Global trade rebounded in Q1 2021, increasing by about 10% YoY and 4% QoQ. It is expected to further rebound in Q2 and projected to grow by 16%. However the outlook remains uncertain as per UNCTAD.
While global trade grows and shipments crisscross across the globe, the documentation for these shipments are still in paper mode even in this digital age.
Dealing with physical printing of paper is a practice that the shipping industry continues to depend on and these paper documents includes insurance policies, invoices and some very important documents like bills of lading.
Handling physical paper leads to processes that are cumbersome, outdated, time-consuming and error-prone.
And that’s exactly why Hapag-LIoyd, the 5th largest container shipping line in the world is inviting all of its customers worldwide to take advantage of a digital service that allows them to shift to digitally exchanging the bill of lading without using the electronic Bill of Lading (eB/L) instead of the conventional paper bill of lading.
Hapag Lloyd has tied up with “WAVE”, a digital courier platform and secured communication protocol that facilitates and streamlines the exchange of original documentation between business partners and platforms along the supply chain.
As per an advisory from Hapag Lloyd, WAVE offers a number of unique benefits:
- Speed: You can transfer or forward documents fast – usually in under two minutes. This eliminates any risk of delay or of losing original documents.
- Convenience: You can include attachments of additional trade documentation (e.g. an invoice or packing list) in a digital format without having to print them.
- Security: The WAVE service is highly secure and uses blockchain P2P communication to eliminate the risk of forgery or tampering.
- Ease: Other than having to convert your documents to electronic format, the core trade process will remain the same. Hapag-Lloyd’s eB/Ls will be delivered directly to your WAVE platform.
- Economical: By using WAVE, you will save time and money – immediately.
While these advances in electronic bill of lading can assist in the quicker transmission and sharing of documentation the limiting factor is still the number of countries that are ready to accept/accredit and handle electronic bills of lading..
Only 2 countries (Bahrain and Singapore) have so far adopted the Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records (MLETR) as a legislation and incorporated it into their country’s law..