BIMCO publishes latest eBL standard

Large general cargo ship tanker bulk carrier, aerial top view.

BIMCO has published its latest electronic bill of lading (eBL) to improve adoption of digital trade documents in shipping.

The BIMCO eBL standard is a structured dataset consisting of 20 predefined data fields that are common to bulk shipping bills of lading.

Globally, less than 2 per cent of world trade is carried on electronic bills of lading. This is partly due to lack of open standards and interoperability. To help increase adoption of digital trade documents in shipping, BIMCO has published an electronic bill of lading standard.

The BIMCO eBL Standard’s design is consistent with bills of lading used in the bulk sector, for example, CONGENBILL.

This means that the underlying framework applies equally to BIMCO’s various bills of lading and other bulk bills of lading, for example house bills.

The standard is freely available to any electronic bill of lading solution provider.

BIMCO is a founding member of the FIT (Future International Trade) Alliance, a cross-industry coalition of organisations working together to produce open standards for electronic trade documents.

BIMCO’s eBL Standard is aligned with the UN/CEFACT Multimodal Transport Reference Data Model as well as the standards produced by Future International Trade (FIT) Alliance members.

The members of the FIT Alliance are: BIMCO, Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), FIATA International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and SWIFT.

Earlier this month the DCSA in conjunction with its nine member carriers announced phase two of its electronic bill of lading (eBL) platform interoperability proof of concept (PoC).

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