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Blockchain Breakthrough for Paperless Bills-of-Lading

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New ground has been broken in developing blockchain for shipping after a pilot used the technology to carry out a paperless bills-of-lading.

ZIM, an Israeli container shipping company, announced that it completed the feat for the first time by using blockchain-based software from Wave to send a document that acknowledged receipt of cargo for shipment.

Wave connects all members of the supply chain to a decentralized network and allows them a direct exchange of files.

During the trial, all participants issued, transferred and received original electronic documents using Wave's application, which manages ownership of documents on the blockchain to eliminate disputes, forgeries and unnecessary risks.

The containers, shipped by Sparx Logistics from China to Canada, were delivered to the consignees “without a hitch”, reported ZIM in an announcement about its breakthrough.

ZIM said that it is “convinced” that the blockchain technology and the Wave application is “the solution that will drive the trade to the digital era”.

Credit: ZIM

Learn more about blockchain's role in creating shipping efficiencies at Port Technology's Container Terminal Automation Conference

The new blockchain-based system developed by Wave uses distributed ledger technology to ensure that all parties can issue, transfer, endorse and manage shipping and trade related documents through a secure decentralized network.

Wave’s application is free for shippers, Importers and Traders and requires no IT or operational changes.

Eli Glickman, ZIM CEO, said: “I’m proud that ZIM leads the way in introducing blockchain technology to the shipping world, and congratulate our partners in this exciting initiative, Sparx Logistics and Wave.”

Eyal Ben-Amram, ZIM CIO, commented: “Promoting innovation and technology in our industry is an integral part of ZIM’s vision.

“While we are still in the process of evaluating the technology, we are confident that this type of forward-looking ideas will advance our industry as a whole towards a more efficient and modern phase.” 

Gadi Ruschin, Wave CEO, stated: “We thank ZIM for leading the industry adoption of the Wave application and network.

“Moving to a digital Bill of Lading would be hugely beneficial in supporting the supply chain in general, through reduced costs, error-free documentation and fast transfer of original documents. 

“We look forward to continuing the process and invite more of ZIM’s customers and partners to join the pilots and use Wave for their business needs.” 

Read more: In February 2017, Zim signed up with Alibaba to allow customers to book space on their vessels through the Chinese e-commerce giant

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