India Launches Digitisation of the Bill of Lading
India is digitalising its bills of lading workflows after a successful simulation project with G2 Ocean and CargoX.
The Government of India started evaluating ways to implement electronic bills of lading and other trade documentation across all export-import transactions in India after pressure from the industry to digitise shipping.
Responding to these calls, the Indian Port Community System, consisting of 19 ports in India, entered a trial project with the blockchain platform CargoX and G2 Ocean. Proof-of-concept tests and simulations were run with various use-case scenarios, including breakbulk and container shipments, export, and import from and into India.
Leif Arne Strømmen, Vice President of Project Cargo at G2 Ocean provided insights into the testing.
“We are strategically backing trade digitalisation and we were glad to provide testing and insight for the project of digitalisation of bills of lading in India with our partner CargoX,” he says.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, simulations were run to provide the required insights.
“Because of the lockdown situation, we were unable to execute regular live shipments within the given narrow time frame. Therefore, we successfully simulated shipments and processing based on real historic B/Ls, to provide complete insight into the future workflows and optimizations,” Leif Arne explains.
Vice President Project Cargo Leif Arne Strømmen provided insights into the simulation testing.
Growing demand for digital B/L
By implementing the blockchain bill of lading solution, India joins a growing demand across the industry for digitisation both to improve port operations and to address the challenges created by the global pandemic.
Cargo stoppages due to the inability of courier agencies, the requirement of delivering of physical format-based trade documentation, and the sheer time added in person-to-person contact while handling paper documents, were key considerations in deciding to proceed with the digitation effort.
“In these times of multiple risks to our common society, we are proud to help shipping companies, who represent the backbone of the economy, resolve supply chain document sending issues and enables them to meet delivery deadlines everywhere in the world, in a secure and efficient manner, while also lowering the document transfer cost,” says Stefan Kukman, CEO and founder of CargoX in a statement released by the company.
The CargoX Platform for blockchain document transfer will be used at 19 ports in India, including the country’s 13 major ports. The ports involved handle approximately 60 per cent of India’s total cargo traffic.