DCSA publishes beta releases of eBL and booking data standards

The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) has published beta releases of its DCSA Standards for the Booking Process 1.0 and Bill of Lading 2.0 as the organisation continues its quest to introduce end-to-end digitalisation within the shipping documentation process.

The standards aim to enable frictionless sharing of digitised shipping data, eliminating the need to rekey booking information into the electronic Bill of Lading (eBL) by aligning eBL standards with booking process standards, allowing for the automatic uptake of booking process data.

All related documents are now available to download for free on the DCSA website, with API definitions also published on SwaggerHub and a reference implementation available on GitHub.

In conjunction with these releases, DCSA has added a section to its website to allow interested parties to review and provide feedback on the beta versions of its standards.

The feedback site will allow a three-month public review and feedback period where contributors can select the standard they would like to review and suggest their own changes, additions or requests for clarification.

Once the review period is ended, DCSA says it will revise the standards based on input from the site and release new versions within a three-month timeframe.

“In 2021, only 1.2% of the bills of lading issued by carriers was digital,” said Thomas Bagge, CEO of DCSA.

“Fortunately, this leaves much room for improvement of the B/L process, which will have a significant and positive impact on international trade. Eliminating paper each year will improve sustainability, and digitising documents will increase the accuracy and availability of digital data, which will benefit everyone along the supply chain, including customs organisations.”

“The public and private sectors must work together to address legal and technical interoperability issues if we want to grow eBL usage. We are encouraged to see top level government initiatives designed to drive standards adoption and data exchange across the globe, such as the recently announced FLOW (Freight Logistics Optimization Works) initiative from the Biden Administration.”

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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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