working in the same direction as other carriers and we’re making progress.”
Simha was referring to MSC’s support of Traxens, the supplier of smart-container monitoring solutions, which also counts CMA CGM among its core backers. Traxens has matured from a startup with a vision for a more efficient, better connected multi-modal cargo shipping industry, into a fully-fledged business which actively engages BCO shippers. It was recently awarded the French Tech Pass for companies in the digital economy with a potential for hyper growth.
The Global Liner Shipping conference covered issues from digitalization and e-commerce to autonomous vessels – (“something for the future, but not a game changer,” said Simha) – and the application of blockchain technologies to the global liner industry was also a topic of hot debate.
“Customers won’t connect to multiple different systems; they will not go with a system of bits and pieces,” Simha was cited saying in a report on the event by Lloyd’s List. “You need something that is common, open and done in a consortium style.”