Date: 16th February 2023
Nine top global carriers belonging to the Digital Container Shipping Association(DCSA) have committed to 100% adoption of an electronic bill of lading (eBL) based on DCSA standards by 2030 in a significant digital step forward for the industry.
Switching away from the transfer of physical paper bills of lading could save $6.5bn in direct costs for stakeholders according to DCSA estimates, and enable $30bn to $40bn in annual global trade growth.
The bill of lading functions as a document of title, receipt for shipped goods and a record of agreed terms and conditions. Ocean carriers issue around 45m bills of lading a year. In 2021, only 1.2% of these were electronic.
The CEO of DCSA, said: “The digitalisation of international trade holds vast potential for the world economy by reducing friction and, as trade brings prosperity and the eBL will further enable trade, helping bring millions out of poverty. This heralds the start of a new era in container shipping as the industry transitions to scaled automation and fully paperless trade.”
A reliable source commented: “The need for digitisation in logistics is urgent, and the industry needs to speed up the process.”