Shipping E-Bills of Lading and the Blockchain Technology Revolution

April 2018

Since the 1980’s the realisation that international trade would benefit from the introduction of paperless transactions and a contemporary electronic replacement of the bill of lading, also referred to as an e-bill of lading, has noticeably grown. Recent technological developments, such as the introduction of blockchain technology, appear to have created new possibilities for the nurturing of widespread acceptance of the e-bill of lading. Despite the increased interest, paper bills of lading remain the ‘go to document’ in international shipping. Most of the international projects and initiatives, such e-UCP, BPO, Bolero, Electronic Shipping Solutions (ess-DOCS) and e-title™ haven’t led to the true replacement of the paper bill of lading, yet.

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