Hapag-Lloyd applies blockchain-based electronic bills of lading
German shipping line Hapag-Lloyd is moving further with implementing the dedicated digital tools for the customers. The company has applied the electronic bills of lading, the paperless version of a key trade document for the shipping industry. Being based on blockchain, the innovation will reduce many time-consuming processes from several days to just two minutes.
Despite the fact that the shipping industry has been implementing many digital solutions to meet the customer requirements and increase the efficiency of the key market players, there is still enough niches for the IT companies. One of them is the bills of lading (B/L), a key trade document for the maritime sector. The market players prefer to use these documents in paper form. Hapag-Lloyd decided to remedy the situation and introduced the electronic bill of lading (eB/L). The service is based on the WAVE BL blockchain communication platform developed by an IT company of the same name.
The WAVE BL solution is a blockchain-based digital document courier platform that mirrors the traditional process for transferring original paper documents in electronic form. It provides the five key benefits to the customers. First of all, it is a speed. “Handling physical paper leads to processes that are cumbersome, outdated, time-consuming and error-prone,” Hapag-Lloyd stated. The electronic bills need less time to process: up to two minutes instead of several days or even weeks. Moreover, it eliminates any risk of delay or of losing original documents.
Four other benefits are convenience, security, ease and cost savings. Convenience means that the customer can include attachments of additional trade documentation (for instance, an invoice or packing list) in a digital format without having to print them. Security is related to the features of blockchain technology that eliminates the risk of forgery or tampering. Due to the fact that the core trade process will remain the same, the customers do not need to convert their documents to electronic format. “By using WAVE, you will save time and money – immediately,” the German shipping line explained the last, fifth, benefit of the innovation.