The Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations in India (FFFAI) in its 24th Biennial Convention being held from August 12-14 in Chennai introduced FIATA Bill of Lading (eFBL) in India. This has been formally launched by the Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and AYUSH Mr Sarbananda Sonowal who attended the Convention as Chief Guest to inaugurate the Business Sessions on August 13, 2022 in presence of Mr Shankar Shinde, Chairman, FFFAI; Mr A.V Vijaykumar, Immediate Past Chairman, FFFAI; Mr Dushyant Mulani, Chairman-Elect, FFFAI; Mr Shashi Kiran Shetty, CMD, Allcargo Logistics; Mr Niraj Ambani, Group President, Group President-Supply Chain, Reliance Industries Ltd; other dignitaries and more than 600 delegates from across the country and overseas countries.
Mr. Shinde stated that the implementation of eFBL will empower MSME Customs brokers and Freight Forwarders Members of FFFAI to issue their own Bill of lading using FIATA Network. Further it will leverage the Logistics industry without depending upon Liner Bill of Lading for Multimodal transportation and enhance their capability to enhance business thinking towards owning own container and establish Indian Flag registered Shipping Line. He further stated that The FIATA Paperless Bill of Lading allows the freight-forwarder to easily issue secured eFBL through their everyday tools (TMS and other software), facilitating the issuance process by removing double data entry. Freight-forwarders can then decide in which format they wish to share the document with their stakeholders: as a secured printed document or in digital format.
Established over 30 years ago, the Negotiable FIATA Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading is a trustworthy and reputable trade document, mainly thanks to its Terms and Conditions, which includes the necessity for the document issuer to be a valid FIATA/National Association member and to have a valid liability insurance.
It is the only truly multimodal Negotiable Standard Bill of Lading, set up by FIATA for the use by Freight-Forwarders acting as Multimodal Transport Operators (MTO). The ICC logo, visible on the top right of the document, demonstrates its conformity with UNCTAD/ICC rules for Multimodal Transport Documents.
The FIATA Paperless Bill of Lading is based on Block chain Technology and hence provides the much needed transparency, security and accountability in the supply chain.
Each paperless FBL is registered with a unique hash on a private ledger and provides for an audit trail which is accessible to all stakeholders interacting with the document, by simply scanning the QR code- thereby ensuring security in the supply chain. The FIATA paperless Bill of Lading solution is open source and can be implemented by any interested software provider.
Introducing the eFBL Mr Shankar Shinde stated that FFFAI, one of the members of the International Freight Forwarders Association (FIATA), has signed an MoU Agreement with FIATA to implement the same in India to benefit the Indian Customs Brokers/Freight Forwarders and ease of doing business in view of the rapid change in the entire logistics/supply chain industry owing to digitalization.
The Minister Mr Sonowal also stressed upon the growing importance of an IT-driven logistics industry for faster movement of cargo from manufactures to consumers across the globe. And FFFAI’s initiatives in this regard through services like eFBL would make Indian products to reach with less transaction time and cost, which in fact make the Indian products competitive in the international markets.
In a study done by the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), the estimated savings if 50% adoption of the E-Bill of Lading is achieved, will result in a $4 Billion saving annually across the globe.
Key Benefits of eFBL: