G2 Ocean ready to retire its paper Bill of Lading

G2 Ocean is ready to retire its paper bill of lading. The shipping company has successfully completed trials with a smart bill of lading that uses blockchain technology for data transfers. “The document transaction reliability in this system is undisputable,” says Rune Birkeland, CEO at G2 Ocean.

Together with Belgian commodity logistics specialist Manuchar, G2 Ocean, a joint venture from Grieg Star and Gearbulk, has completed a successful pilot trial of a  blockchain-based Smart Bill of Lading Solution from CargoX.

On the 5th of April 2019, five separate pilot shipments with five Smart Bills of Lading were shipped from Xingang in China to Callao in Peru where the shipments arrived on the 26th of May 2019.

“Even though the distance between the ports 9,504 nautical miles, the importer received the Smart B/Ls after a couple of minutes,” the companies state. “That stands as opposed to the days or weeks it takes to send a document via regular courier services.”

The blockchain solution enables users to clearly state and transfer ownership, create Bills of Lading, and also attach other accompanying documentation in electronic format. In the system, documents can be transacted among parties in a way that is similar to a banking transaction.

According to G2 Ocean, this new approach prevents delays, business damage, loss, demurrage and other costs, and provides a level of safety and reliability never seen before in the business world.

“Real value”

Birkeland is very happy with the results. “Paper Bills of Lading are already considered a historic artefact. The Smart B/L solution gives both us and our clients the power of a modern, reliable, and efficient tool. It will bring cost optimization and improved data security into their processes. The document transaction reliability in this system is undisputable,” he says.

Leif Arne Strømmen, Vice President of Innovation at G2 Ocean, added: “G2 Ocean consider smart contracts based on distributed ledgers or blockchain as a unique opportunity to digitalize and automate manual processes between its clients and subcontractors. The Bill of Lading is one of two priority areas in 2019 using blockchain technology. Based on these successful pilots, our next step will be to scale this up and offer it’s as a value-added service to our clients.”

Manuchar COO Bart Troubleyn sees digitization as a crucial step to stay ahead in the industry. “The implementation of new technologies is essential to establish and maintain our leading position in terms of cost-efficient sourcing and supply chain solutions for our customers'” he says. “We focus on technologies that go beyond the hype and deliver real benefits in terms of speed, efficiency and the quality of service. That is exactly why this successful Smart B/L pilot is such an important next step in Manuchar’s digital transformation program: it provides real value.”

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