India is digitalising its bills of lading and other trade documentation workflows as one of the last missing elements within the country’s electronic Port Community System (PCS).
The PCS, offering the P-CaSo curated marketplace of specialised services, was built by Portall Infosystems, which has now been integrated with CargoX’s Platform for Blockchain Document Transfer (BDT).
The Indian Port Community System has seen rapid three-fold growth of users since 2018, when Portall won the tender to modernise the PCS. The main goal was to improve India’s EODB rankings, reduce health risks, and avoid bottlenecks caused during the handling of a paper-intensive process for export-import (EXIM) cargo at their ports by digitalising the processes.
The Indian Ports Association (IPA) and the trade bodies in the Federation of Indian Logistics Association (FILA) have emphasised the importance of digitalisation in light of the current global pandemic. The Government of India accordingly started evaluating ways to implement electronic bills of lading, electronic delivery orders, certificates of origin, letters of credit, and other trade documentation across all EXIM transactions in India.
The CargoX Platform for Blockchain Document Transfer (BDT) has been successfully tested by Portall Infosystems and India’s global shipping stakeholders to transfer electronic bills of lading. CargoX and Portall Infosystems have entered into a partnership to digitalise the processing of bills of lading and the transfer of trade documents. The CargoX Platform can be accessed by stakeholders through the P-CaSo services marketplace, integrated into PCS 1x.
The dozen major ports in India handle approximately 60 per cent of the country’s total cargo traffic. In 2019-20 that was close to 705 million tonnes of cargo, and 20,837 vessels that were handled by these ports.
“Post lockdown cargo stoppages due to the inability of courier agencies, requirements of social distancing, the requirement of delivering of physical format-based trade documentation, and the sheer time added in person-to-person contact while handling paper documents create a high level of risk with the contagious nature of Covid-19, result in considerable delays in cargo processing,” stated Mr. Gopal Krishna, the secretary of the Department of Shipping of Government of India in a letter to Dr. Anup Wadhawan, the secretary of the Department of Commerce.
“We have developed the CargoX Platform for contactless, distributed online teamwork – and we are glad we did. In these times of multiple risks to our common society, we are proud to help shipping companies, who represent the backbone of the economy, resolve supply chain document sending issues and enables them to meet delivery deadlines everywhere in the world, in a secure and efficient manner, while also lowering the document transfer cost,” said Stefan Kukman, CEO and founder of CargoX.
Manish Jaiswal, president of Portall Infosystems, commented: “We saw that there was a good fit between the companies. Both Portall and CargoX are fairly young, but the teams have domain-rich knowledge and bring expertise from various facets of the industry. This way we are able to understand the needs of the customers well and provide for the best-suited solution. As a service partner, CargoX stands for values that we stand for – transparency and innovation, sophisticated yet user-friendly solutions which save cost and time without compromising on the quality of the solution.”