New deal means faster payments for bulk commodities shipped overseas

18 November 2020

Digital innovator CommChain is once again improving the international bulk commodity trade process, sealing a deal to speed up payments for international and Australian bulk commodities shipped overseas.

In a celebrated partnership with leading trade digitisation technology provider Bolero International, CommChain will embed Bolero’s electronic bill of lading (eBLs) into its newly released blockchainbased digital Trade Settlement platform.

This is the first time Bolero has entered a partnership in Australia with a blockchain-based solution and is the first of several strategic alliances planned by CommChain to enhance the platform and further improve the user’s experience.

CommChain Co-Founder and Executive Chair Gary Zamel said the Bolero eBLs service further strengthens CommChain’s transformative platform, which is built on R3’s Corda. “CommChain’s Trade Settlement platform eliminates the need for archaic paper-based documentation in the trade settlement process and connects all stakeholders involved,” Mr Zamel

“CommChain has successfully connected buyers, sellers, shipowners, port agents, ports, and laboratories as a first step towards a collaborative blockchain community for trade settlements and logistics.

“It was developed by a team with a deep understanding of the difficulties, cost and inefficiencies associated with paper bills of lading and contracts of carriage. Our new partnership provides shipowners with a blockchain alternative to release their contracts of carriage, whether they be an eBL or an eSea Waybill.

“In our blockchain-based platform the contract of carriage can be created with a few keystrokes. The addition of eBLs takes the digital option to the next level.”

“It is an exciting move for CommChain to partner with Bolero – a company that has a tried-and-tested eBL solution that fits in perfectly with our aims.”

A bill of lading is generated by the shipowner when it receives cargo for shipment as evidence of an agreement with the supplier, carrier, and buyer (a contract of carriage). It is part of a large volume of documentation required during the trade process to ensure exporters receive payment and importers receive merchandise. When a CommChain eBL is used there are no paper documents, transferring the contract of carriage faster, eliminating risks associated with customs clearance delays at the discharge port, and affording the opportunity for exporters to receive payment sooner.

“The multi-billion-dollar global bulk commodity logistics and trade sector has relied on a manual processing framework that is inefficient, cumbersome and subject to error. Blockchain is the answer to a multitude of steps involved in export trade transactions. Blockchain transfer of commercial digitised data – such as laboratory certificates and seller’s invoices – plus the Bolero eBL used by CommChain, ensures the process is speedy and reliable,” Mr Zamel said

In announcing the partnership, Bolero International CEO Andrew Raymond commented that he is “excited about the partnership potential here because CommChain and Bolero teams come from trade and trade finance backgrounds, and have applied that knowledge and thinking to produce highly functional solutions to meet the demanding needs of traders and their related ecosystems. Bolero shares CommChain’s vision of fully digital global trade finance flows with streamlined processes that benefit all parties.”