FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders has released a long-desired document update to ease the work processes of its members, allowing them to become digital freight-forwarders.

FIATA brings its members a solution to move from paper documents to paperless FBLs, which can be issued directly through their everyday tools. The FIATA solution improves the level of security of the FIATA BL in comparison to the paper version, making use of blockchain technology to authenticate the documents and provide an audit trail.

Conscious of the various challenges which remain to be overcome to achieve worldwide adoption and legal recognition of electronic exchange of data, the paperless FBL is an answer to the needs of the industry for improved access and exchange of trade documents. Document issuers can decide in which format they wishe to share the original unaltered document with its stakeholders: in paper form or as a PDF. Based on its eFBL data standard, FIATA has developed an API service, available free of charge to all software providers, allowing them to connect with FIATA to create secured paperless FBLs.

“As of today, seven software providers have already signed an agreement with the Federation to implement the solution: AKANEA, Cargowise, CargoX, edoxOnline (Global Share), InfoSysTech-IST, Nabu and Usyncro. We are very pleased to announce that the paperless FBLs can start to be issued as of today with edoxOnline, InfoSysTech-IST and Usyncro who have already finalised the implementation,” the global freight forwarders’ organisation said in its statement.

FIATA encourages all TMS’s, eBL providers and other software providers to join them and implement FIATA’s solution to offer this new service to their customers. All technical specifications are available on FIATA’s GitHub repository.

The solution, developed by FIATA partner Komgo, will help to reduce fraud risks, as each document is recorded on an immutable ledger and will be verifiable at any time by all stakeholders interacting with the document. Stakeholders will be able to either scan the QR code at the top right of the document, or directly upload the PDF on FIATA’s verification page to access the document audit trail which will certify the validity of the document, the identity of its issuer, and the integrity of its content.

Souleïma Baddi, CEO of Komgo (a blockchain-based trade financing platform and network-based on JP Morgan’s Quorum) when asked to comment on the paperless FBL launch said, “Documents are the bedrock of international trade, but they don’t operate like we need them to and they’re susceptible to fraud and forgery, that happens quite often.”

“Trakk is the digital ecosystem of trust for trade documents. I am thrilled to see FIATA joining all companies, financial institutions, warehouses and others who are using Trakk to protect their documents against fraud,” Baddi added.

WiseTech Global also congratulated FIATA on the launch of their electronic bill of lading. “This initiative will support transparency and security across the supply chain and will help companies to accelerate their digitalisation efforts. It was a pleasure to work with FIATA on this initiative. CargoWise customers will be able to request a connection to FIATA’s eFBL from June 2022,” the multi-award winning global developer of cloud-based software solutions to the global logistics industry said.

“FIATA is very excited to embark on this important milestone of its digital journey which paved the way for great opportunities for the future of freight forwarders,” said FIATA Director General Stéphane Graber.

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