Mediterranean Shipping Company has decided to introduce electronic Bill of Lading for its customers, following a successful pilot phase recently.
The company is using a solution on an independent blockchain platform, WAVE BL.
The system uses distributed ledger technology to ensure that all parties involved in a cargo shipment booking can issue, transfer, endorse and manage documents through a secure, decentralised network.
“The eBL enables shippers and other key supply chain stakeholders to receive and transmit the bill of lading electronically, without any change or disruption to day-to-day business operations,” MSC said.
Users can issue all originals, negotiable or non-negotiable, and exchange them via a direct, encrypted, peer-to-peer transmission. It’s also possible for users to amend documents.
“MSC has chosen WAVE BL because it is the only solution that mirrors the traditional paper-based process that the shipping and cargo transportation industry is used to,” said André Simha, Global Chief Digital and Information Officer at MSC. “It provides a digital alternative to all the possibilities available with traditional print documents, just much faster and more secure.”
WAVE BL’s communication protocol is approved by the International Group of Protection and Indemnity Clubs, and meets the highest industry standard for security and privacy, according to MSC.
The container shipping major believes that introducing an eBL solution is a critical step in the overall digitalisation of the industry.
Simha stated, “Traditionally, the shipping industry has relied quite heavily on physical paper documents. Among these, the BL is the most important transport document in international trade.
“While there have been attempts to create an eBL solution in the past, we are now in a position to introduce a solution that can pave the way
to mass eBL adoption, which will mean significant savings for the shipping industry.”
MSC has worked with WAVE BL on piloting its eBL solution since 2019. However, the Coronavirus Desease has created an even greater drive towards digitising the eBL.
“The pandemic has restricted human and transport mobility in many places.
“Countless containers have been stuck at various pots, terminals, depots and warehouses around the world because the receiver doesn’t have the original paper BL required to release these goods at their destination,” Sinha added.
Digital Container Shipping Association, which MSC is a founding member, estimates that by achieving just 50 per cent eBL adoption by 2030, the industry could potentially save more than $4bn yearly, reports World Maritime News.
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