How will the Electronic Bill of Lading benefit the Shipping Industry?


Maritime transportation has revolutionized with technological inclusion in the process. Several new tools and processes are now used within the industry to provide the best options for professionals. One of the most popular options in these advancements is the Electronic Bill of Lading.

Although the concept is not new, it is a relatively new addition to the maritime industry.Most professionals need to be aware of the vast benefits of this electronic bill of lading for the shipping industry. If you’re curious about these bills but need more information, we can help you.

Electronic Bills of Lading: Developing Better Understanding

There’s a long debate about the electronic bill of lading (eB/L) becoming prevalent because of its varied benefits. The bill of lading is one of the most important documents in the freight and transportation industry. It is also crucial for various processes. These include:

  • Commercial operations funding
  • Customs clearance
  • Receipt notification loading
  • Transport’s contract verification

Only recently, the (B/L) had stayed the same and was a simple document that needed to be moved from one place to another. The increase in the bill of lading use caused wastage of paper resources, misplacement of documents, and other complications. It also costs more in the freight industry. However, the electronic modes of these bills provide multiple benefits to freight industry professionals for better processing.

Benefits of Using Electronic Bill of Lading

The benefits of the electronic bill of lading are versatile, from overall process optimization to safer shipping. To help you grasp the concept better, we’ve outlined these benefits for your reference.

  1. Process Optimization

The conventional bill of lading requires hours and days of additional time to complete freight projects. The paper-based bill of lading needs printing, packaging, shipping, and waiting for a response. These additional steps can make the commercial process more complicated.

Moreover, there’s a higher risk of losing the documents during the shipping, which can bring the freight company back to square one. The electronic format saves the freight professionals from all these additional steps and lets them enjoy more optimization and control over the process.

All the information is available online, eradicating the need for consistent tracking. Professionals can optimize the delivery process and provide better service to clients.

  1. More Safety

The bill of lading is crucial information, and disclosing this bill can put the shipment at risk. Who might have access to the bill if shipped physically, it is never known. Fortunately, the electronic format provides more security in this instance.

It can also help prevent fraud and financial loss during the shipment process. Professionals can also utilize the blockchain industry to ensure the information is incorruptible.

  1. Immediate Information

Real-time information updates are a crucial part of the freight industry. Clients and customers feel at peace when they have info about their shipment progress. However, it was less widely available than it is now after digitalization.

Freight professionals can gain real-time updates about freight shipments and ensure all deliveries are on-time. They can update the recipients about the delay and the ETA if not.

  1. Useful for Everyone

Unlike other freight industry processes, electronic lading billing is a universal process. There’s a standard procedure used, making the e/BL available for everyone. You can share the bills with the following members in the freight process:

  • Banks
  • freight forwarders
  • Parties
  • Shippers

There’s a common language, so you can communicate with anyone worldwide and get updates.

  1. Less Mistakes

Maritime logistics require the bill of lading to avoid errors and shipment mistakes. There’s a lower chance of codification mistakes because of an automated approach.

You can register and correct the information through the digital billing option and eradicate any mistakes you might make during the freight process. Some auto-complete functions can benefit the freight process as well.

  1. Higher Transparency

The bill of lading provides essential information to the members involved in the freight process. It is a smart approach to optimize information sharing and provide real-time updates. The bill has essential information listed on the document, including:

  • Dates
  • Directions
  • Load descriptions
  • Names
  • Purchase orders
  • Reference numbers
  • Special delivery instructions
  • Type of load, etc.
  • Type of packaging

Access to such comprehensive information ensures all members of the freight process have the required information at their disposal and can utilize it as needed. This information is available to everyone, which centralizes and optimizes the process.

Major Cost Saving

The freight cost determines a freight company’s profit margin in a shipment. The bill of lading can cost less when provided in a digital fomrat. It reduces paper and shipment costs by digitally delivering the bill to the recipient. Yes, there’s a digital unit cost, but it’s much less than the others. The cost difference can total thousands of dollars if done correctly.

Electronic Bill of Lading: The Option for Tomorrow

Switching to e/BL ensures the freight company has better transparency, centralized access, and lower cost. The full benefits of the process are remained to be seen but their affect on the industry is already present. Therefore, we recommend using the electronic format to optimize the freight process


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