There is no doubt that digitalization has taken the world by storm, and virtually every aspect of our lives is impacted by it in both good and bad ways. However, when we talk about the Bill of Landing, which is used for centuries to verify the legality of shipments, then digitizing, it has a lot of benefits. Let’s see what Electronic Bill of Landing is and how using it can benefit shipping companies as well as their customers.
What is the Electronic Bill of Landing?
The Electronic Bill or E-B/L is the legal equivalent of a paper-based bill of landing but in a digital form. It must need to digitize the main functions associated with a paper bill of landing, such as its acceptance as an invoice, as evidence of the contract of carrying shipment, and as the document of title.
The Paper bill of landing has been around for centuries. However, it has some faults where the cost of producing paper being one of them. So to eliminate the faults of the paper version and leverage the benefits of the digital world, electronic BOL was introduced, which basically does the same thing but in a speedy manner and without costing anything.
Some Benefits of Using Electronic BOL in Car Shipping:
No Messy Handwriting:
You think only doctors are the ones with messy handwriting? Well, try to read some bills of landing and try to make sense of what it says. Granted, not all of them have messy writing, but most of them do. This is because the person writing them has piles of bills to take care of, which means he/she needs to work in a speedy manner, and this can leave some crucial elements like the items in shipment unreadable for many.
If something like this happens, there can be further problems, especially for the consignee. Digitizing everything means no more messy writing as everything will be typed on a computer, which will eliminate the guesswork.
When you hand over the paper-based bill of landing to the data entry employee who is dedicated to entering them in the database, then they can make mistakes. Since they are entering hundreds of bills of landing on a daily basis, they are bound to make some mistakes here and there.
Depending on the information from the BOL they put in wrong, the shipment can face delays, which will obviously not be good for the consignee.
No More Paperwork:
The adoption of the electronic Bill of Landing will get rid of the use of paper, which means shipping companies will save a lot in administration costs. Using a paper system can cost between 5-10% of the value of the goods shipped each year. (Source).
So not only will this cost be saved, but the administration expenses like hiring employees to write the bills and the data entry operators will be saved as well.
Forging an e-bill is extremely difficult, and not everyone can do it. The presence of electronic pin number and signatures are very challenging to duplicate counterfeit.
Furthermore, no one can add new information on the electronic bill of landing without leaving a trail behind, making it easier to catch the fraud.
Over to You:
Digitizing the electronic bill of landing means getting fast-tracking things because now shipment doesn’t need to wait on the port while the bill arrives through multiple hands. Everyone will have access to it via a cloud platform. Using electronic BOL simply means reduced shipment delivery times, reduced frauds, reduced administration costs, and increased efficiency.