Syngenta and HSBC Complete Paperless Trade Finance Transaction on the TradeLens Blockchain Shipping Platform

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Syngenta and HSBC Complete Paperless Trade Finance Transaction on the TradeLens Blockchain Shipping Platform

Blockchain shipping platform TradeLens and Danish shipping company A.P. Moller – Maersk have successfully completed an innovative letter of credit transacted with HSBC and Syngenta using a digital bill of lading underpinned by blockchain technology.

TradeLens is a global trade platform built on IBM blockchain that is designed to reduce the cost of global shipping, improve visibility across supply chains and eliminate inefficiencies stemming from paper-based processes. The electronic bill of lading technology developed by TradeLens provides a solution available to all shippers regardless of size or use case. The TradeLens eBL for Trade Finance digitizes the trade finance process, from the issuance of the bill of lading directly from the ocean carriers’ systems, through the banking transactions, to the final surrender.

According to a press release, an agrichemical product was shipped from South Korea to Bangladesh using an entirely paperless process. During this completed shipment, all associated documentation was shared among the parties via the TradeLens platform, including the Letter of Credit issuing bank. Digitized documents included the electronic bill of lading directly from the ocean carrier Sealand – A Maersk Company, the Commercial Invoice, Packing List, Certificate of Origin and Certificate of Analysis, as well as the bank collection documents and the bill of lading – all underpinned by blockchain and visible to permissioned parties as soon as they were uploaded to the platform.

According to the report, Syngenta significantly improved on their ‘speed to customer’, a key value in its business, and avoided extra costs due to delayed paperwork, like potential destination detention and demurrage costs.

“Trade between proximate markets is often encumbered by paperwork, leading to delays and higher costs,” said Sanjay Tandon, HSBC’s Regional Head of Product Management, Global Trade and Receivables Finance for Asia Pacific. “Removing paper from the process should not only increase the efficiency and velocity of trade, but also enhance the appeal of the letter of credit as a trade finance solution by minimizing documentary complexity.”

“The need to eliminate the physical hand-off of documentation has accelerated during the pandemic. At the same time, the drive to modernize infrastructure using digital-first technology has never been more critical,” said Michael White, CEO and Head of TradeLens. “The TradeLens eBL for Trade Finance is the next step to make trade easier, providing paperless trade tools for clients who can realize immediate cost savings. We are excited to be working with HSBC and other banks to bring this solution to market.”


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