DCSA bolsters shipping documentation digitalisation

Industrial technology concept. Communication network. INDUSTRY 4.0. Factory automation.

The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) has published beta releases of its Standards for the Booking Process 1.0 and the Bill of Lading 2.0 to improve digitalisation progress within the shipping documentation process.

The publication comes as a second step towards end-to-end digitalisation of the shipping documentation process promoted by DSCA, after the company published its first set electronic bill of lading (eBL) standards in December 2020.

The DSCA Standards for the Booking Process 1.0 will enable sharing of digitalised shipping data and eliminate the need to input booking information into the eBL.

The standards for the Bill of Lading 2.0 are aligned with DCSA’s booking process standards to enable automatic uptake of booking process data.

In a statement, DSCA said that the initiative will facilitate the acceptance and adoption of eBL by regulators, banks, and insurers and unify communication between all parties involved in a transaction.

The company has also launched a website to allow a three-month public review.

Interested parties will be able to submit suggestions to implement the service and the final versions of the standards will be later released by DSCA.

“Eliminating paper each year will improve sustainability, and digitising documents will increase the accuracy and availability of digital data, which will benefit everyone along the supply chain, including customs organisations,” commented Thomas Bagge, CEO of DCSA.

“The public and private sectors must work together to address legal and technical interoperability issues if we want to grow eBL usage. We are encouraged to see top level government initiatives designed to drive standards adoption and data exchange across the globe, such as the recently announced FLOW (Freight Logistics Optimization Works) initiative from the Biden Administration.”

Recently last November, DSCA published an interface standards and messaging application programming interface (API) to enable automatic data exchange across port call activities.

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