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MSC Introduces New Electronic Bill of Lading for Customers Worldwide Using WAVE BL’s Platform

MSC customers will be able to receive the bill of lading electronically, without any change or disruption to their day-to-day business operations.

Eliminating paper from the shipping transaction will make every aspect of commercial container shipping easier, faster, more effective and more secure.

The shipping industry can save almost USD 4 billion by transitioning to an eBL.

Electronic bills of lading (eBL) help mitigate the impact of trade disruptions on cargo flows during COVID-19.

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, a global leader in container shipping and logistics, is officially introducing the electronic bill of lading (eBL) for its customers around the world, following a successful pilot phase, using a solution on an independent blockchain platform WAVE BL. The eBL enables shippers and other key supply chain stakeholders to receive and transmit the bill of lading document electronically, without any change or disruption to day-to-day business operations.

WAVE BL is a blockchain-based system that uses distributed ledger technology to ensure that all parties involved in a cargo shipment booking can issue, transfer, endorse and manage documents through a secure, decentralised network. Users can issue all originals, negotiable or non-negotiable, and exchange them via a direct, encrypted, peer-to-peer transmission. It’s also possible for users to amend documents. WAVE BL’s communication protocol is approved by the International Group of Protection & Indemnity Clubs, and meets the highest industry standards for security and privacy. 

“MSC has chosen 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,” says André Simha, Global Chief Digital & Information Officer at MSC. “It provides a digital alternative to all the possibilities available with traditional print documents, just much faster and more secure.”

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The WAVE BL platform can be used free of charge throughout 2021 for exporters, importers and traders. Users only pay for issuing the original documents, and they do not need to invest in any IT infrastructure or make operational changes in order to use the service.

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Longstanding advocacy for digitalisation in shipping

MSC has long recognised the importance of digitalisation across the shipping industry and has been one of the pioneers behind the industry’s digital transformation. As a founding member of the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), MSC has participated in a number of initiatives focused on driving standardisation, digitalisation and interoperability in container shipping. André Simha is also the Chairman of DCSA.

Introducing an eBL solution is a critical step in the overall digitalisation of the industry. “Traditionally, the shipping industry has relied quite heavily on physical paper documents. And among these, the BL is the most important transport document in international trade,” states André Simha. “While there have been attempts to create an eBL solution in the past, we are now in a position to introduce a solution that can pave the way to mass eBL adoption, which will mean significant savings for the shipping industry.”

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Saving the shipping industry billions

DCSA research indicates that by achieving just 50% eBL adoption by 2030, the industry could potentially save more than USD 4 billion per year. In addition to the significant cost savings, the eBL offers a wide range of benefits to shippers, including eliminating the ‘Document transportation’ factor from the supply chain. Shippers can instantly transfer original and negotiable electronic documents across borders. The solution enables faster document transfers, which in turn, leads to a shorter payment cycle. And electronic processes are far less susceptible to forgery, fraud, loss or human error.

As André Simha comments, “Eliminating paper from the shipping transaction will make every aspect of commercial container shipping better, faster, more effective, more secure and environmentally-friendly.”

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.”  

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