Sri Lanka’s Electronic Bill of Lading and use of TradeLens

Digitization across the globe has been steadily occurring in different sectors and industries, with different supply chain measures going digital at the company level. Yet, it was only recently that Sri Lanka put to use the first ever electronic bill of lading, kickstarting the island’s foray into supply chain digitization.

The first ever Sri Lankan electronic bill of lading was put to use by tea exporters, Eswaran Brother Exports, with the adopting the digital supply chain platform Trade Lens, which is a blockchain facilitated platform created by Maersk and IBM.  The electronic bill of lading, or eBL, can be used with this platform which works towards maximizing time efficiencies by cutting down paper-based processing and logistics processes. The move to digital comes at a great time when the country together with it’s Digital Ministry is looking at addressing operational inefficiencies and utilizing digitization and technologies in efforts to improve processes towards efficiencies and efficacy.

Apart from TradeLens, together with UNCTAD that developed ASYHUB, which is a data integration solution, provides information exchange of cargo and freight related data between stakeholders such as Sri Lankan Customs and their IT solution known as ASYCUDA and other data providers. The Digital Sri Lanka of Sri Lanka has been encouraged by the likes of shipping conglomerate Maersk to start utilizing the likes of TradeLens to promote the country’s advent into the digital world of freight, logistics  and supply chain.

As a country that caters to different markets in at least 52 countries across the globe, the need to  be pro-active and streamline processes is vital. The use of TradeLens will assist in reducing errors, eradicating the need for paper-based solutions (thus making it ecofriendly), and also improve security of data, and not to mention reduce additional costs. With the platform being carrier neutral, TradeLens allows the original Bill of Lading to be issued in digital means and passed along electronically to the respective recipient, which eradicates the need for couriering original paper-based bill of ladies to respective parties. The solution simplifies many of the bottlenecks and overheads that delay processes, and makes information sharing easier.  Further, TradeLens also provides additional solutions, whereby it allows it to be connected to logistics system ecosystem which allows for permission based sensitive data/information sharing.

Find out more information on the TradeLens digital supply chain management system by visiting their website