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CargoDocs for iron ore trade

ESS (Electronic Shipping Solutions) has reported that BHP Billiton, Royal Bank of Scotland, Westpac Banking Corporation, Cargill and Minerva Marine have recently completed the first iron ore trade using its CargoDocs electronic bill of lading and eUCP Presentation solutions.

CargoDocs was used on a shipment from Australia to China, says ESS, adding that the entire creation and presentation process took just four days.

In this trade, the electronic bill of lading (eB/L) was drafted by BHP Billiton in Shanghai. It was then approved, signed and issued on behalf of Minerva Marine by Wilhelmsen Ships Services in Port Hedland, Australia.

BHP Billiton created original electronic peripheral documents within CargoDocs and the whole eSet was endorsed and presented electronically to RBS, the confirming bank, under an eUCP600 letter of credit, all within an hour.

RBS electronically transferred the eDocs to Westpac Banking Corporation in Singapore, the issuing bank, the next working day. Westpac then forwarded them to the buyer, Cargill, completing this four corner presentation within just 4 days.

ESS says that all the documents required under the letter of credit were presented as original electronic documents.

The shipment was one of the first uses of CargoDocs electronic bills of lading in iron trades, the first live use of CargoDocs by BHP Billiton as well as the first use of eUCP Presentation using CargoDocs by RBS and Westpac.

Nadeem Ashraf, trade execution lead, Cargill Singapore, said: “ESS has supported us in creating a web-technology to simplify our processes around management of shipping documents. The use of these tools offers better customer experiences.”

Manoj Menon, global head of Trade Services, Innovation & Customer Proposition, RBS, also commented: “Transferring the document electronically means this can all happen in minutes instead of days and the goods are released much sooner.”

“Banks can already provide their own electronic banking services, but this may not be sustainable in the long term. Independent, multi-bank platforms are the way ahead for bringing benefits across international trade as evidenced here with ESS.”

Capt. Yannis Giannopulos, operations manager, Minerva Marine, said: "We do believe that a move from the traditional paper bill of lading to a secure electronic format is the future of shipping documentation.” 

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