Slovenia(EU)-based blockchain company CargoX has announced that it is starting to digitalize Indian ports' bills of lading and other trade documentation workflows as one of the last missing elements within India’s electronic Port Community System (PCS).

A Port Community System (PCS) is an electronic platform that connects the multiple systems operated by a variety of organisations that make up a seaport or airport community.

The Indian PCS, offering the P-CaSo curated marketplace of specialized services, was built by Mumnbai-based Portall Infosystems (Portall), and it has integrated CargoX’s Platform for Blockchain Document Transfer (BDT). Portall has built the Indian PCS from the ground up within a record time of 6 months, with complete implementation in 13 major Indian ports - it is currently operational in 19 ports with 16,000+ corporate stakeholders. The B2B marketplace (P-CaSo) for the ecosystem is integrated into the Indian PCS to bring various niche services with curated service partners, including services such as blockchain document transfer (BDT).

Out of 199 ports, the dozen major ports in India handle approximately 60% of the country’s total cargo traffic. In 2019-20 that was close to 705 million tonnes of cargo, and 20,837 vessels that were handled by these ports.

The CargoX Platform, which is built atop public Ethereum blockchain technology, was developed for contactless, secure, fast, and cost-effective original document transfer in supply chains and adjacent industries, such as trading, manufacturing, finance, energy, services, regulators, and governmental agencies. The platform enables companies to avoid manually handling heaps of shipping and business paper documents.

The Platform for Blockchain Document Transfer (BDT) has been successfully tested by Portall Infosystems and India’s global shipping stakeholders to transfer electronic bills of lading. CargoX and Portall Infosystems have entered into a partnership to digitalize the processing of bills of lading and the transfer of trade documents. The CargoX Platform can be accessed by stakeholders through the P-CaSo services marketplace, integrated into PCS 1x.

To comply with the Indian Ministry of Shipping’s initiative, Portall and CargoX engaged their partners to test the CargoX Platform for EXIM with Indian companies. Proof-of-concept tests and simulations were run with various use-case scenarios, including breakbulk and container shipments, export, and import from and into India.

The Indian Ports Association (IPA) and the trade bodies in the Federation of Indian Logistics Association (FILA) have emphasized the importance of digitalization in light of the current global pandemic. The Government of India accordingly started evaluating ways to implement electronic bills of lading, electronic delivery orders, certificates of origin, letters of credit, and other trade documentation across all EXIM transactions in India.

Earlier in Februsary this Year, CargoX becomes the first public blockchain (Ethereum) Bill of Lading provider approved by the International Group of P&I Clubs, an unincorporated association of the 13 principal underwriting Protection & Indemnity (P&I) Associations, which between them provide liability cover for approximately 90% of the world's ocean-going tonnage.

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