The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) has published data and process standards for the submission of shipping instructions and issuance of the Bill of Lading (B/L).
The new standards are aligned with the UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business multimodal transport reference data model to ensure a global industry framework that accelerates digitalisation through a unified industry effort.
The DCSA said the announcement is the first publication of the multi-year DCSA eDocumentation initiative, which will deliver standards to enable digitalisation of the end-to-end container shipping documentation, starting with the B/L.
“Digitising documentation, starting with the bill of lading, is key to the simplification and digitalisation of global trade,” remarked Thomas Bagge, CEO of DCSA.
“The alignment we’ve achieved among the carriers is a critical milestone on the way to full eBL adoption. Paperless trade will benefit all parties involved in a transaction in terms of cost reduction, customer experience, efficiency, growth, innovation and sustainability.
“We invite all industry stakeholders to collaborate with us on optimising eDocumentation standards for safely and seamlessly delivering goods to their final destination.”
Oswald Kuyler, Managing Director Digital Standards Initiative (DSI) at International Chamber of Commerce, also commented, “The COVID pandemic has brought more urgency to the shift towards digitalization of the global trade environment.
“Achieving a standardized eBL is a foundational element of that transformation. It’s fantastic to see alliances stepping up to the challenge, working with industry stakeholders and delivering something practical that can have a tangible impact.
“I’m looking forward to working with DCSA to advocate for adoption of digital standards not only for the B/L – but potentially for other use cases as well.”