A new digital shipping organisation for container lines is up and running - and talks are ongoing with potential new members.

Maersk Line, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC and Ocean Network Express (ONE) are the founders of the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) in Amsterdam.

Maersk technology executive Thomas Bagge has been appointed as CEO.

The organisation gained regulatory approval from the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) last month.

“For the first time in 20 years, the container shipping industry has come together with a common goal to move the industry into the digital era," said DCSA chairman Andre Simha, who is also MSC chief information officer.

"With the regulatory approval in place, we look forward for the association to take up work and to begin to collaborate with multiple stakeholders from the entire value chain.”

The body has started work on driving standardisation, digitalisation and "interoperability", it said.

"To create value quickly and to overcome some of the biggest pain-points in the industry, one of the first projects is focusing on standards to overcome the lack of a common foundation for technical interfaces and data," it added.

The idea is for the work to benefit the entire industry.

DCSA is in discussions with "multiple" owners who are interested in joining, it added, and preparations for membership of two companies are already ongoing.

The plan was announced last November. At that time the group included CMA CGM as well.

TradeWinds understands CMA CGM is staying involved, but has asked to join fully at a later date due to many ongoing projects of its own.