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FIATA has issued a paperless bill of lading (B/L), accessible with existing technology, for the use of its members.
Electronic B/L, approved by the International Chamber of Commerce, uses blockchain to authenticate documents and provide an audit trail.
FIATA said the solution was designed to “address industry needs for improved access and exchange of trade documents”.
The document issuer can decide which format to share, paper or PDF, and FIATA, based on its eB/L data standard, has developed an API service, free for software providers, allowing them to connect with FIATA to create secure dematerialized B/L.
“This solution makes the process transparent,” said FIATA President Ivan Petrov. “It is controlled only in Geneva, with the collaboration of national freight forwarding associations.
“It is multimodal and can be used door-to-door.”
Turgut Erkeskin, SVP at FIATA, explained: “During the pandemic, we realized that you cannot always interact with the authorities and that you have to transfer data in a digital format.
“Digital is important for a number of reasons: it’s environmentally friendly; you control the data; the data is safe; and you protect data ownership.
He said the industry needs to take three steps: digitizing day-to-day processes; digitize processes with the authorities; and developing digital transmission platforms.
“We digitized the B/L and created a global standard. We invite all TMS vendors to use our standards and protect the integrity of the industry. »
Seven software vendors have already signed up to implement eB/L, designed by Komgo. It will reduce fraud, can be scanned via QR code or directly uploaded as pdf on FIATA verification page.
Souleïma Baddi, CEO of Komgo, said: “Documents are the foundation of international trade, but they don’t work the way we need them to, and they are vulnerable to fraud and tampering, which happens quite often.
“Trakk is the trusted digital ecosystem for business documents. I am delighted to see FIATA joining all businesses, financial institutions, warehouses and others using Trakk to protect their documents against fraud.
WideTech Global said CargoWise customers could request a connection to FIATA’s eB/L starting next month.
“FIATA is very excited to embark on this important step in its digital journey which has paved the way for great opportunities for the future of freight forwarders,” said Chief Executive Stephane Graber.
FIATA developed Freight Pay last year with the aim of reducing bank charges for small payments, as part of its drive towards digitalisation.