JPMorgan Treasury Services has launched a new electronic Bill of Lading, data and image service, in partnership with APL Limited, an ocean carrier for Basf South East Asia.
The new service will be offered to exporters as an alternative to traditional paper Bills of Lading, via a direct electronic interface with shipping carriers. JPMorgan says the Internet-based application will speed up document presentation and reduce costly delays at shipment ports.
A Bill of Lading verifies that the ocean carrier has taken delivery of goods. Banks need to see a signed original of the document before they will release funds to the seller.
JPMorgan Treasury Services claims to be the first bank to offer carriers an electronic Bill of Lading solution, as part of its TradeDoc electronic document preparation offering. TradeDoc is an Internet-based application that automates the preparation, transmission and negotiation of trade documents. TradeDoc enables a direct electronic interface with carriers or exporters, allowing for the integration of various trade data to generate complete sets of trade documents.
Phillip Chin, vice president, e-commerce product strategy, APL, says: "By partnering with JPMorgan, we are enabling Basf to print electronic Bills of Lading directly at the bank. This total solution will help them eliminate courier or overnight delivery charges and, more importantly, save on interest expenses for working capital by gaining faster payment."
Gabriele Spies, senior regional manager, finance and treasury centre, Basf South East Asia Pte Ltd, adds: "Being able to outsource our entire export documentation preparation was one of the reasons we selected JPMorgan Treasury Services."
JPMorgan Treasury Services says it is currently working to establish similar alliances with other trade-related parties, such as chambers of commerce and inspectorates.