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Swire Shipping has become the first company to send containerized grain from one country to another powered entirely through electronic bills.

Bolero International, which specializes in making trade finance go digital, facilitated these bills. Labelled as electronic bills of lading (eBL), they have never been used on the route between Australia and New Zealand before, and they should significantly speed up trade route deliveries.

Swire Shipping achieved this in collaboration with Cargill Australia, which provides the grains in question and various other commodities, and BSM, which optimizes the trade execution process.

With BSM offering easily facilitated execution solutions and Bolero providing multi-party documentation processing, Cargill can save a large amount of resources by digitizing as much of the trade route process as possible.

The project has already proved to be a success, and eBLs are now set for use in more trade routes. The route that connects Australia to the Solomon Islands is next on the list for Cargill. With the certification process becoming more digital with each passing year, there is a clear need for companies to keep on top of the trends and react to market expectations. The burgeoning fintech sector is making this a lot easier for the bigger companies.

Digitized processes offer several other benefits, which include increased security. Backup takes place for all the proper documentation, and losses that cause serious backlogs and delays are less likely to occur.

Swire Shipping General Manager Jeremy Sutton said that the company is ‘wholly committed to bringing customers the highest standards of service through sustainable innovation.” He went on to  describe its ‘successful use of Bolero’s electronic bills of lading to support a grain shipment,’ calling the deliver ‘a significant first for us and for the region.’

Sutton was quick to point out how Swire Shipping has ‘been impressed with the substantial gains in speed of execution, simplicity of use and security’ that came with the eBL pioneering, and said that he expects this accomplishment to be just the first of many.

Meanwhile, BSM Managing Director Robert Flemming hailed his business offering, saying that it is ‘dedicated to smoothing workflows and super-charging the efficiency of trade.’ He added that the use of eBLs ‘demonstrated all the advantages of digitization in terms of speed and cost.’ Flemming expects that BSM’s ‘partnership with Bolero is certain to go from strength to strength.’

Cargill, the company set to see the largest benefits from this process, feels that it is great news for several reasons.

David Werner, Trade Execution Manager for Cargill’s Australian operations, said that he is delighted by ‘the speed and efficiency generated by the Bolero solution.’ He lauded ‘the fast release of our cargo,’ saying that it would give ‘our customers the best level of service possible.’

He went on to mention that Cargill believes that ‘our use of digitized trade documentation is certain to expand to other routes in line with our determination to bring customers the real benefits of digital innovation while upholding the integrity of our documentation.’

With current tech advances showing no signs of slowing, trends such as this should only continue.