Swedish fintech Enigio has announced the successful completion of the first end-to-end trade transaction using its trace:original product, which allows participants to replace paper documents with their digital equivalents. 

Enigio says the transaction, which facilitated a shipment of paper products from Antwerp to Delhi, brought together several participants and document types without the need to produce and exchange physical copies of the invoice, packing list, insurance policy or bill of lading (BL). 

The use of trace:original allowed participants to reduce the time taken to process documents from nine days to one, while ensuring original documents were in place prior to the vessel’s arrival in India, it says. 

It also increased security, limiting any risk of fraud, while improving environmental sustainability by eliminating the need for paper. 

“We are very pleased to have concluded this transaction and to have demonstrated that our strategy to digitally mimic the existing paper processes works efficiently,” says Ulf Eggefors, head of transport and logistics at Enigio. 

“We believe in a solution that is easy to implement, and can be used by all parties in trade without extensive onboarding or a cumbersome IT project.”  

Freight forwarder Fr Meyer’s Sohn issued the electronic BLs, while Swedish paper manufacturer Th Brunius & Co used trace:original to digitise the other required documents. All documents were received digitally by the importer as well as Fr Meyer’s Sohn in India, which released the goods. 

“We believe that digital trade documents can be a new, exciting part of international transactions,” says Kristina Hansson, chief financial officer at Th Brunius & Co. 

“After evaluation we found trace:original to be easy to onboard, efficient, and flexible for our customers. Perhaps most importantly, trace:original met our standards on safe handling, limiting payment risk.” 

Heiko Voigt, chief executive of Fr Meyer’s Sohn, adds: “Efficient and structured collaboration between all involved parties on the basis of up-to-date information and documents at all times is a core issue for us – not just since the pandemic.  

“We constantly strive for increasing and optimising the performance and thus the value of our customers’ supply chains.” 

Enigio launched trace:original in 2019 and soon attracted further investment. It has also partnered with several other industry participants, including Surecomp and China Systems, as well as the International Trade and Forfaiting Association.

The product is designed to be compliant with both the UN-led Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records and the International Trade and Forfaiting Association’s dDOC specifications. 

This transaction was based on contract law pending the UK’s Electronic Trade Documents Bill taking effect, Enigio adds.