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World’s 2nd Largest Container Shipper Embraces Blockchain-Based Bills of Lading

Blockchain-based electronic bill of lading (eBL) solution is being used by the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).


In a bid to leverage the benefits of blockchain technology for better operational efficiency, today the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) announced it had tapped the electronic bill of lading (eBL) solution dubbed WAVE BL.

Per sources close to the matter, the development will enable all MSC customers to use WAVE BL and follows a successful pilot. In unison, the partners have developed a user friendly platform to ensure shippers do not have to change their processes.

According to the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore, despite the effects of the raging pandemic, only 0.1 percent of lading are issued electronically. As the bills of lading prove the ownership of the container, the sender typically couriers the document to the buyer to claim the container on arrival.

With COVID-19 surging the world over, this kind of problem might present several problems in addition to it being susceptible to fraud as it is paper-based.

Commenting on the development, Andre Simha, Global Chief Digital & Information Officer at MSC noted:

“MSC has chosen WAVE BL because it is the only solution that mirrors the traditional paper-based process that the shipping and cargo transportation industry is used to.”


“It provides a digital alternative to all the possibilities available with traditional print documents, just much faster and more secure.”

Indeed, by using a digital alternative to paper-based bills of lading, it can be ensured that only valid recipients receive the bills P2P.

For the uninitiated, MSC is part of the new Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) which has been consistently developing open-source standards for eBLs. Per the research, more than $4 billion a year can be saved if 50 percent of the industry adopts eBLs by 2030.

Blockchain in Maritime Industry

The use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the maritime industry is not a particularly new phenomenon.

As previously reported India’s Port Community System integrated CargoX’s Platform for Blockchain Document Transfer (BDT) to digitize the marine industry’s trade documents including bills of lading.

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