essDOCS, the leading enabler of paperless trade, and Portall Infosystems, the digital transformation leader in the Indian logistics arena, announced today a partnership to extend the use of CargoDocs electronic bills of lading (eBoLs) in India.
The partnership will provide integrated electronic document capabilities – enabled by essDOCS’ CargoDocs DocEx solution – accessed through the P-CaSo collaborative platform connected to PCS 1x, a modern Port Community System under the aegis of the Indian Ports Association (IPA). Through the Portal-CargoDocs connection, trade participants using P-CaSo can securely and instantaneously draft, review, amend, sign, issue, transfer, present and surrender relevant original electronic documents such as the bill of lading.
Furthermore, essDOCS and Portall have agreed to collaborate in offering essCert, an online solution for applying for and receiving back signed/stamped certificates of origin, to P-CaSo.
In terms of required trade documentation processes, today Indian Ports enable paperless invoices (plus electronic payments) and delivery orders, with efforts underway to soon extend to electronic BoLs following significant traction amongst trade stakeholders, associations and Indian Banks to accept these.
Specifically, since April 2020, the Indian Ministry of Shipping has spearheaded efforts across all relevant government departments to issue suitable guidelines and directives for Customs and Indian Banks to accept eDocs, recommending the adoption of eBoLs to ensure unimpeded exports / imports in India while safe-guarding health and safety through paperless processes. Portall’s integration of CargoDocs eBoLs into PCS 1x forms a key part of the Indian government’s efforts to fast-track the implementation of eBoLs in India.
Shri Dhruv Kotak, Managing Director, Portall Infosystems, said: “essDOCS brings in the modules to draft and exchange global trade documents and will be of use to many of our stakeholders. We are very excited to have them on board and we look forward to leveraging their strengths for the good of the Indian trade ecosystem,” adding that “with essDocs onboard we have ability to explore interoperability and collaboration in every manner as two of the top six players in the digital document space have now reposed their faith in P-CaSo.”
Alexander Goulandris, Co-CEO, essDOCS, said: “We welcome the recent efforts by authorities in India to accelerate the acceptance of eDocs and are excited to partner with Portall in our joint mission to extend the use of electronic bills of lading in such a crucial market for global trade. We look forward to working closely with the Portall team to ensure that we contribute substantially to digital trade adoption in India, as we explore cross-platform interoperability use cases and provide Indian customers with the necessary flexibility and support in their digitization efforts.”
Portall is a technical partner of the Indian Ports Association (IPA), launching its PCS 1x platform after successfully winning an IPA tender to modernize its Port Community System and streamline Indian port-related export/import processes. Since its launch in 2018, PCS 1x is now operational and active in 19 ports with over 16,000 corporate stakeholders.
Work on the P-CaSO, CargoDocs integration is currently underway, with the connection slated for completion by mid July 2020.