First e-bill of lading transaction for sugar sector

August 19, 2015

Switzerland’s Alvean Sugar and Canada’s Lantic have completed the first electronic bill of lading transaction in the sugar sector, marking the continued digitisation of trade.

The companies used Bolero’s cloud-based messaging service to transfer the e-bill of lading between Alvean in Brazil, Lantic, and carrier Fednav.

Jeremy Reynolds, trade execution leader at Alvean, explains: “The electronic bill of lading [eBL] was issued to Alvean before being transferred to Lantic, which confirmed receipt within just one hour of submission. Lantic then surrendered the eBL and gave instructions for release to the carrier, Fednav, well in advance of the shipment reaching port in Canada.”

Steven Holt, documentation assistant at Fednav, adds: “We have actively supported Bolero electronic bills of lading for more than two years. We see that certified electronic documents are more secure than their paper equivalent, reducing our risk and significantly speeding up the surrender process. For this shipment we issued the electronic bill of lading on Friday and Lantic surrendered it back on Monday.”

Geneva-based Alvean is a 50/50 joint venture created by Cargill and Copersucar in October 2014 to originate and sell sugar around the world.

E-bills of lading are gaining popularity in the commodities world: Bunge moved all of its grain and oilseed shipments to the CargoDocs electronic format through an agreement with essDOCS in March this year, while BHP Billiton, Westpac, Cargill and ANZ completed the first ever CargoDocs BPO+ shipment of iron ore from Australia to China last April. Developed by essDOCS, the solution combines a bank payment obligation (BPO) with data sourced from e-bills of lading and commercial invoices.

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