BIMCO: How Carriers benefit from the Future International Trade Alliance

2022-06-06 10:15:43 Trade Body / Associations News

The DCSA, BIMCO, FIATA, the ICC and SWIFT recently formed the Future International Trade (FIT) Alliance and signed a memorandum of understanding to help standardise the digitalisation of international trade. 

 

 In a series of articles, we are speaking to the FIT Alliance members to uncover what the Alliance means to them and how it will benefit international shipping. You can read the thoughts of Thomas Bagge, DCSA CEO and here, we get the carriers’ view from Grant Hunter, Director for Standards, Innovation and Research at BIMCO.

 

We began by asking Grant:

 

Why did BIMCO join the FIT Alliance? 

Grant (G): We joined primarily because we believe that unity is strength, and we can see the benefit of working together with other large organisations. We are a member organisation of ship owners and people working in the shipping industry including ship brokers and agents, and so we know the benefits of strong membership.

By partnering with other organisations, we believe we can deliver a stronger message and move electronic bills of lading ahead in a way that hasn’t been possible in the past quarter century or so. I like to call it a ‘coalition of the willing,’ as big industry bodies and associations are driving this issue forward now with some considerable momentum. We believe that BIMCO has an important role to play in assisting with the digital transformation of the shipping industry.

 

What top three benefits do you see the FIT Alliance bringing? 

 

G: Managing risk, making the whole process faster and more efficient, and reducing costs..

 

What, in your view, does the Alliance mean for international shipping and trade as a whole?

 

G: It’s important for the industry to know that all stakeholders involved in this digitalisation process are behind it, so it’s not, for example, just because the people who provide platforms or BIMCO say it’s a good idea. It’s everyone

The shipping landscape is complex, with many stakeholders, how can the FIT Alliance bring about change?

G: Open standards are key. Closed “proprietary” systems aren’t going to move the industry forward, so we need to come out as an Alliance and all agree on open standards

We often get asked if we’re favouring one particular technology over another and we’re not. We’re technology-agnostic. As long as the standards are good, and we have interoperability, we don’t need to focus on the technology.

 

 The market will decide what system best suits their needs.

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