Portland SEO's Augusto Beato lamented that shipping companies have to suffer the inability to recognize an electronic bill of lading (eBL) without a physical counterpart. He blamed national regulators of many countries for not implementing the legal infrastructure for the eBLs.
"The eBLs have the potential to revolutionize the international trade industry and avoid being held up in ports waiting for bills of lading to verify the goods, as in the case of paper-based systems," said Beato, who is the CEO of Portland SEO. "Unfortunately, national regulators are being forced to play catch-up with this technological innovation, leaving shippers and carriers to bear the consequences."
The e-BL platform gives various ecosystem players the convenience to manage a bill of lading digitally with accuracy and speed, including banks.
Currently, only a few nations, including the US, have the facilities to accept electronic documents of commercial agreements and transactions – including eBLs – as legally valid and enforceable, with several other nations looking to implement a similar system.
Beato feels that national regulators of other nations should be enlightened of the benefits of implementing the use of eBLs. A fine example that Beato cited is the instantaneous digital transfer of the bill of lading for a shipment of mandarin oranges from China that Pacific International Lines (PIL) was able to achieve. The shipment was received by Hupco in Singapore, which acted as consignee for the trade.
Hupco benefited from collecting their goods faster with the immediate receipt of the electronic Bill of Lading, resulting in lower operating costs such as electricity costs, storage costs, and cost savings from enhanced equipment utilization.
In the PIL transaction, the quick turnaround of the eBL was crucial as the oranges were being imported in preparation for the Lunar New Year celebrations on February 5, where they are traditionally offered as gifts and represent a sign of prosperity.
To learn more about how Portland SEO can help facilitate documents for e-commerce business, follow this link.
Using conventional bill of lading methods can take up to seven days and is at risk of documents being delayed or lost. In addition to the speed of document transfer, Beato noted that the use of blockchain technology for international trade also promises to increase transparency and tackle the risk of document fraud, which represents 40 percent of all maritime fraud, or mishandling of documents.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
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