Paperless trade platform provider essDocs is expanding its eCertification capabilities with the acquisition of TradeCert, a provider of electronic certificates of origin (eCOs).

The TradeCert solution enables exporters and freight forwarders to apply for, sign, stamp and receive original eCOs, eliminating time-consuming and inefficient paper-based processes.

With the acquisition, TradeCert becomes part of essDocs’ newly-established certification arm, allowing essDocs to expand the number of exporting countries in which it provides eCOs from six to 10. It now operates an eCO network of more than 28,000 exporters and freight forwarders, up from 15,000 before the acquisition.

The aim is to provide eCOs in 14-15 export countries by the end of the year, which essDocs says in a statement will be “driven by organic growth and strategic partnerships with other eCO software providers and chamber solutions”. The firm also says it will “invest heavily in new technologies to enable mobile and distributed ledger options to customers”.

The TradeCert team, which is based in Galway, Ireland, will act as essDocs’ center of excellence for certification and will be supported by essDocs staff in the US, UK, Greece, Singapore and Australia.

Alexander Goulandris, essDocs CEO, comments: “Our acquisition of TradeCert truly sets essDocs Certification apart, as it yields an unmatched global eCO network, while reinforcing our commitment to investing in and developing best-of-breed paperless trade solutions”.

The acquisition was completed last week through the group’s investment and partnership arm, essDocs Ventures.