MSC steps up blockchain Bill of Lading efforts in India

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company is accelerating its efforts to introduce Electronic Bills of Lading (e-BL) with selected shippers in India, based on the third-party WAVE blockchain platform.

MSC has been working with WAVE since 2019, but has recently begun to ramp up its push for adoption of the digital system throughout the country following the supply chain restrictions experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have had situations where couriers were unable to deliver documents between ports, trade offices and banks due to quarantine measures,” said Capt. Deepak Tewari, Managing Director at MSC India.

“We have been working with WAVE on introducing and piloting an e-BL solution since 2019. We ran successful pilot projects with some of our customers last year, where we saw first-hand the benefits which arise from digitalising this part of the process. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we decided to accelerate our roll-out and offer the e-BL solution to our broader base of customers.”

“WAVE mirrors the paper-based process that the shipping and cargo transportation industry is used to, only without physical couriers. Thus, it’s an ideal solution to implement at a time when our customers need to rapidly adjust their processes, as the learning curve is quite low.”

The electronic system allows Bill of Lading transit times to be reduced from days to minutes, without the need for physical contact. The e-BL is sent using WAVE’s blockchain-based system, which employs distributed ledger technology to ensure that all parties can issue, transfer, endorse and manage trade-related documents through a secure, decentralised network.

The application is available free of charge for on-premises installation for shippers, importers and traders, with users only paying for issuing of the original documents.

“Our mission since founding WAVE has been to transform the efficiency and security of international trade documentation through our robust digitisation protocol,” said Gadi Ruschin, CEO at WAVE.

“We now see ourselves as ‘mission critical’ to ensuring trade can continue as physical movement of people and the paper they carry has been shuttered across the world. It couldn’t come at a more critical time as countries rely on trade to fight COVID-19 and save their economies.”

“We launched this unique onboarding effort to help MSC swiftly onboard stakeholders and navigate the challenges while preparing the carrier to flourish once conditions normalise.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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