COSCO Energy and COSCO Bulk join GSBN as new members, expanding GSBN’s coverage across container, bulk, specialised cargo to energy transportation.
Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), a neutral, not-for-profit consortium enabling efficient, paperless and sustainable growth in global trade with its data infrastructure and ecosystem of partners, announced that COSCO SHIPPING Energy Transportation Co., Ltd (“COSCO Energy”) and COSCO SHIPPING Bulk CO., Ltd (“COSCO Bulk”) have joined the consortium as members and successfully issued the first electronic bills of lading (eBL) for energy transportation and bulk shipments.
COSCO Energy is a company specialised in the shipment of energy including oil and natural gas. Its tanker fleet is the world’s largest by capacity, owning and controlling 155 tankers with a capacity of 22.74 million DWT. It is also investing in a Liquefied Natural Gas-powered fleet of 73 vessels with a capacity of 12.42 million cubic meters. COSCO Bulk is the largest professional bulk shipping corporation in the world with more than 400 various types of bulk carriers and nearly 40 million DWT, loading iron ore, coal, grain, and other bulk cargos.
Traditionally, both bulk and energy shipments have relied heavily on letters of indemnity (LOIs) as proof of shipment ownership to authorise cargo release to the consignee in the absence of an original bill of lading. However, the usage of LOI is not without risk for Carriers as cases of misdelivery using LOI are common. In 2022, the Miracle Hope case which carried a US$80 million claim, highlighted the importance of safe discharge without a LOI.
Following the completion of its digital platform integration with IQAX’s eBL application built on GSBN’s blockchain infrastructure, COSCO Bulk and COSCO Energy have now embraced the platform to connect with stakeholders across the value chain and significantly improve the security and consistency of the title transfer with immutable records.
As part of this, COSCO Bulk issued its first eBL for Yancoal, an Australian-based coal producer, connecting the entire business chain including banks, traders, miners and end-users. COSCO Energy also issued the first eBL for 30,000 tons of domestic trade marine oil for the shipment of China National Offshore Oil Corporation this month. The bill of lading was confirmed by the upstream and downstream parties and returned to the carrier to complete the release.
The extended coverage of eBL to cover all types of cargo is also expected to empower banks to provide a wider range of trade finance services to the industry.
Bertrand Chen, CEO of GSBN said, “Our goal has always been to develop GSBN into a platform that can support the full spectrum of shipping. This announcement therefore represents a significant milestone for the consortium and the digitisation journey for the industry. The successful issuance of eBLs for bulk cargo and energy shipment will also unlock greater trade finance for the industry as banks want a single point to interface with all types of eBLs and trusted shipping data, especially for high value cargo such as bulk and energy transportation.”
COSCO Energy said, “For large value and high risk of oil tanker transportation, an eBL based on blockchain technology substantially improves the efficiency of document circulation, reduces logistics cost and commercial risk. It also guarantees the authenticity, security and uniqueness of the bill of lading, while promoting decarbonisation in line with ESG practices.”
COSCO Bulk said, “This blockchain-based eBL transaction marks a breakthrough for our business, it’s the first time connecting all the stakeholders across the trade finance value chain. Harnessing the power of GSBN’s blockchain infrastructure, we can offer a more efficient, trust and secured solution for our customers globally.”
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