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Australia : ELECTRONIC version of the bill of lading document.

Australian mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto along with trading house Cargill are among the first to use an electronic version of the bill of lading document that sets the terms in contracts between shippers and customers. For decades the shipping industry has only recognized the important legal document in paper form in the transactions as legally binding among the involved parties in ocean freight.

At present, several pace-setting companies in the shipping industry, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, and Cargill, are the first ones to use and recognize an electronic version of the bill of lading, a so-called CargoDocs, related to an iron ore transport. The electronic edition was developed, approved, and signed by the involved parties over the course of two days. Normally it can take up to several weeks to complete one of the shipping industry's most important documents in old-fashioned paper form.

A BHP Billiton spokesman says that progress is made in terms of using an electronic form of the document, and Rio Tinto has also launched other electronic versions. Earlier this year, Cargill finished an electronic bill of lading related to a grain transport from the United States to Mexico. The transaction was concluded in 19 minutes.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Dec 13, 2013
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