The electronic bill of lading Vs. The traditional paper
Recently the use of traditional paper bills of lading brings it many disadvantages. The bill of lading now travels much more slowly than the ships on which the goods are being carried. The consequences are that the goods arrive at the port of discharge long before the paper bill of lading. This delay in the arrival of the bill of lading causes port congestion, demurrage costs, and poor turnaround of ships in port. Another disadvantage is the high costs incurred from generating and processing paper documents. Thus, the shipping community is now looking for ways to replace the paper of the bill of lading. One option is to replace the bill of lading with a sea waybill. The other option is to use electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
The technological advances on the field of maritime commerce, including faster ships, containerized cargo processing and multimodal transporters, have provided an impetus for the revision of current transport documentation procedures, the adoption of electronic bill of lading , and the increased use of non-negotiable sea waybills. As a result of these advances, the goods arrive at port of destination much faster. Containerized cargo can be loaded and unloaded more quickly, and the multimodal transport the goods remain one on the same vehicle or in the same container which is simply moved from one transport to another when the mode of carriage changes. Yet, the traditional bills of lading travel at the old slaw pace. Delayed arrival of the bill of lading causes congestion at ports, delayed delivery of the goods and possible demurrage costs. An electronic bill of lading would eliminate the problems that arise when the goods arrive at their destination before the bill of lading.
Using the electronic bill of lading will remove the disadvantages associated with the paper bill of lading for two rezones. First, EDI eliminates the need for paper documentation. EDI is. Essence, paperless trading, Swiching from paper bills of lading to electronic ones will save the shipping community the administrative costs involved in preparing and processing paper documentation. Secondly, replacing the paper bill of lading with electronic one will eliminate the problem of unavailability of the paper bill of lading at the port of discharge because the speed at which an electronic bill of lading can be processed is virtually instantaneous. This reduces port congestion and results in faster turnaround of ships in ports.