Paper bill of lading one step closer to retirement

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

BERGEN, Norway & ANTWERP, Belgium – A recent test of the CargoX Smart B/L solution by G2 Ocean and Manuchar NV shows it is possible to retire the paper bill of lading (B/L).

“Paper Bills of Lading are already considered a historic artifact. The Smart B/L solution gives both us and our clients the power of a modern, reliable, and efficient tool. It will bring cost optimization and improved data security into their processes. The document transaction reliability in this system is indisputable,” said Rune Birkeland, CEO at G2 Ocean.

The two companies concluded their test of the blockchain-based B/L system this April. During the test, they transferred ownership of goods with shipments traveling from China to Peru.

Five separate pilot shipments, with five Smart Bills of Lading, departed the port of loading Xingang China on the 5th of April 2019, and reached the port of discharge, Callao, Peru, on the 26th of May 2019. The distance between ports is 9,504 nautical miles. The importer received the Smart B/Ls after a couple of minutes.

“G2 Ocean consider Smart Contracts based on Distributed Ledgers or blockchain as a unique opportunity to digitize 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’s as a value-added service to our clients,” said Leif Arne Strømmen, vice-president of innovation G2 Ocean.

The CargoX Smart B/L 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 opposed to 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.

“G2 Ocean and Manuchar are among the most advanced companies in cargo shipping industry. They have recognized the potential of using tools of the future today – to secure trust, digitize paper document processing, and reduce operating costs. All of this is obtained while investing minimally into the solution’s adoption,” said Stefan Kukman, CEO and founder of CargoX.

Norway based G2 Ocean is a joint venture of breakbulk and bulk shipping companies: Gearbulk and Grieg Star. They operate the largest fleet of open hatch vessels worldwide. In addition, G2 Ocean operates a substantial fleet of conventional bulk carriers. They have a total of 130 vessels and 13 offices on six continents.

Manuchar NV is a trading and distribution company with focus on emerging markets. Its trading activities cover Chemicals, Steel, Metals, Plastics, Paper, Pharmaceuticals, Wood, Cement and Spare Parts. It has a network of more than 50 affiliates in 140 locations.