Contour, the Singapore-based global trade finance network has announced a partnership with CargoX, a blockchain platform for transferring documents and data including a certified electronic Bill of Lading solution.
The news follows Contour’s transition to full production, with the network supporting electronic Bills of Lading as part of digital transformation of trade.
The partnership will provide Contour customers another option for electronic bills of lading to be used in synchronisation with their Contour trade finance transaction.
The company said this will not only reduce the overreliance on paper documents that is common in the industry but also streamline trade processes, reducing time and improving communication.
Contour’s non-partisan network, powered by R3’s Corda blockchain technology, allows all banks, financial institutions, and corporates to improve access, communication, and transparency when conducting trade finance agreements.
CargoX’s blockchain-powered document transfer platform allows users to easily manage digital original documents, such as electronic bills of lading, and provides the tools for secure and instant transfers of those documents. The platform also provides transparency by including auditable histories of document ownership and changes.
Bills of Lading have been an effective tool for trade finance due to their negotiability, allowing banks to finance goods still at sea without having to take control of an entire vessel. Digitally transforming these documents requires complicated digital registries with the support of shipping lines, banks, and corporations. Through achieving this process, bills of lading will become electronic and will no longer require ‘wet ink’ to be verified.
Carl Wegner, CEO at Contour said: “Transforming trade finance can’t be achieved by a single company acting by itself – collaboration is central to building a trade finance network that is truly global. Bills of Lading can be a challenge for digital transformation, due to their complex nature.
“That is why it is a key focus for our partnerships to streamline this common pain point. Our work with CargoX marks an important milestone towards establishing an ecosystem of technology providers, banks and corporates that makes digital trade finance not just a reality, but a tangible, accessible option for all.”
Stefan Kukman, CEO and founder of CargoX said: “The reliance on paper-based processes within international trade continues to be a challenge to improving the efficiency within the industry.
“Our service, enhanced through being a part of Contour’s network, allows trade to thrive and meet the demands of the modern world. Documents that used to travel for days or even weeks, with mediocre reliability and security, sometimes causing delays, loss, and damages, can now be delivered within minutes, and with extreme cryptographic security.”