Many things have changed in the last 30 years in shipping and freight..
Many positive new developments have taken place with things from the vintage days of shipping either obsolete to almost obsolete now..
If you look at many of the news items about the industry recently, there has been a certain buzz and intensity around the electronic bill of lading..
I am fairly confident that people entering the shipping and freight industry in the next decade will be told that 2020 was the year that saw the beginning of the end for the paper “Bill of Lading” and the year in which the switch to “Electronic Bill of Lading” (eBL) began in earnest..
Last year, I asked a question “Electronic bill of lading – are you and your country ready for it..??”..
This question could not be more relevant TODAY, considering the current circumstances, and the impact COVID-19 on the shipping and freight industry..
An electronic paperless bill of lading is a bill of lading issued electronically instead of being printed on paper and issued physically to the customer as a hard copy..
Whether using an electronic paperless bill of lading issued on the back of a Blockchain based platform or a Bolero based platform, these electronic bill of lading options are said to fulfill the functions in the same manner as a traditional paper bill of lading..
Many believe that the electronic bill of lading will be a game changer in the shipping industry with faster, efficient transactions, reduction in costs with greater security and less risk..
However, there were concerns on the issue of safety, security and acceptability relating to the transmission and receipt of electronic paperless bill of lading and in several cases it was required to check whether the carrier and country were ready for electronic paperless bill of lading..
Currently, we are in a unique moment in history where as per reports, COVID-19 has affected all countries around the world.. And this my friends is a time when almost all shipping lines and customers would be wishing that they had access to Electronic Paperless Bills of Lading..
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has launched some digital initiatives aimed at creating a collaborative cross-industry effort to enable the standardisation of digital trade..
The first one called The ICC Digital Trade Standards Initiative (DSI), will build on work done by various like minded initiatives, many of which aim to digitise trade, notably through the development of open trade and technology standards to promote interoperability.
In the other initiative, the ICC is partnering with various government, business and other stakeholders to create digital solutions that will advance economic prosperity for all.
In line with its Declaration for the Next Century of Global Business, the ICC is committed to maximising the benefits of the digital economy through establishing key partnerships to unify, simplify, and transform trade processes for all.
CargoX, the provider of the CargoX blockchain document transfer (BDT) platform, announced that they been granted prestigious approval by the International Group of P&I Clubs.
The release says that CargoX It has become the first and only approved provider to use the neutral, public blockchain Ethereum network for its platform.
The International Group of P&I Clubs (the IG) is an unincorporated association of the 13 principal underwriting Protection & Indemnity (P&I) Associations (Clubs) and their Affiliated Associations and Reinsured Entity.
Between them, they provide liability cover (protection and indemnity) for approximately 90% of the world’s ocean-going tonnage. Of the world’s top 25 reinsurers, 22 were featured on the group’s program in 2019.
The TradeLens Agreement which “authorizes the parties to cooperate with respect to the provision of data to a blockchain-enabled, global trade digitized solution that will enable shippers, authorities and other stakeholders to exchange information on supply chain events and documents” is seemingly cleared to go live as it goes unchallenged within the timeframe given by FMC..
TradeLens is a digital alliance among container shipping lines started by the teaming up of Maersk and IBM to offer customers digital freight solutions..
Touted as an open and neutral industry platform underpinned by Blockchain technology, Tradelens is now supported by major industry players such as Maersk, Zim Lines, PIL, CMA CGM, MSC, Hapag Lloyd and ONE..
This platform received a major boost on the 23rd of December 2019 when The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) published “The TradeLens Agreement”..
Trade as we know it (or don’t know it) has been around for centuries in various forms across various time-lines..
Starting from trade on the Silk roads around 1st century BC, through the Spice Routes between the 7th and 15th centuries to the current age of globalisation, trade has come a long way indeed..
While the business of trade itself hasn’t changed from the basic concept of buying and selling, the methodology of trade and trade patterns have changed drastically especially over the last few decades..
Developing, implementing and providing new digital solutions to its customers lies at the core of G2 Ocean’s business.
For many companies in the shipping industry, where the digital transformation is moving slower than many other industries, new developments such as Blockchain, Internet of Things, Big Data, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are merely buzzwords.
But not to G2 Ocean. Since the company launched in 2017, it has had a continuous focus on developing and implementing new digital solutions for its customer, employees and partners.
When the President of the 2nd largest economy in the world and the world’s factory China urges for the development of blockchain technology to be expedited, you know things are about to get real in the world of technology..
Plans are afoot to make Blockchain technology a key part of China’s innovation program and also to increase investment in the sector..
Hot on the heels of this call by the Chinese President, The Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress in China passed a cryptography law on the 26th October that will be effective on January 1, 2020..