COSCO Launches First Blockchain-Powered eBL for Bulk Cargo

August 7, 2023

© ImageFlow / Adobe Stock
© ImageFlow / Adobe Stock

COSCO Shipping Bulk has collaborated with a customer to successfully issue the first electronic bill of lading (eBL) for bulk cargo through the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) in Hainan Province.

The system relies on blockchain technology to expedite the safe and efficient cross-border trade of bulk cargo. The transaction was a first for the IQAX eBL system for dry bulk transportation.

The eBL pertained to 75,000 tons of coal transported by the Panamax carrier Jin Xia Feng, which is owned by COSCO Shipping Bulk. The ship embarked on its journey from the Port of Newcastle in Australia, destined for China. Once the eBL was issued by COSCO Shipping Bulk, it was transferred and verified online by various partners involved in the business chain, including Yancoal Australia, Shandong Energy (Hainan) Intelligent International Technology, Xiamen ITG Energy, Dalian Hexin Zhongli Energy, branches of Bank of China in Sydney, Hainan, and Hong Kong, as well as the Hainan New International Trade Service Platform.

COSCO says this development has revolutionized the entire trade process by connecting miners, traders, end users, and banks, thereby providing more efficient solutions for cross-border bulk cargo transportation. In addition, the adoption of eBLs has decreased the legal and commercial risks associated with the use of letters of guarantee, and it has also facilitated faster delivery and more efficient processing. Furthermore, eBLs have contributed to reducing carbon emissions by minimizing the need for paper documents, saving costs in trade transactions, accelerating trade speed, and supporting environmentally-friendly trade practices.

Verifying the authenticity of cross-border trade in Hainan Province has reduced banks' risk control expenses in verifying the legitimacy of bills of lading. Consequently, this has stimulated the growth of trade finance and offered improved data support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in securing financing and credit for their development, says COSCO.

In 2018, COSCO Shipping initiated the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) to revolutionize the shipping industry through blockchain technology. GSBN has developed a range of blockchain-powered products to optimize processes, establish trust, improve trade efficiency, and enhance collaboration within the supply chain. The goal is to drive the digital transformation of the shipping industry and create a smart supply chain that supports efficient services and seamless trade across logistics and supply chain operations.

In late 2020, COSCO Shipping collaborated with the Bank of China to release the industry's first blockchain-based eBL on GSBN.

As one of the early supporters of the "25 by 25 Pledge" initiated by BIMCO, COSCO Shipping Bulk has been actively supporting the global dry bulk cargo transportation industry in achieving a 25% eBL use ratio by 2025. This effort aims to fully promote the digitalization of bulk cargo trade and provide customers with more efficient and high-quality services.

Logistics News

JF Fendercare to Supply Equipment for Terminal Expansion in Singapore

JF Fendercare to Supply Equipment for Terminal Expansion in Singapore

As Shale Oil Gains Slow, Deepwater Port Struggles for Customers

As Shale Oil Gains Slow, Deepwater Port Struggles for Customers

China's Imports of Russian Oil Near Record High

China's Imports of Russian Oil Near Record High

Port of Detroit Unveils Plan to Decarbonize Operations

Port of Detroit Unveils Plan to Decarbonize Operations

Subscribe for Maritime Logistics Professional E‑News