Shipping company MSC has announced that it will transition to using electronic Bills of Lading (eBLs) for 100% of its operations by 2030.
The company has set an interim target of 50% adoption within five years. The move is expected to improve the efficiency, security and sustainability of the shipping process.
MSC’s own eBL solution was launched in April 2021, and it has already been adopted by many of the company’s customers. The technology offers a more efficient and secure alternative to traditional paper-based Bills of Lading, with eBLs replicating the exact same functions as paper BLs but in digital form.
The use of eBLs is expected to lead to significant cost savings, faster payment processes and reduced administration for users. The switch to eBLs also reduces the carbon footprint of all parties involved.
The move to eBLs is seen as a significant step forward for the shipping industry, as it will accelerate the digitalisation of container trade. MSC’s eBL commitment has also been signed by eight other carrier members of the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), which is expected to encourage wider adoption of eBLs throughout the industry.
The move to eBLs will also help MSC achieve its climate goals. The company has committed to transitioning to a fully standardised eBL by 2030. MSC CEO Soren Toft said that he was delighted with the move towards paperless trade, and that the company’s eBL solution had already transformed the shipping experience for many of its customers.
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Toft also emphasized the importance of all stakeholders working together to make the transition to eBLs a reality. While the eBL is on its way to becoming widely adopted, the change will only be possible if the entire maritime supply chain is on board.
MSC and other DCSA carrier members are urging shippers, forwarders, governments, financial institutions and insurance agencies to work together to ensure the transition to eBLs is a success.
The commitment to eBLs is also expected to speed up the shipping process and facilitate the implementation of other forms of e-documentation, such as certificates of origin and packing lists, in the future