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MSC introduces electronic bills of lading

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company has introduced the electronic bill of lading (eBL) for its customers around the world.

The roll out follows a successful pilot phase using a solution on an independent blockchain platform WAVE BL. The eBL enables shippers and other key supply chain stakeholders to receive and transmit the bill of lading document electronically, without any change or disruption to day-to-day business operations.

WAVE BL is a blockchain-based system that 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. 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. WAVE BL’s communication protocol is approved by the International Group of Protection & Indemnity Clubs and meets the highest industry standards for security and privacy. 

“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 & information officer at MSC. “It provides a digital alternative to all the possibilities available with traditional print documents, just much faster and more secure.

“Traditionally, the shipping industry has relied quite heavily on physical paper documents. And 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.”

The WAVE BL platform can be used free of charge throughout 2021 for exporters, importers and traders. Users only pay for issuing the original documents, and they do not need to invest in any IT infrastructure or make operational changes in order to use the service.

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