MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has officially launched its electronic Bill of Lading (e-B/L), following a successful pilot phase, using a solution based on an independent blockchain platform from WAVE BL.
In a joint statement, MSC and WAVE BL said the e-B/L will enable shippers and other key supply chain stakeholders to receive and transmit the Bill of Lading document electronically without change or disruption.
André Simha, Global Chief Digital & Information Officer, MSC, said the carrier chose WAVE BL because it is the “only solution that mirrors the traditional paper-based process that the shipping and cargo transportation industry is used to”.
“[The blockchain solution] provides a digital alternative to all the possibilities available with traditional print documents, just much faster and more secure.
“Eliminating paper from the shipping transaction will make every aspect of commercial container shipping better, faster, more effective, more secure and environmentally-friendly.”
Simha explained that the COVID-19 pandemic has made blockchain more important as it allows for remote processing of vital documents.
“The global pandemic has restricted human and transport mobility in many places.
“Countless containers have been stuck at various ports, terminals, depots and warehouses around the world because the receiver doesn’t have the original paper BL required to release these goods at their destination.
“Now we’re introducing our eBL solution to our broad customer base to ensure that even more of our customers are able to benefit from the advantages of a digital BL solution. In a matter of a few years, we expect the eBL to become the new norm.”
The parties said the e-B/L addresses a “very current need” by overcoming border restrictions, interruptions in postal services and other pandemic-related disruptions. Shippers can also allow employees to work remotely by dematerialising the Bill of Lading and other shipping documents.
After running successful pilot projects in select countries since 2019, MSC is now introducing its digital solutions to all customers worldwide, paving the way for widespread eBL adoption. MSC is also exploring other eBL platforms to adapt to market demands.
Gadi Rushin, WAVE BL’s CEO and Co-founder, “Our goal from the very start has been to change the way the world trades by digitising document workflows while ensuring the highest legal, security and privacy standards.
“MSC is helping to create a new trade norm that will ultimately affect the rest of the market and save the trade industry billions of dollars.”