Port of Rotterdam calls for regulatory overhaul to make electronic Bills of Lading a reality

Governments need to adapt legislation to make e-B/L's viable

The Port of Rotterdam Authority has called for an overhaul of legislation to make electronic Bills of Lading (e-B/L) a useable tool in the container shipping industry, following a successful pilot scheme with the Port of Singapore to explore the technology’s potential.

It said governments needed to “adapt legislation” to accept an e-B/L as “legally valid” in addition to conventional hard copies.

While Singapore has already done so, the Port said in the Netherlands it is working to develop the innovation via various pilot projects with industry partners, including the Dutch Blockchain Coalition, Spark! Living Lab and 2Tokens.  

The trial between the two ports demonstrated that an e-B/L issued by one platform could be verified and processed by another digital trade platform.

It was performed across the Singapore-based #dltledgers and Rotterdam-based Naviporta platform and was supported by the #TradeTrust digital utility, which is based on open standards.

“The results of the most recent trial also show that digital transfer of ownership by means of an eBL saves time and improves efficiency.

“Our industry partners Ocean Network Express and Olam were able to cut end-to-end documentation processing time from an average of 6 to 10 days, using hard copy documents, to less than 24 hours, using the e-B/L for the digital transfer of ownership.”

The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) estimates that a 50% adoption of e-B/L within the sector could yield savings of more than $4 billion every year.

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