Trial run for DCSA container shipping digital standards

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Digital Container Shipping Association - back by the major shipping players - set to trial interoperable digital standards, designed to streamline trade

The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) is moving forwards with establishing an interoperability platform to streamline global shipping.

The DCSA - a non-profit group established to further digitalisation and standardisation of container shipping - is seeking to introduce an electronic bill of lading (eBL) platform.

It says an interoperable eBL system will enable shippers to choose an eBL provider based on service levels and capabilities, 

while maintaining the ability to exchange electronic documentation with carriers, banks and other parties that may use different platforms.

In conjunction with its nine member carriers, the DCSA is now moving forward to a proof of concept (PoC) stage. 

The PoC will be conducted in conjunction with CargoX, edoxOnline and EssDocs, among others. 

The companies will test eBL interoperability using data that mirrors a live shipment.

DSCA standards set to streamline container shipping

Previously, the DCSA had released standards for eBL data formats and interfaces. Upon completion of the PoC, 

these standards will be released and free to download for any platform provider to incorporate into their eBL solutions. to ensure interoperability with DCSA standards-based eBLs.

Successful completion of the PoC is expected before the end of 2022. 

The DCSA is also working to address the legal framework needed between solution providers to enable cross-platform eBL transfer.

Such standards are designed to enable faster eBL adoption and to reduce reliance on paper documents.

Digital documents key to efficient international trade

edoxOnline CEO Alejandro Pernias said: “The digitalisation of international trade processes and documents is our core business. 

We are committed to working with DCSA to help further adoption of digital documents in international trade.

“Having a standardised framework that ensures interoperability will help the industry provide a better customer experience while reducing paper and carbon footprint.”

ExxonMobil Global Strategy Manager Georgios Diallas said: “ExxonMobil believes that digitisation enhances both 

customer experience and efficiency and sees value in adopting and scaling eBL solutions in the near term.

“For an eBL system to be effective, and we applaud DCSA and its members for publishing standards to enable interoperability. 

We encourage all eBL platform providers to help fast track eBL adoption by embracing DCSA standards.”

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