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Global Ports launches first digital document service in Russia

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Global Ports Group has launched a service for the digital issuance of orders for the loading of export containers at its First Container Terminal (FCT), making it the first Russian terminal to transfer to a fully paperless export management system.

In a statement, Global Ports said its new service was tested in early June. It said the technology enables the digital exchange of legally binding documents with the customs authority.

The adoption of this technology means that the procedure of order preparation by forwarding companies and issuance of documents confirmed by customs has been completely digitalised.

On the basis of an order issued in this way, the terminal may start loading a container onto a vessel immediately without additional approval. All participants of the process – the forwarding company, the customs authority, the terminal and the shipping line – have online access to information about the status at all stages of the process.

The technology removes the need for paperwork, making the transaction of goods more efficient and environmentally friendly by decreasing the time required to handle a shipment of export containers and will greatly simplify the interaction between the process participants.

“Global Ports is working hard to make its service as convenient as possible for customers and partners. Shipment orders remained the last “paper” element in export shipments,” said Alexey Yermolin, Director for Information Technology at Global Ports.

“Now, an export shipment may be ordered and traced on our customer portal. The technology we use guarantees data protection and integrity of data after it is entered into the electronic document flow system.”

During 2020, the service will be rolled out across all Global Ports terminals in Russia. The technology will also be developed to include shipping lines’ functionality into the system, which will allow the digital preparation of documents that foreign economic activity players require to confirm the zero VAT rate application.

Global Ports is the leader in digitalisation among all of Russian ports – as a result of the continued development in the Group’s IT Services, paper document flow at the Group’s terminals has more than halved in the last six years.

Paperless – or digital – transactions are a key talking point in the maritime industry, and has become more in focus due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was predicted in a recent PTI webinar that the congestion and delay caused by the pandemic could accelerate use of a digital Bill of Lading in the industry.

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