Singapore and the Netherlands have collaborated since 2019 to explore electronic bills of lading (eBL) on the Europe-Far East trade lane where Singapore and Rotterdam are two major transhipment ports. This trial demonstrated that an eBL issued by one platform could be verified and processed by another digital trade platform. Before we can start making extensive use of this new option, countries will need to adapt their legislation to accept an electronic bill of lading (eBL) as legally valid in addition to conventional hard copies. Singapore has already implemented this change. In the Netherlands, we are working to develop this innovation via various pilot projects, in partnership with industry partners, the Dutch Blockchain Coalition, Spark! Living Lab and 2Tokens.
The results of the most recent trial also show that digital transfer of ownership by means of an eBL saves time and improves efficiency. Our industry partners Ocean Network Express and Olam were able to cut end-to-end documentation processing time from an average of 6 to 10 days, using hard copy documents, to less than 24 hours, using the eBL for the digital transfer of ownership. The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) estimates that a 50% adoption of eBL within the sector could yield savings of more than USD 4 billion per year (source: DCSA). This trial was performed across the Singapore-based #dltledgers and Rotterdam-based Naviporta platform and was supported by IMDA’s #TradeTrust digital utility, which is based on open standards.
The Naviporta platform facilitates the transparent, efficient and safe exchange of logistics and financial data. It transfers this information without either storing or taking ownership of the data in question. The platform is neutral and interoperable, which means it can serve as an effective interface between existing platforms (e.g. Port Community Systems). Naviporta enables the development of new services that use this data – for example, trade finance, insurance products or an electronic bill of lading.