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Next Generation Electronic Bills of Lading: Corda eBL Beta Coming Soon

March 25, 2021

CordaCon 2020 featured a presentation by R3 on Corda electronic Bills of Lading (eBL)—introducing a new application toolkit for Corda. Built using a legal framework approved by the International Group of Protection and Indemnity Clubs that R3 acquired from Singapore-based software developer E-Title Authority, Corda eBL will enable trade logistics and software firms to overcome the barriers and costs of adopting eBLs today, and embed eBL capabilities directly into their service offerings.

Since acquiring the legal framework that will underpin Corda eBL in October 2020, R3 has been building the new toolkit for Corda Enterprise. The beta version will be available for Corda Enterprise users in April, enabling pilots of new solutions with the Corda ecosystem.

Corda eBL will be generally available in June, however, we invite Corda Enterprise customers and evaluation users to take part in the Corda eBL early adopter program. Click here to register your interest.

Trade challenges

Why is Corda eBL the right solution at the right time? The bill of lading (BL) is a mandatory legal document that’s at the heart of international trade. Typically issued by a carrier or its agent, it details the cargo that’s being carried, and serves three main functions: receipt of goods, evidence of the contract of carriage, and document of title. Paper BLs bring many challenges—they’re slow, risky and can be lost, misplaced, damaged, forged or stolen. And the task of preparing, collecting, validating and sharing them across the various parties involved is highly resource-intensive. For all these reasons, the electronic bill of lading (eBL) is the holy grail for trade. Yet previous eBL solutions have struggled to gain widespread adoption, reflecting three challenges highlighted by the International Chamber of Commerce: the need for a technology that enables records to be transferred safely and securely; the ubiquity of that technology; and the legal validity of the eBL itself.

Corda eBL

Corda eBL is built on Corda Enterprise, the enterprise-grade distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform supporting some of the world’s fastest-growing production blockchain applications for trade finance, know-your-customer (KYC), insurance, capital markets and payments. With Corda eBL, underpinned by Corda Enterprise, eBLs and the data they capture can be shared peer-to-peer on a need-to-know basis across business networks. Corda Enterprise ensures the originality, authenticity and integrity of trade documentation.

Supply chain applications built on Corda can leverage Corda eBL to enable the secure peer-to-peer transfer of eBLs, reducing costs, delays, risk and fraud. In addition, eBLs on Corda Enterprise are only shared on a need-to-know basis, cannot be double spent, and are tamper-proof.

Full steam ahead

With 90% of trade carried over the waves today there are many use cases our ecosystem is exploring with Corda eBL: from next generation cargo booking solutions to more connected, digitalized customs clearance. And because Corda eBls can be transacted across business networks and on Corda Network, they can unleash the possibilities of more embedded financing solutions, directly into logistics firms’ supply chain solutions.

To learn more about Corda eBL, watch the presentation at CordaCon 2020. And to register your interest in joining the Corda eBL early adopter program, click here.

Interested in hearing from the eBL team? Register for the R3-hosted webinar here.

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