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Blockchain to push paper Bill of Lading into retirement


Bergen, Norway and Antwerp, BelgiumA recent test of the CargoX Smart B/L solution, done by G2 Ocean and Manuchar NV, show it is possible to retire the paper Bill of Lading.

“Paper Bills of Lading are already considered a historic artefact. The Smart B/L solution gives both us and our clients the power of a modern, reliable, and efficient tool. It will bring cost optimization and improved data security into their processes. The document transaction reliability in this system is undisputable,” said Rune Birkeland, CEO at G2 Ocean.

The two companies concluded their test of the blockchain-based B/L system this May. During the test, they transferred ownership of goods with shipments travelling from China to Peru with the The CargoX Smart B/L solution for quick and cost-effective digital transfer of Bills of Lading issued by any cargo shipper worldwide.

The CargoX Smart B/L system completes the document ownership transfer securely and reliably within minutes. That stands as opposed to the days or weeks it takes to send a document via regular courier services. This new approach prevents delays and business damage or loss, demurrage and other costs. And it provides a level of safety and reliability never seen before in the business world.

In total G2Ocean and Manuchar have completed five separate pilot shipments, with five Smart Bills of Lading. They departed the port of loading Xingang China on the 5th of April 2019, and reached the port of discharge, Callao, Peru, on the 26th of May 2019. The distance between ports is 9,504 nautical miles. The importer received the Smart B/Ls after a couple of minutes.

“G2 Ocean considers smart contracts based on distributed ledgers or blockchain as a unique opportunity to digitalize and automate manual processes between its clients and subcontractors. The Bill of Lading is one of two priority areas in 2019 using blockchain technology. Based on these successful pilots, our next step will be to scale this up and offer it’s as a value-added service to our clients,” said Leif Arne Strømmen, Vice President of Innovation G2 Ocean.

“The implementation of new technologies is essential to establish and maintain our leading position in terms of cost-efficient sourcing & supply chain solutions for our customers. We focus on technologies that go beyond the hype and deliver real benefits in terms of speed, efficiency and the quality of service. That is exactly why this successful Smart B/L pilot is such an important next step in Manuchar’s digital transformation program: it provides real value. We thank G2 Ocean and CargoX for the excellent collaboration in achieving this success,” states Bart Troubleyn, COO of Manuchar.

The solution is powered by the Blockchain Document Transaction System (BDTS) technology. Compared to classic IT systems, the CargoX Smart B/L enables users to clearly state and transfer ownership, create Bills of Lading, and also attach other accompanying documentation in electronic format. Documents can be transacted among parties to a specific process in a way similar to a banking transaction. They can also be amended or annulled if needed too.

“G2 Ocean and Manuchar are among the most advanced companies in cargo shipping industry. They have recognized the potential of using tools of the future today – to secure trust, digitalize paper document processing, and reduce operating costs. All of this is obtained while investing minimally into the solution’s adoption,” said Stefan Kukman, CEO and founder of CargoX.


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