The bill of lading is a required document to move a freight shipment. The bill of lading (BOL) works as a receipt of freight services, a contract between a freight carrier and shipper and a document of title.

The bill of lading is a legally binding document providing the driver and the carrier all the details needed to process the freight shipment and invoice it correctly.

With the corona virus effect the completion of this document also has an effect on the spreading of the virus and it has been every nations role to make sure that the spread of this virus is at its minimum or at zero but on the other hand there is a need for this document for shipping to take place.

The obvious answer is to deploy a software solution, which enables all parties to access the bill as an electronic document. An electronic bill of lading (or e B/L) is the legal and functional equivalent of a paper bill of lading. The electronic bill of lading must digitize the core functions of a paper bill of lading, namely its legal acceptance as a receipt, as evidence of or containing the contract of carriage and as a document of title.

For an industry-wide adoption, which is needed to pave the way for parties in all countries to use such a system, industry accepted best practices need to be understood, which is what this article is all about.

The new technology bill of lading gives a lot of assistance in the fight of corona and also offers some other advantages to the shipping services. It increases the speed of transfer of an E-Bill means that a bill of lading can pass through multiple hands and still be at the discharge port when the vessel arrives, removing the need for (and cost of) letters of indemnity.

And also, the ease of electronic transfer reduces the significant paper-based administration costs. E-Bills reduce the costs and time spent dealing with inevitable errors because they can be easily cancelled and re-issued. In one respect the risk of fraud is reduced by audit trails, electronic signature and PIN numbers which make it more difficult to forge an E-bill hence thus a reduction in fraud.