Electronic Bill of Lading

Bolero brought the first International P&I Club approved Electronic Bill of Lading (eBL) solution to market and continues to lead its adoption into the world’s trade communities. The recent advance of Electronic Bills of Lading beyond a few niche industries demonstrates that it has come of age. Bolero provides its customers with a simple, rapid and open approach to utilising eBLs.

An electronic bill of lading is not simply an electronic version of the paper bill of lading. Rather it is a combination of a legal rulebook and technology which can replicate the functions of a traditional paper bill of lading.

Specifically, the Bolero eBL solution comprises the Bolero Rulebook, the Bolero Title Registry and the Bolero Messaging platform:

  • The Bolero Rulebook is a common user (legal) agreement entered into by all Bolero users by way of the enrolment process
  • The Bolero Title Registry is a repository and an application which manages the transfer of title of the eBL
  • The Bolero Exchange platform is a common infrastructure for all Bolero solutions, and in the case of the Bolero eBL, provides two distinct advantages over ‘database’ solutions:
    • Allows the eBL to replicate the traditional paper process supporting the ‘sending’ of the eBL from party to party
    • Delivers to the holder the eBL without the need for the holder to interact directly with the application. This also ensures ease of integration by detaching the eBL from the specific technology solution

How does the Bolero eBL work?

The Bolero eBL is the electronic equivalent of a paper bill of lading. The eBL is a combination of the title registry record and an attached document that contains the eBL data. Bolero enables sourced eBL data to be Structured or Non Structured, meaning this can be imported by EDI, XML, PDF, Scan > PDF or even directly input to the Bolero eBL web app.

Structured data operation enables full automation capabilities of issuance and surrender process, Non Structured data operation integrates seamlessly into existing processes.

  • A Bolero eBL can only have one holder at any one time
  • There must be a holder at all times
  • The title registry records who is the holder
  • Holdership is the electronic equivalent of possession of the physical paper bill of lading

Benefits include

  • Removes paper based bills as part of the trade process
  • Supports full electronic presentation of Letters of Credit under eUCP
  • Facilitates adoption of the new Bank Payment Obligation (BPO)
  • Reduces risk of fraud
  • Removes the requirement for Letters of Indemnity

Unlike alternative solutions, Bolero eBLs have been designed to work in conjunction with the corporate and carrier communities existing systems, rather than forcing all parties to converge on a single platform. By reducing the barriers to entry, this pragmatic approach has been key in ensuring the rapid adoption of the eBL and the delivery of full benefit to the participants in the trade chain.