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GENEVA: November 15, 2018. A.P. Moller – Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC and Ocean Network Express are to launch an association by early 2019 to create common IT standards for all stakeholders in the container shipping industry.

The five companies say they have identified a need for a neutral and non-profit body for ocean carriers driven by delivering benefits for the industry and its stakeholders.

MSC “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 group spokesperson.

“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.

“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,” commented Martin Gnass, managing director Information Technology, Hapag-Lloyd.

Welcoming additional members “with open arms”, Simha said the five ocean carriers have no intention to develop or operate any digital platform and won’t discuss any commercial or operational matters.

Noriaki Yamaga, Ocean Network Express managing director of Corporate & Innovation said collaborating in IT development provided a “good opportunity” to establish common standards and governance for the industry. “In the end we believe this style of collaboration can bring value and opportunity to our customers as well as logistics companies, leading shipping and logistics industry to [a] new ecosystem of digital supply chain.”

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