Blockchain trade finance network Contour has partnered with digital document transfer provider CargoX, adding a further electronic bill of lading solution to its offering.

Slovenia-based CargoX digitises the issuance and transfer of bills of lading for freight forwarders and NVOCCs (non-vessel operating common carriers). Its solution went live in 2018, following a trial involving a shipment of garments from Shanghai in China to Koper in Slovenia.

As part of this new partnership, customers of Contour, which transitioned into full production earlier this month, now have another option for electronic bills of lading to be used in synchronisation with their Contour trade finance transaction. This will not only reduce the overreliance on paper documents that is common in the industry but also streamline trade processes, reducing time and improving communication.

CargoX now joins essDocs and Bolero as an eBL order partner on the network, which is expanding its reach to sign up new partners that can offer services that are “peripheral to the letter of credit”, according to Contour CEO Carl Wegner.

“Transforming trade finance can’t be achieved by a single company acting by itself – collaboration is central to building a trade finance network that is truly global,” says Wegner.

“Bills of lading can be a challenge for digital transformation, due to their complex nature,” he adds. “That is why it is a key focus for our partnerships to streamline this common pain point. Our work with CargoX marks an important milestone towards establishing an ecosystem of technology providers, banks and corporates that makes digital trade finance not just a reality, but a tangible, accessible option for all.”