IBM is partnering with one of Singapore’s biggest shipper, Pacific International Lines (PIL), in digitalizing one of the most important documents in shipping – Bill of Lading.
They will collaborate in designing and creating an electronic Bill of Lading (e-BL) which will exist on a blockchain.
The Bill of Lading serves as evidence of ownership of goods, receipt of shipment and contract of carriage. Banks and other financial institutions also relied on it in the provision of trade financing. However, multiple parties handling the Bill of Lading increase the risk of loss and fraud.
With the e-BL residing on blockchain ledger developed by IBM, fraud and unnecessary handling costs will be eliminated.
Lisa Teo, PIL’s executive director, said the traditional manual information flow and the resulting many points of communication slowed down the supply chain. However, the use of blockchain technology allows for the direct exchange of documents and information via the decentralized network. This will boost transparency, eliminate disputes forgeries and unnecessary risks, which are key for this industry to progress.
This is not the first shipping line that IBM is collaborating with in utilizing blockchain technology to enhance efficiency. Previously, IBM teamed up with the world’s biggest ocean container shipper, Maersk Line. They are in partnership to employ the blockchain framework implementation known as HyperLedger Fabric in operations stretching across a network of ports, ocean carriers and freight forwarders.