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Mercuria, an integrated energy and commodity trading company, recently went live with CargoDocs electronic Bills of Lading (eBLs), having participated in its first ever paperless trade transaction for an iron ore shipment from Australia to China.

The transaction covered the sale of iron ore lump and fines under an electronic Uniform Customs and Practices for Documentary Credit (eUCP) Letter of Credit (LC), with Australian mining company Roy Hill, acting as seller, and Mercuria China Metals Resources acting as buyer. 

The transaction was supported by National Australia Bank, acting as both advising bank (NAB Perth Branch) and issuing bank (NAB Singapore Branch).

As part of the eDocs flow, the exporter, shipowner, and agent collaboratively reviewed the drafted eBL online, accessing a single platform to share drafts. 

Thereafter, the agents signed the eBL on behalf of the master and issued it to the exporter, who transferred and presented the original eBL.

Janie Lim, head of operations at Mercuria Asia Resources Pte Ltd, said, “Our team finds CargoDocs to be user-friendly, and basis our internal estimates, we are able to achieve times savings of around 50% by using the solution.”

Adopting paperless trade and trade finance documentation processes is part of the trade finance communities’ wider digital transformation initiative. 

eBLs help enhance trade visibility and security, eliminate exposure to paper-related fraud risks, and maximise operational efficiencies through faster transaction turnaround, whilst crucially supporting environmental sustainability practices.

eBL usage by corporates such as Mercuria and Roy Hill, continue to play a key role in driving the ongoing expansion of a paperless trade ecosystem.