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ZIM promotes wider use of electronic bill of ladings during coronavirus outbreak

One of shipping’s most archaic practices is getting a shove thanks to tech developments and the coronavirus.

Israeli carrier ZIM has completed an additional stage in advancing electronic bill of ladings (e-B/Ls) with the launch of a fully operational e-B/L issued from its legacy system.

The first shipment with automatically managed e-documentations from ZIM’s was completed last month byIsraeli exporter Gan Shmuel Group, and its freight forwarder ICL Intelligent Logistics.

Nir Avni, ZIM Israel managing director, commented: “Especially during the current coronavirus crisis, the ability to digitally transmit original documents between parties, replacing traditionally physical activities, is of the highest importance. ZIM leads the way in providing these solutions. Following our successful cooperation with Wave since 2018, we have finalized the integration of Wave with ZIM’s legacy system. We’ve effectively shrunk the time for transferring documents from days to a couple of minutes.”

Smart bills of lading are now being pioneered by many companies across the world. The old fashioned paperwork has attracted much criticism in recent years. At a Maritime CEO Forum in Singapore two years ago bills of lading were described as something that have not changed much from the times of Columbus, apart from moving via DHL rather than on horse.

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.
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