Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), a neutral, non-profit group established to further digitalisation and standardisation of container shipping, in conjunction with its nine member carriers, announced phase two of its electronic bill of lading (eBL) platform interoperability proof of concept (PoC). The PoC will be conducted in conjunction with CargoX, edoxOnline, essDOCS and WAVE BL. The companies will implement DCSA eBL Interoperability Standards to test eBL interoperability through the full bill of lading lifecycle using data that mirrors a live shipment.
Previously, DCSA has released standards for eBL data formats and interfaces. The eBL interoperability PoC leverages DCSA eBL Interoperability Standards 1.0 – Beta 1. Upon completion of the PoC, DCSA eBL Interoperability Standards 1.0 will be officially released and free to download for any platform provider to incorporate into their eBL solutions to ensure interoperability with DCSA standards-based eBLs.
Phase one of the PoC, funded and supported by all DCSA carrier members, was completed in May 2022 with seven actively participating carrier members, ExxonMobil and four of six IGP&I-approved eBL solutions providers, namely CargoX, edoxOnline, essDOCS and WAVE BL. The standards and PoC design were adjusted for phase two based on phase one participant feedback. Successful completion of phase two is expected before the end of 2022 and will ensure full technological interoperability between participating eBL platforms. In addition, DCSA is working to address the legal framework needed between solution providers to enable cross-platform eBL transfer.
Fully interoperable eBL will enable shippers and beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) 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.
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