Blockchain Bill of lading
The maritime industry is an important part of the developing world economy. Most of the goods are transported using the feasible costs provided by the shipping industry. Infusing technology into this sector and making it seamless is the need of the hour. The industry has initiated the incorporation of technology through automating vessel initiatives through artificial intelligence which has helped in reducing human errors and improved the safety of navigation. Documentation is yet another area of the maritime industry which has been constantly in the need of development.
The Bill of Lading is an important document in the shipping and freight chain. It comes with basic purposes like evidence of the contract carriage, receipt of goods, and document of title of the goods. The electronic bill of lading was the first replacement for the paper bill of lading which is now being replaced by an even better form of technology called blockchain bill of lading.
Blockchain technology is an immutable ledger that aids in the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network. Blockchain bill of lading or smart bill of lading is a new age bill of lading which uses the technology of blockchain. The blockchain bill of lading provides an immutable audit trail, transparency of business and unbreakable confidentiality. Blockchain technology made the existing bill of lading tamper-proof and auditable and brought large-scale reliable projections.
Blockchain bill of lading could give that added digital security features which apparently elevated the quality of the existing bill of lading. The electronic format of bill lading was very difficult to use for the companies. Blockchain has changed that and turned the use of the electronic bill of lading user-friendly.
Implementation of Blockchain Bill of Lading
Several platforms are coming to the forefront to use blockchain technology in bills of lading like TradeLens, CargoSmart, Wave and CargoX. The test of CargoX's smart bill of lading was conducted on a transhipment from China to Peru. The test run of the blockchain bill of lading was a huge success, as the blockchain technology made the transfer of the bill of lading quick and cost-effective and the reliability of the same area in multiple folds as against the time usually taken through regular carrier services.
TradeLens features on blockchain bill of lading are gathering pace and moving into the market of the United Arab Emirates as well. The digitisation agenda put forth by TradeLens is right now transforming paper-based and time-consuming administrative processes concerning the documentation of shipping instruments. TradeLens, like the rest of the platforms, has adapted blockchain technology to provide faster movement of the documents electronically through all the relevant stakeholders. This reduces the chances of the documents getting lost or forged.
Benefits of blockchain bill of lading
Adapting of blockchain bill of lading brings a lot of benefits to the shipping or maritime industry:
High level of security through immutable audit facilities. Helps in preventing misdeliveries. Lowers the cost of sending, processing and archiving. Cannot be lost, tampered or stolen. Secures the end-to-end documentation process. It helps in reducing the credit time for financial institutions. Transfer of bills is faster than paper-based bills of lading.
A simple and clear workable document is the foundation of every international commercial transaction. A bill of lading is that document when it comes to logistics solutions. The paper-based bill of lading has gained its ground over the years of favourable forms of evolution. Any adaptation of new technology will make its way against the paper-based bill of lading that has been considered economically desirable and operationally viable. Technological advancements irrespective of the field in which they are implemented are always up for contradictions and conflicts of interest. The choice of adopting blockchain technology will always rest on the risk that the shipping industry is willing to take.