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Pacific International Lines (PIL) has become a member of the non-profit organisation, Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), to promote standardisation and digital innovation in the container shipping industry.

DCSA’s founding members include 9 of the 10 largest container shipping companies globally, covering about 70% of the world’s container trade. The association was established to speed up digitalisation through the standardisation and harmonisation of data standards, aiming to create an interoperable framework that reduces friction, cost and improves the customer experience.

PIL and DCSA will work together on the development, alignment, and validation of digitalisation standards to boost adoption across the industry.

DCSA standards seek to meet requirements such as paperless trade, cargo visibility, port call optimisation, and equipment management. Having uniform and interoperable data standards and legal conditions across international jurisdictions and platforms will greatly improve delivery schedules. They will also enhance communication and transactions among regulators, banks, insurers, carriers, customers, and stakeholders involved in international trade.

PIL has initiated several digitalisation projects, including implementing an electronic bill of lading (eBL) to shorten delivery times, enhance operational efficiency, and provide customers with a seamless experience. 

An eBL facilitates easier document creation, approval, distribution, and tracking, while reducing potential fraud and removing the risk of losing paper documents during transit.

Mr Lars Kastrup, CEO of PIL, said, “PIL has been actively undertaking digitalisation initiatives and we are pleased to join DCSA to accelerate our journey while growing the industry’s digitalisation capabilities. Digitalisation not only increases efficiency and reduces costs, it also cuts down on our carbon footprint and simplifies transactions for all stakeholders.”

“Complementing our participation in DCSA, PIL has also been working to incorporate standardisation and governance in our data and processes to enhance the way we work and optimise efficiency. For digitalisation to succeed, we need to work together for industry-wide adoption. These comprehensive digital capabilities will help equip international shipping to be more sustainable and future-ready.”

Mr Thomas Bagge, CEO of DCSA, said, “We are thrilled to welcome PIL to DCSA. As we continue our collaboration with industry partners to advance the digitalisation of the container shipping industry, PIL’s participation represents another significant milestone.

“Over the past five years, DCSA and its members have created a digital foundation that allows for the industry to improve the customer experience, reduce cost and help the industry shift towards a more sustainable future.

“We are looking forward to continuing our work with PIL and our other partners to help realise our vision of a fully digitised supply chain.”

DCSA aims to promote sustainability practices, foster interoperability and efficiency across the industry, enhance customer experiences, and unlock valuable insights from data. The goal of DCSA is to achieve this by producing standards that benefit all parties involved in international trade and to secure the broadest adoption of these standards.

Shifting from the transfer of physical paper bills of lading could save $6.5 billion in direct costs for stakeholders, enable $30-40 billion in annual global trade growth and ensure the long-term sustainability of international trade.