India: Blockchain Technology to Digitize Paper-Based Bills of Lading in the COVID-19 Era
India’s Port Community System (PCS) recently integrated CargoX’s Platform for Blockchain Document Transfer (BDT) to digitize the marine industry’s trade documents including bills of lading.
Modernizing the Maritime Industry with Blockchain
Like many countries across the world, India was forced to undergo a harsh lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, the Indian economy came to an absolute standstill with many global financial research firms predicting a bleak future for the economy in the short to medium-term.
Now, after almost three months of lockdown, India is slowly and steadily getting its engines running. However, the new look of how businesses carry their operations hardly bears any semblance to the pre-pandemic days.
For instance, take the Indian maritime industry. The pre-pandemic way of doing business involved paper-based processes associated with the shipping of containers. As a result, due to the government-imposed lockdown and social distancing measures, port congestion became commonplace.
In a bid to circumvent this menace, CargoX, a Slovenia-based logistics firm – in tandem with the PCS – recently completed a trial run of digitizing bills of lading via distributed ledger technology (DLT).
Approved by India’s Ministry of Shipping, the pilot uses the bills of lading submitted through the PCS using CargoX’s DLT-powered solution, the BDT. The encouraging results from the test run mean India’s stakeholders can now transfer bills of lading electronically using blockchain.
Witnessing High Participation from Firms
Several firms participated in the trial run including logistics firm Forward Together, Global Transitions, Tech Cargo, DeeEs Engineers India Project, and Parsteel Shelving Co/Atlas Mega Steel.
Commenting on the development, Alejandro Gutierrez, founder, Forward Together, said:
“The ability to conduct shipment transactions and transfer ownership without the need for human physical interaction creates a breakthrough case for freight forwarding and logistics, especially when health measures are so important.”
Similar sentiments were echoed by Stefan Kukman, CEO and founder, CargoX. Kukman said:
“In these times of multiple risks to our common society, we are proud to help shipping companies, which represent the backbone of the economy, resolve supply chain document-sending issues and enable them to meet delivery deadlines everywhere in the world in a secure and efficient manner, while also lowering the document transfer cost.”