DCSA is a non-profit, non-commercial organisation. It was founded in April 2019 by a coalition of ocean carriers as a non-profit organisation and is governed separately by a General Assembly of representatives from each of its members. DCSA has no stake in any commercial entity or business. DCSA has no commercial business model or investments and publishes its standards free for everyone to use. The organisation is headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Currently, DCSA membership is open only to ocean carriers, with nine of the top 10 carriers in the world on board, representing approximately 70% of global container trade. These members develop standards jointly with DCSA, which means they have financial, time and expertise commitments to continually and actively support DCSA initiatives. Due to the level of resource commitment required, DCSA members tend to include large ocean carriers.
DCSA’s members vote on its budget and project priorities, but you do not need to be a member to collaborate with DCSA. Any organisation with a stake in the container shipping industry can make use of the standards for free, provide input into standards development or give feedback to support future improvements. DCSA’s goal is to produce standards that are beneficial to all parties involved in international trade and to achieve the widest possible adoption of those standards. Input from many types of organisation is valued and taken into consideration when defining and updating standards. However, deciding on a standard requires an informed and thoughtful process of selection and deselection. It is important to recognise that while input is sought from many parties, not all parties may be satisfied with the outcome of the work done.