Smart bill of lading makes first successful trial

The first ever blockchain-based CargoX Smart Bill of Lading has successfully completed its historic mission during a trial shipment from China to Europe with the tech company claiming in a release: “The logistics documentation revolution can now be unleashed!”

The container, processed with the new blockchain-based CargoX Smart Bill of Lading, has been released successfully in the Port of Koper in Slovenia, where it arrived on Sunday, completing its journey from Shanghai aboard the Evergreen vessel, Ever Safety.

The importer was the company Metro, best known for its network of MANA clothing stores throughout Europe.

“We are extremely happy to be able to confirm that all went well with the new blockchain-based electronic bill of lading, as this will give us the opportunity to lower the cost of importing goods significantly. We import hundreds of teu from the Far East, and we are always trying hard to optimize our supply chain. If it raises the safety and reliability of the document transfer, that is an added value for us as well,” commented Miloš Košir, a logistics manager at Metro.

At $15, CargoX claims the cost of this electronic bill of lading was approximately just 15% of the estimated usual price for a paper document to be transferred through courier services across the globe.

The antiquated way bills of lading are handled has long been a source of frustration for many in the shipping industry.

At the Maritime CEO Forum in Singapore earlier this year Kenny Rogers, who heads up Aurora Tankers, said bills of lading have not changed much from the times of Columbus, apart from moving via DHL rather than on horse.

“Shipping does not need autonomous ships,” Rogers said, “It needs an interim solution just to take it out of the Middle Ages.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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