It is possible to stop using the paper Bill of Lading according to a test of CargoX’s blockchain-based Smart Bill of Lading by G2 Ocean, a joint venture of Grieg Star and Gearbulk, and Manuchar NV.
Rune Birkeland, the chief executive of G2 Ocean, said: “Paper Bills of Lading are already considered a historical artefact. The Smart Bill of Lading will bring cost optimisation and improved data security into their processes. The documentation transaction reliability in this system is not disputed.
“The CargoX Smart Bill of Lading is a solution for digital transfer of Bills of Lading issued by any cargo shipper worldwide. The system completes the document ownership transfer securely and reliably within minutes as against the days or weeks it takes to send a document via regular courier services.
“This new approach prevents delays and business damage or loss, demurrage and other costs. In addition, it provides safety and reliability for users.”
During the tests, G2 Ocean and Manuchar NV transferred ownership of goods with five separate pilot shipments travelling from China to Peru and with five separate Smart Bills of Lading.
They departed the loading port of Xingang, China, on Apr 5 and reached the discharge port of Callao, Peru, on May 26. The distance between the two ports is 9,504 miles. The importer received the Smart Bills of Lading after a couple of minutes.
Leif Arne Strommen, vice-president of innovation at G2 Ocean, said: “We consider smart contracts based on distributed ledgers or blockchain as a unique opportunity to digitalise and automate manual processes between its clients and subcontractors.
“The Bill of Lading is one of two priority areas in 2019 using blockchain technology. Based on these successful pilots, our next step will be to scale this up and offer it as a value-added service to our clients.”