Digital Edition

June 10 2019

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 3 of 71

4 The Journal of Commerce | June 10 2019 Mark Szakonyi Letter From the Editor THE CONTAINER SHIPPING industry's drive to create a common vehicle to share data, track containers, and standardize its information is acceler- ating as carriers make bolder moves to control what they see as their data and tether it more to the actual movement of containers. All that momentum puts the spot- light on a basic question: Who owns the data? Behind that answer is a thornier question that comes down to cost: Will shippers pay carriers something approaching premium rates if the car- riers provide neutral and accurate data, or will they continue to see ocean freight as a low-price commodity and pay more for software? In the meantime, carriers are coa- lescing at a rare clip. In less than three weeks, CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Co. joined a blockchain platform co-backed by Maersk Line, and the latter is tying up with their jointly backed container sensor company. CMA CGM and five other carriers announced they would join a consortium aimed at data standardization, bringing member- ship of the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) to nine of the 11 largest global container lines. "This will not only secure the data and transactions but will ease the way we do business. We are still a very archaic industry when it comes to doc- umentation, with lots of risk for fraud," MSC CEO and president Diego Aponte said. "Through encryption in block- chain, we'll be able to accelerate the way we deal with our shippers and hopefully in a more secure and efficient way." Aponte said he hopes the addition of MSC and CMA CGM will give it the "critical mass" to take off. "The more we (carriers) are under the same roof, the easier it is for shippers to connect with us," he added. The addition of MSC and CMA CGM to TradeLens, Maersk's decision to invest in Traxens, and growing member- ship in the DCSA shouldn't be viewed in isolation from one another. Con- sidered together, they represent the carrier industry taking its first major steps toward taking control of, and monetizing, the data they provision to the rest of the industry since the advent of INTTRA in the early 2000s. The moves come amid rising carrier frustration with how third parties have been able to profit from the data they collect and provide to the rest of the industry. In that light, TradeLens could be the vehicle to aggregate and provide data, Traxens a vehicle to collect real- time movement of containers and cargo, and DCSA the vehicle to har- monize the syntax of the data among major global ocean carriers. How all this will be monetized is becoming more apparent. TradeLens has begun to enter into software-as-a- service contracts with BCOs and 3PLs, with subscriptions generally lasting a year or longer and based on volume shipped and depth of services. Maersk and partner IBM did not disclose the amount they will charge companies to access information via TradeLens, but TradeLens CEO Michael White said it's price competitive with existing non-blockchain-based ocean freight portals or visibility platforms and provides higher value than those products. Industry sources have told The Journal of Commerce that the TradeLens cost is relatively high compared with existing portals and platforms. And while Maersk has said its data and that of other participants in Trade- Lens will be walled off, there already are whispers among technology watchers that a group of carriers operating in the east-west lanes and working in such a manner whiffs of antitrust violations. Whether those concerns solidify or just reflect third-party agitation with carri- ers' bolder moves remains to be seen. Given the speed that carriers are coalescing around digital efforts and standards, those questions will soon be answered. JOC Bold moves, big questions The Journal of Commerce The Journal of Commerce (USPS 279 – 060), ISSN 1530-7557, June 10, 2019, Volume 20, Issue No. 12. The Journal of Commerce is published bi-weekly except the last week in December (printed 25 times per year) by JOC Group Inc., 450 West 33rd St., 5th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10001. Subscription price: $595 a year. Periodicals postage paid at New York, N.Y., and additional mailing offices. © All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be copied or reprinted without written permission from the publisher. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to The Journal of Commerce, Subscription Services Department, 450 West 33rd St., 5th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10001. Executive Editor, The Journal of Commerce and JOC Events: Chris Brooks 609 649 2181, Executive Editor, The Journal of Commerce and Mark Szakonyi 202 872 1234, Managing Editor: Benjamin Meyer 916 716 6272 Managing Editor: Barbara Wyker 908 507 4802, Senior Editors: William B. Cassidy Trucking and Domestic Transportation 202 872 1228, Bill Mongelluzzo West Coast 562 428 5999, Hugh Morley Northeast, Mexico 646 679 3475, Eric Johnson Technology 213 444 9326, Janet Nodar Breakbulk and Heavy Li 251 473 2742, Greg Knowler Europe +44 7976798770, Turloch Mooney Global Ports +852 9011 9109, Associate Editor: Ari Ashe Southeast Ports, Intermodal Rail 202 548 7895, Data Analyst: Marcin Lejk +44 58 741 62 70, Shipper Engagement Manager: Dustin Braden 646 679 3450, Senior Content Editor: Alessandra Gregory Barrett, 860 248 5238 Senior Designer: Sue Abt, 862 371 3534, Designer: Bryan Boyd, 908 910 7849, Publisher: Tony Stein, 770 295 8809, Sales: Cindy Cronin, Strategic Account Manager Southeast, Gulf, Canada sales, 954 260 6061 Jean Gibbons, Senior Sales Executive West Coast, Midwest sales, 706 469 7160 John Knowles, Senior Sales Executive Europe sales, +44 7779 974677 Allyson Marek, Senior Sales Executive Northeast sales, 862 754 8012 Alex Remstein, Associate Sales Specialist Reprints/Classifieds/Copyrights, 646 679 3418 For Magazine Subscription Customer Service: 450 West 33rd St., 5th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10001 800 952 3839 Executive Director, Editorial Content, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit, Peter Tirschwell Executive Director, Media & Events, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit, Amy Middlebrook Manager, Production, Carmen Verenna Product Manager, JOC, Jesse Case ©2019 The Journal of Commerce — All Rights Reserved For more information, visit our website,

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Digital Edition - June 10 2019