BIMCO has launched the “25 by 25 pledge”, a commitment by some of the world’s biggest shippers in the bulk sector to target moving 25% of their annual seaborne trade volume for at least one commodity using electronic bills of lading by 2025.
The pledge is part of an ongoing effort to accelerate trade digitalisation and streamline the supply chain process in the bulk sector.
The use of electronic bills of lading (eBLs) increases efficiency, reduces costs and improves the overall transparency and security of trade. In contrast, paper bills of lading are inefficient, slow down trade and are vulnerable to fraud and human error. The use of paper bills therefore poses unnecessary legal and commercial risks such as relying on letters of indemnity or getting lost in transit.
“The wider adoption of electronic bills of lading is an important step in the shipping industry’s digital transformation,” said Grant Hunter, Director of Standards, Innovation and Research at BIMCO.
Mr Jinsong Gu, Chairman of COSCO Shipping Bulk Co. Ltd and member of BIMCO’s Board of Directors said: “We believe that BIMCO’s campaign to achieve 25% eBLs in the bulk sector by 2025 is an important step in accelerating shipping’s digital transformation. Electronic bills of lading increase efficiency, reduce costs and will reduce reliance on letters of indemnity – which is a benefit to all stakeholders.”
“As a shipowner and operator, we are fully supportive of the 25 by 25 pledge and accelerating the shift towards electronic bills of lading,” said Julius Posselt, Head of Operations-Claims Department at Oldendorff Carriers.
“We will be encouraging our counterparts to adopt eBLs and join the pledge as it will ultimately benefit everyone in the supply chain.”
Christos Anagnostou, Star Bulk’s Operations & Insurance Director, said: “Star Bulk is very supportive of this BIMCO initiative to promote eBLs which is also in line with our company’s focus on digital transformation.