Shipping giant MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company) has joined other mega-carriers in registering its global container fleet on the BIC's BoxTech Global Container Database.
As a result, the technical details of more than 10 million containers, or approximately 40% of the global container fleet, are now available to database users, which include shippers, forwarders, terminals and software solution providers.
The MSC fleet upload occurs as BoxTech, the non-profit global container database operated by the Bureau International des Containers (BIC) approaches its two-year anniversary. MSC joins other leading global carriers, such as CMA-CGM and Maersk Line, in adopting the BoxTech solution in their businesses. Hundreds of other container owners and operators are also utilising the platform, including two of the top four container leasing companies.
"Transparency and easy, standardised data access are vital to many of the digitalisation efforts underway in the shipping industry," says André Simha, Chief Information Officer, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company. "MSC therefore fully supports the BoxTech Global Container Database and we are delighted to upload our global fleet details to help expand this neutral, non-profit platform. It has tremendous potential to help drive efficiencies in many areas."
Douglas Owen, Secretary General of the BIC says "We are thrilled that the world's three largest ocean carriers have now registered their fleets, thereby helping to make BoxTech a core business platform for shippers, carriers, depots and other parties to use in their day to day operations."
Launched in July 2016, there are now more than 1500 BoxTech users who rely on the central data repository to efficiently obtain technical container details, such as tare weight, size and type, as well as utilising more recently added functions such as verifying ownership status and posting recovery alerts. Maersk Line and CMA-CGM were among the early adopters of these helpful features and have been registering their container sales on the platform since late 2017. The new features have also proved particularly helpful among users from container leasing companies, making the recovery of units following bankruptcy easier than ever.
The BoxTech user base has also grown thanks to the many APIs available for database queries, which enable companies to digitalise more of their operations and automatically integrate container details into their everyday systems. Automated API database queries also streamline processes by avoiding unnecessary searches and increasing accuracy by removing the inevitable errors cause by manual data re-keying.
"The industry has changed in recent years as carriers look increasingly to technology and the use of data to drive efficiencies," says Owen. "Although sharing data is something that has come slowly in our industry, we have seen unprecedented cooperation over the past two years and a new openness to the use of common platforms."
"Organisations across the world are telling us that they want an open, impartial solution, and there is growing demand for more data from more container shipping companies to be added to the database," explains Owen. "Our industry is keen to adopt this new digital and collaborative way of working, and we encourage the remaining carriers and container lessors to register their fleets on the platform now."