DCSA releases API definitions for electronic Bills of Lading

The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) has released interface standards, including API definitions, for the submission of shipping instructions and B/L issuance, to facilitate implementation and adoption of its recently published digital bill of lading (B/L) standards across the industry.

The organisation also intends to shortly release an API reference implementation, building on its range of tools to assist shippers in processing standardised electronic bills of lading (eBL) from all carriers that have implemented the standards.

The DCSA Interface Standard for the Bill of Lading can be freely downloaded from the DCSA website. The API definitions are published on SwaggerHub, and the reference implementation will soon be available on GitHub.

This is the second publication of a multi-year DCSA eDocumentation initiative which the organisation says will deliver standards to enable digitalisation of end-to-end container shipping documentation.

The electronic Bill of Lading is the first digitalised document in this programme, which DCSA wants to see adopted by regulators, banks and insurers to unify communication between these organisations and all other stakeholders involved in a transaction. Subsequent releases will include data and process standards for booking requests and confirmations, arrival notices and release shipment documents.

DCSA is a non-profit group founded by major ocean carriers to digitise and standardise the container shipping industry through the proliferation of open-source standards. Its member carriers include MSC, Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, Evergreen, Yang Ming, HMM and ZIM.

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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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