Secured digital FIATA BL: towards paperless trade

The digitalization of the supply chain is an industrywide challenge, where collaboration between all stakeholders is critical.

FIATA is committed to playing its role, representing the interests of Freight-Forwarders by leading projects that will help them embrace the digital world and ensure they stay operationally up to date with new business models.

Launched in June 2020, FIATA Digital Strategy includes 6 projects, all aiming to facilitate the exchange of data between Freight-Fowarders and their stakeholders.

Long awaited, the digitalisation of the Negotiable FIATA Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading was the first priority addressed by FIATA to allow freight-forwarders to easily issue secured digital FBLs through their everyday tools.

Easy access and full traceability

How does the eFBL work ?

  1. Freight-Fowarders input FBL data through their everyday tool (TMS & other software). 
  2. The software shares the FBL data together with the identity of the document issuer with FIATA, through a dedicated API. 
  3. FIATA checks the identity of the issuer, through its FIATA Verified Digital Identity and registers the digital FBL document, stamped with a unique tracking QR code and identifier. 
  4. Freight-Fowarders can decide how they wish to share the document with their stakeholders: as a printed document or as a secured digital BL.
  5. All stakeholders interacting with the document can access the immutable audit trail to verify the validity of the document, the identity of its issuer and the integrity of its content.

A trustworthy document

The Negotiable FIATA Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading was established more than 30 years ago as a paper standard trade document. 

It is the only truly multimodal negotiable standard Bill of Lading, set up by FIATA for the use by Freight-Forwarders acting as Multimodal Transport Operators (MTO). 

The ICC logo, visible on the top right of the document, demonstrates its conformity with UNCTAD/ICC rules for Multimodal Transport Documents.

Immutable document audit trail

Each secured digital FBL is registered with a unique hash on a private ledger (powered by our partner Trakk from Komgo). 

The immutable document audit trail is accessible to all stakeholders interacting with the document, by scanning the QR code or dragging/uploading the document on FIATA’s dedicated verification webpage

The document audit trail certifies:

  • The validity of the document: the date and time when the document was registered by FIATA is displayed.
  • The identity of its issuer: the company name, address and business registration number are displayed. Stakeholders can also see the name of the National Association the issuing company is a member of and a confirmation that, at the time of the document registration, the issuing company fulfilled all conditions as specified in the terms and conditions of the FBL. 
  • The integrity of its content: a screenshot of the document (as when it was registered by FIATA) is accessible to all stakeholders who can verify the integrity of the document they have received and ensure it hasn’t been modified. 

eFBL Proof of Concept

A 7 months Proof of Concept (Feb-Aug 2021) allowed to confirm both the technical and operational feasability of the project. 

The POC involved 7 software providers (AKANEA, Bolero, eCustoms, eDox Online, CargoX, Cargowise, TradeWindow) who tested the technical implementation of the eFBL data model and API. 

19 Freight-Forwarders (FIATA and National Associations members) tested the full lifecycle of the document, from its issuance through the participating software providers to the sharing and verification process with their stakeholders.


Go digital and bring security and trust to your customers

Save time and money – Send digital documents within seconds and pay up to 3 times* less than with paper processing.

Optimize your processes – Issue digital FBLs directly from your TMS and avoid double data entry.

Get future proofed to move from documents to data – Start exchanging House BL information in a standardized way

Bring trust and security Give the possibility to your stakeholders to verify at any time: the validity of the eFBL, your identity as well as the document content integrity. 

Achieve your sustainability goals – Embrace a green solution, help saving paper and unnecessary courier service.

*According to DCSA study https://dcsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/20200519-DCSA-taking-on-eBL.pdf

The solution allows members to issue paperless FBL (eFBL) through their TMS and other daily software.

The solutions is alreay being implemented by 7 software providers: AKANEA, CargoX, Cargowise, eDoxOnline, Nabu, InfoSys Tech, Usyncro and can be implemented by any other TMS or by companies who have build their own in-house system. The technical specifications are available as open source on our GitUb repository: https://github.com/FIATA/eFBL

Link to the platform that allows to generate Paperless FBL for members who may not be using any TMS: https://cargox.io/

This solution allows freight-forwarders to issue Paperless FBL in secured PDF format. Each document is registered on an immutable ledger and can be verified at anytime, by scanning the QR code on the document or by uplaoding the PDF on FIATA’s verification webpage.

You will find more information on how it works on our dedicated website: https://www.efbl.fiata.org/

Visit our dedicated website for more information: https://www.efbl.fiata.org/

How to start issuing secured eFBLs?

  • Ensure you have a liability insurance covering the FBL (we are currently working on a solution to offer insured eFBLs)
  • Ensure your TMS has implemented the eFBL solution or put your TMS in contact with FIATA so we can help them implement it
  • Fill in the eFBL onboarding form https://1z932gem9zm.typeform.com/to/OIMuxKl7?typeform-source=www.efbl.fiata.org
  • Pay your eFBL packageYou are ready to start!

CargoX on platvorm, kui ettevõttel pole oma TMS-i kasutuses, kuid ettevõttel vaja eFBL-e kasutada.

I am happy to provide you with a demo recording for FIATA  eBL: CargoX | FIATA eB/L – demo

Also, I am sending instructions on how to create eFBL (Step by step): Standard-compliant electronic FIATA Bill of Lading – CargoX – Help Center