Benefits for all, challenges for all: A 360° view of shipping’s digital transformation

Digital transformation brings unique opportunities and complications for each part of the container shipping supply chain and digital standards need to balance the needs of all.

Widespread adoption of API-based digital standards will enable shippers and other industry stakeholders to receive the real-time data they need to make better business decisions all along the container journey, revolutionising the current and future state of digital supply chain transformation.

To get the full 360-degree view of this vital and fascinating subject, we invited journalist Robert Taylor to chair a panel discussion between a shipper, a carrier and the DCSA. In this series of extracts from that discussion, Robert interviews Andre Simha, who is both the Global Chief Digital & Information Officer at MSC and Chairman of DCSA. To provide the viewpoint of shippers, he hears from International Maritime Hall of Fame member and shipping executive Rick Gabrielson who previously led international transportation for major brands like Target and Lowe’s. They are joined by DCSA CEO Thomas Bagge.

Why digitalise and why now?

In this first video, Robert Taylor introduces the panellists and ask them to share what they consider to be the driving principle behind digital standardisation in container shipping. Why is digital transformation in the supply chain needed, and what’s the urgency to do it now?

Does digitalisation really work?

In the second part of the discussion, the panellists look at what container shipping can learn from other industries like banking and telecoms that have already undergone digital transformation. Can shipping achieve similar results? And can it make the cultural shifts needed to embrace digitalisation and gain the related benefits?

How will digitalisation happen?

Of course, if digital transformation was easy, we’d have done it already! So, what does it involve? What is the adoption process going to look like? And how will shippers, carriers and other parties in container shipping go about transforming into a truly digital industry? What are the different challenges for each part of the industry?

Are digital standards worth the effort?

At DCSA we obviously believe that the benefits of digital standards outweigh the challenges of implementation, but do our panellists agree? What will it take to persuade carriers, shippers and other stakeholders to get on board?

What are the top priorities for change?

In this final video, the panellists talk about their level of optimism for the industry’s digital transformation and identify the key things they believe need to happen most urgently to improve its chances of success.


We think you’ll agree that these videos offer a fascinating insight into the different perspectives of container shipping’s digital future. There’s much that needs to be done, but many potential benefits available to shippers, carriers and their partners from taking those first urgent steps.

We’d love to hear your feedback on the topics covered in these videos via LinkedIn or Twitter. And if you’d like to know more about DCSA’s digital standards you can sign up to our regular email newsletters.