Hapag-Lloyd one step closer to 100% eBL adoption

German container shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd has decided to adopt IQAX eBL to issue electronic bills of lading (eBL) over Global Shipping Business Network’s (GSBN) infrastructure.

Courtesy of Hapag-Lloyd

As explained, the decision reinforces Hapag-Lloyd’s commitment to fully adopt eBLs by 2030 and to offer an effective digital solution to address the volatile and complex supply chain needs of today.

To enable further adoption by the industry, GSBN also collaborated closely with Hapag-Lloyd and Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) to ensure that data is shared using APIs compliant with the latest version of DCSA eBL API (version 3.0).

“In a world where global supply chains are increasing in complexity and volatility, there is a greater need for robust digital solutions to address these challenges. The IQAX eBL over GSBN’s blockchain network, offers our customers greater choice, visibility, and control. This enables our target of achieving 100% electronic bill of lading by 2030 which is a critical milestone for us,” Nilesh Popat, Director, Service Delivery at Hapag-Lloyd, said.

Last year, nine ocean carrier members of DCSA including Hapag-Lloyd announced their commitment to fully adopt standardized electronic bills of lading (eBL) by 2030. As a first step, they commited to converting 50% of original bills of lading to digital within the next five years.

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“The DCSA is pleased to see Hapag-Lloyd and their partners successfully implement our eBL (3.0) standards. This is a great milestone in our joint mission to digitalise the container shipping industry, and very important to reach the milestone of 100% eBL in 2030. By adopting these standards, all parties involved are demonstrating true digital leadership and paving the way for a more streamlined and efficient global trade ecosystem,” Niels Nuyens, Head of Digital Trade at DCSA, added.

According to GSBN, the IQAX eBL solution significantly streamlines the documentation transfer process, reducing timeframes from weeks to seconds. Traditionally, shippers have utilized paper-based original bills of lading to maintain tight control over the transfer of title. Those seeking digitization could opt for a Sea Waybill or a Telex Release, although these options may present different risks.

Now, for the first time, customers can experience the tight control afforded by an original bill of lading in a digital solution in which they have access to a unified view of shipment and document milestones. With nine banks already on-boarded on IQAX eBL, there are wider benefits for customers such as access to trade finance.

“GSBN welcomes the collaboration between two key partners within our ecosystem. As the volume of eBLs issued over GSBN’s blockchain network grows at an exponential rate, it further reinforces our additional use cases with various commercial banks and the tokenisation of eBLs for trade finance,” Bertrand Chen, CEO of GSBN, said.

A recent study published by GSBN found that there is a potential for significant carbon reductions through the adoption of digital processes in the shipping sector.

GSBN said that a major hurdle to shipping decarbonization is the continued reliance on paper documents for legal and regulatory purposes, which adds to the industry’s carbon footprint.

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