The Maritime Ports Authority of Singapore (MPA) has selected blockchain back office company VAKT to lead the development of its electronic bill of lading (eBL) for the inland oil market. Other companies involved in the consortium to develop the solution include BP, Mercuria, Hafnia, Wilhelmsen Ships Service, VOPAK, SMBC, ING and Contour.
While there are many eBL initiatives, given VAKT’s role in the oil aftermarket, it makes sense to lead the Singapore project. The port of Singapore is the second in the world in terms of freight throughput.
VAKT estimates that by digitizing bills of lading, billions of dollars can be saved worldwide in the oil trade alone.
“Transfer of ownership remains a complex, paper-based process in the physical oil trade, primarily because the services needed to secure delivery are provided by different stakeholders, with their own needs: surveyors, terminals, shipping lines and agents,” said VAKT. CEO, Etienne Amic.
“With VAKT’s ‘vLogistics’ service, there is now a set of APIs that allow these critical partners to provide their data to help merchants complete the transfer of ownership. Thanks to open protocols such as TradeTrust and well-designed trade laws, Singapore is ahead of the curve when it comes to bill of lading tokenization.
Consortium members BP, Mercuria and ING are investors in VAKT, and ING and SMBC are shareholders in the trade finance platform Contour. To date, VAKT has been closely associated with the trade finance platform komgo. But Contour was incorporated in Singapore.
VAKT’s platform uses an authorized blockchain version of Ethereum.
Meanwhile, S&P Global and Argus Media, two benchmark pricing companies, recently announced plans to invest in VAKT to participate in future tokenization of oil contracts. S&P Global now owns IHS Markit, which had quietly invested in VAKT in 2021.