DCSA’s highlights of 2023

5 Min read | January 10, 2024

Driving the adoption of eBL’s  

In February of this year, we announced that our ocean carrier members committed to converting 50% of original bills of lading to digital within five years and achieving 100% adoption of electronic bill of lading (eBL) by 2030 based on DCSA’s standards. The announcement received extensive media coverage including top tier coverage in Forbes and Journal of Commerce, and our CEO Thomas Bagge emphasized the benefits of eBL adoption for the industry. In September, the FIT Alliance launched the “Declaration of the electronic Bill of lading” to drive digitalization, starting with eBLs, in international trade. This milestone received significant media coverage, and our Head of Digital Trade, Niels Nuyens, encouraged stakeholders to endorse the declaration and promote eBL adoption. Currently, eBL adoption stands at 3-4%, up from 2.1% in 2022. We have almost 100 signatories from across the supply chain industry.  Find out more about the FIT Alliance endeavors on their website. 

Adoption of Track & Trace standards 

Container shipping is evolving to embrace a digital future, and DCSA’s Track and Trace Standard 2.2 stands at the forefront of this transformation, for those who have adopted this standard along with DCSA’s Track & Trace API, the improvement in integration time has been impressive. In 2023 we have seen wide scale adoption of v2.2 across top BCOs, Freight forwarder and solution providers, for those who have adopted this standard along with DCSA’s Track & Trace API, the improvement in integration time has been impressive. In terms of volumes of API calls, this has also seen an upward trend with several DCSA members and industry stakeholders representing a few million API calls per months using the DCSA APIs. Are you one of the adopters? Whether you would like to share anecdotes or experiences or help us improve the standards, we would like to hear from you!  DCSA Feedback | Track & Trace 

Roadmap towards improved container productivity 

In 2023, DCSA and its members introduced a roadmap towards improved container productivity. All aspects of the equipment lifecycle are being considered for greater visibility of assets, data quality and timeliness of communication. The first results include a new standard for operational reefer monitoring and reefer spare parts management. In 2024, we will continue developing the roadmap with standards for equipment interchange, gate moves, pick-up and drop-off announcements, and on/off-hire. 

Just In Time picking up steadily  

In 2023, we have seen adoption of JIT picking up steadily, with e.g. Navis and APMT incorporating the first JIT API messages on berth alignment into their systems. We’ve also seen numerous other integration projects starting, e.g. by Tangier Med and between CMA-CGM and Westport, and expanded usage of the JIT framework by Portchain in over 90 terminals.   


OVS got tested and adopted by members and non-members (Maersk, CMA-CGM, Xpress-Feeders and Unifeeder) and Navis in 2023. On top of that, we have created the foundation for version 3.0 which is ready to release January 2024. Almost all members have pledged to test the standard by Q1 2024.  

Electronic Trade Documents Act 

We were also proud to have played a part in the landmark Electronic Trade Documents Act in the UK.  DCSA was involved from its very early stages at the Law Commission to the final stages in Parliament, where our Head of Public Affairs, Dominique Willems, was invited to speak. This Act is a major leap forward for global trade because it ensures that an Electronic Bill of Lading has the same legal status as a paper document. We are excited to continue to lend our expertise to legislators and governments in 2024 as they look to adopt similar legislation.        Read more 

FMC and DCSA collaborate on maritime data standards 

To counter supply chain issues of the US, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) started the Maritime Transportation Data Initiative (MTDI), led by Commissioner Bentzel. Through digital standards, the initiative addresses data constraints that impede the flow of ocean cargo. Over 80 stakeholders, including DCSA, were involved, and in March 2023 Commissioner Bentzel also met with DCSA’s Supervisory Board. Soon after, the MTDI report was published and stated that “Rather than replicating DCSA’s work, the recommendation made for the MTDI would build off the efforts of DCSA”. Currently the FMC is consulting the stakeholders on possible follow up actions and DCSA is excited to continue the collaboration and is looking forward to final outcome of the MTDI. Read more 

20,000 Linkedin followers

We have reached 20,000 followers on LinkedIn. An achievement that showcases the worldwide interest in our mission to digitise the container shipping industry.
Stay tuned for more groundbreaking endeavors in 2024.