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COSCO SHIPPING Bulk Collaborates with Customer to Launch First Blockchain-Powered eBL for Bulk Cargo

COSCO SHIPPING| Updated: Aug 11, 2023

On August 1, COSCO SHIPPING Bulk collaborated with its customer to successfully issue the first electronic bill of lading (eBL) for bulk cargo through the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) in Hainan Province. This achievement was made possible by utilizing blockchain technology and digital tools, which have significantly expedited the safe and efficient cross-border trade of bulk cargo. Moreover, it signifies the implementation of the IQAX eBL system in real business scenarios for dry bulk transportation.

This eBL pertained to 75,000 tons of coal transported by the Panamax carrier JIN XIA FENG, which is owned by COSCO SHIPPING Bulk. The ship embarked on its journey from the Port of Newcastle in Australia, destined for China. Once the eBL was issued by COSCO SHIPPING Bulk, it was transferred and verified online by various partners involved in the business chain, including Yancoal Australia, Shandong Energy (Hainan) Intelligent International Technology, Xiamen ITG Energy, Dalian Hexin Zhongli Energy, branches of Bank of China in Sydney, Hainan, and Hong Kong, as well as the Hainan New International Trade Service Platform. This development has revolutionized the entire trade process by connecting miners, traders, end users, and banks, thereby providing more efficient solutions for cross-border bulk cargo transportation. In addition, the adoption of eBLs has not only decreased the legal and commercial risks associated with the use of letters of guarantee, but it has also facilitated faster delivery and more efficient processing. Furthermore, eBLs have contributed to reducing carbon emissions by minimizing the need for paper documents, saving costs in trade transactions, accelerating trade speed, and supporting environmentally-friendly trade practices.

The utilization of the IQAX eBL system, with the authorization of trade participants, has effectively connected trade, logistics, and other relevant data with banks and ports. This integration has been instrumental in promoting the development of the Hainan New International Trade Service Platform. Moreover, verifying the authenticity of cross-border trade in Hainan Province has reduced banks' risk control expenses in verifying the legitimacy of bills of lading. Consequently, this has stimulated the growth of trade finance and offered improved data support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in securing financing and credit for their development.

In 2018, COSCO SHIPPING initiated the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) to revolutionize the shipping industry through blockchain technology. GSBN has developed a range of blockchain-powered products to optimize processes, establish trust, improve trade efficiency, and enhance collaboration within the supply chain. The goal is to drive the digital transformation of the shipping industry and create a smart supply chain that supports efficient services and seamless trade across logistics and supply chain operations. In late 2020, COSCO SHIPPING collaborated with the Bank of China to release the industry's first blockchain-based eBL on GSBN. This milestone played a crucial role in facilitating trade through shipping by providing a secure and efficient digital solution. The issuance of eBL for bulk cargo is another successful step towards promoting digital, low-carbon, and intelligent trade development among various collaborating parties.

The successful issuance of the eBL for bulk cargo is a crucial step for all partners to actively implement the new development concept of embracing green, low-carbon, and intelligent shipping practices. This aligns with the current trend of utilizing technology and digitalization to promote the development of digital, low-carbon, and intelligent shipping. It is also a significant initiative COSCO SHIPPING Bulk took to further implement the strategic cooperation agreement between COSCO SHIPPING and the Hainan Provincial Government to develop Hainan Free Trade Port. As one of the early supporters of the "25 by 25 Pledge" initiated by the Baltic & International Maritime Council (BIMCO), COSCO SHIPPING Bulk has been actively supporting the global dry bulk cargo transportation industry in achieving a 25% eBL use ratio by 2025. This effort aims to fully promote the digitalization of bulk cargo trade and provide customers with more efficient and high-quality services. These endeavors hold great significance in connecting the upstream and downstream sectors of the industrial chain and creating an open, ecologically friendly, and innovative modern shipping industry system.