A. General Information

1. Title

Digital FIATA Bill of Lading

2. Implementation period of the project/service:
4. Geographical coverage
Participating countries: Switzerland
Hub Point: Switzerland
5. Participating agencies/entities of the project/service:
a. Development stage
Lead agencies/entities
FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations
Other participating agencies/entities
FIATA Association members
b. Operational stage
Lead agencies/entities (op)
FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations
Other participating agencies/entities (op)
FIATA Association members
6. Main stakeholders/beneficiaries of the service
Traders (big enterprises)
Traders (SMEs)
7. Business process category of the service
Commercial Transactions
Forwarding and cargo handling
Regulatory/official control

B. Lessons Learned

8. Summary description of the project/service
a. Objective(s)
  • Provide an easy access to digital FBL
  • Allow freight-forwarders to issue FBL directly through their everyday tools (TMSs and other software)
  • Strengthen the compliance around the FBL distribution
  • Address fraud issues and strengthen document security and allow stakeholders to easily verify the validity of the document
b. Business need for the service (background)

Need to resolve the multiple challenges brought by the usage of paper trade documents:

  • Cumbersome process prompt to errors
  • Transport of paper document is long and costly, there is a risk of documents to be lost or documents arriving after the goods
  • Risks of fraud and falsification of paper documents
c. Business process covered*
  • Freight-forwarders issue digital FBL through their daily tools (TMS and other software).
  • Freight-forwarders can decide in which format they share the document with their stakeholders (printed or digital).
  • Stakeholders interacting with the document can verify it by scanning the QR code or uploading the document on FIATA’s verification webpage
d. Overall architecture and functionalities*

FIATA encourages all TMS’s, eBL providers and other software providers to join them and implement FIATA’s solution to offer this new service to their customers. All technical specifications are available on FIATA’s GitHub repository.

The solution, developed by FIATA partner Komgo, will help to reduce fraud risks, as each document is recorded on an immutable ledger and will be verifiable at any time by all stakeholders interacting with the document. Stakeholders will be able to either scan the QR code at the top right of the document, or directly upload the PDF on FIATA’s verification page to access the document audit trail which will

  • Certify the validity of the document,
  • The identity of its issuer,
  • The integrity of its content.
e. Relevant document/figure
9. Documents and data exchanged via the service

The eFBL data standard includes all data elements required on the digital FBL. Technical specifications can be found on FIATA’s Git Hub repository:

10. Data models/databases, proprietary solutions, hybrid approaches

The eFBL data standard was created on the basis of the mapping of the paper FBL and the UNCEFACT MMT Reference data model, it is therefore fully aligned with this one.

11. Main challenges faced during the service
12. Lessons learned from the service

The main lesson learned through this project is to keep things simple and not to try to solve all issues at once. We tried to keep a pragmatic approach during the whole development process and the solution itself is very pragmatic and flexible, as it allows our members to become digital freight-forwarders at their own rhythm. They can choose how far they want to go in the digitalization process.

13. Main benefit(s) of the service
Transaction Time savings
Simplified process
Increased trade flow
13A. Elaborations/detailed description on benefits gained

There are several benefits for different parties:

For Freight-forwarders:

  • Save time and money - Issue digital documents within seconds 24/7 and save money by avoiding costs generated by paper documents.
  • Optimize your processes - Issue secured digital FBLs directly from your TMS and avoid double data entry.
  • 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 services.
  • Flexibility of format - Decide in which format you want to share your FBL with your stakeholders: in a digital format (PDF) or you can always print it if needed. 

For stakeholders receiving the document:

  • Additional trust and security: digital FBL can be verified at anytime and from anywhere
  • Save time by having easy access to information needed 

FIATA Association members:

  • Less administrative tasks as the majority of the solution is handled centrally by FIATA 
14. Technical/financial/capacity building/other assistance

Komgo services have been/are used to develop and manage the technical solution. Forgerock identity management system is used as the backbone of FIATA’s digital identity registry.

15. Future plan for expansion of the service

The solution is currently being rolled out through FIATA’s associations members worldwide.

It is planned to be expanded to other FIATA standard documents such as the FIATA Forwarders Certificate of Receipt, FIATA Warehouse Receipt and the Non-negotiable FIATA Multimodal Transport Waybill.

FIATA is exploring possibilities to enhance the solution to facilitate exchanges of relevant data with specific stakeholders, such as custom authorities, carriers and banks.

16. Other information or relevant references on the service

UN/CEFACT Multimodal Transport Reference Data Model

17. Relevant document regarding the service

C. Relevant Standards

19. Electronic message standard
19A. Electronic message standard supporting the service
19B. Type of standard for electronic message applied for the service
International standard
20. Technical communication standard
20A. Technical communication standard supporting the service
HTTP, JSON restful API
20B. Type of technical communication standard applied for the service
International standard
Industry-specific standard
21. Security-related standards*
21A. Security-related standard supporting the service
TLS (Transport Layer Security) / SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
Payload (message) encryption (text security)
21B. Type of security-related standard applied for the service
International standard
Industry-specific standard
22. Other Technical Information
22A. Interface developed for data exchange with an internal system
The API consumed by the major TMSs and eBL platforms
22B. Other technical implementation information