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HomeElectronic Trade DocumentationElectronic Bill of LadingCOSCO SHIPPING accounts for around 6% of electronic bills of lading issued...

COSCO SHIPPING accounts for around 6% of electronic bills of lading issued globally

*** Updated to correct the error in % calculation of eBLs issued ***

The Electronic bill of lading (eBL) has been making its mark as a transformative technology in the digital landscape of global trade revolutionizing how this important transport document is managed and processed.

As you may be aware, a Bill of Lading has 3 basic functions or roles

1) Evidence of Contract of Carriage

2) Receipt of Goods

3) Document of Title to the goods

An electronic bill of lading is a paperless bill of lading that is issued electronically to fulfill all the above functions in the same manner as the paper bill of lading. It provides the user with the same legal rights as a paper bill of lading.

Apart from this, an eBL enhances the security of document transmission, reduces the risk of fraud, accelerates the document transfer process, and cuts down administrative costs and inefficiencies associated with the handling of paper documents.

On the 24th of November 2023, COSCO SHIPPING achieved a significant milestone in the adoption of this technology with the issuance of its 100,000th blockchain-based eBL to a cross-border e-commerce customer in Shenzhen.

This event is not just a number as it represents a major stride in the adoption of blockchain technology for enhancing the security and efficiency of trade documentation.

DCSA estimated that at the end of 2021, around 45 million bills of lading were issued a year by all carriers but only 1.2% of these were electronically issued.

COSCO SHIPPING launched its blockchain-based paperless cargo release product using the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) platform which was initiated and established in 2021.

If we consider the 45 million bills per year since GSBN’s inception in 2021 and extrapolate to 2023, COSCO SHIPPING’s issuance of its 100,000th eBL would mean that it accounts for around 6% of all eBLs issued between 2021 and 2023.

GSBN connects key industry players to create a digital ecosystem based on trust and efficiency. This network fosters collaboration, data integration, and the construction of a new digital trade ecology.

COSCO SHIPPING has been providing blockchain-based eBL services extensively, covering more than 7,500 customers including major players in bulk and oil transportation, as well as small and medium enterprises across various industries, illustrating COSCO’s commitment to leveraging digital technology for a broad spectrum of shipping needs.

The value of COSCO SHIPPING’s efforts was acknowledged at the 2nd Global Digital Trade Expo, with GSBN winning the Digital Trade Gold Award for its blockchain-based eBL innovation highlighting the impact of digital transformation in the shipping industry.

As per the COSCO SHIPPING website, as of October 2023, GSBN’s influence has grown significantly, with nearly 30 companies across various sectors like airlines, ports, finance, and insurance joining the network.

COSCO SHIPPING’S journey with electronic bills of lading epitomizes the transformative power of digital technologies in the shipping industry and with this adoption and advancement of eBLs, the company is not only enhancing operational efficiencies but is also pioneering a more connected, secure, and efficient future for global trade.

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