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PIL and IBM to launch electronic bill of lading initiative
The agreement was supported by Singapore's MPA

PIL and IBM to launch electronic bill of lading initiative

Pacific International Lines (PIL) has collaborated with IBM Singapore (IBM) to design and create an electronic bill of lading (e-BL) to enhance the documentation process in supply management.

The two companies aim to improve efficiency and reduce the risk of fraud, document handling costs and loss of the original document through the use of the e-BL.

PIL and IBM plan to get rid of the hard copy paper trail and instead streamline and replicate it online on a blockchain ledger created by IBM.

Lisa Teo, executive director of PIL, said: “Traditionally, information flow is predominantly handled via manual processes and the supply chain is slowed down when there are many points of communication within its framework.

“The use of blockchain technology to allow for the direct exchange of documents and information via the decentralised network to boost transparency, eliminate disputes, forgeries and unnecessary risks will be key for this industry to progress.”

The collaboration was supported by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, the Singapore Shipping Association, Infocomm Media Development Authority, Singapore Customs (National TradePlatform) and the Bank of China Limited Singapore Branch (BOC).

Teo added: “Working with a complex logistic network comprising ports and terminals, agencies, government entities, banks and shippers; systematic supply chain management is increasingly important to lower costs through the chain by cutting unnecessary expense, movement and handling.”

The team plans to extend the e-BL to shadow an end-to-end shipment in real time.

IBM and PIL have worked together before, as PIL is one of the 94 organisations who agreed to participate in IBM and Maersk’s TradeLens blockchain solution in August 2018.

PIL said its ultimate goal is to create an intermodal transport logistics ecosystem which incorporates the use of blockchain.