A. General Information
B. Lessons Learned
We have developed a Document Handling System to enable immutable documentation for cross-border shipments, including production, processing, and all subsequent handling stages in digital format.
Through a partnership with Customs Direct – a U.S. Customs Broker – our platform can generate, digitize, store and share all relevant customs documentation. All documentation can be generated and attached directly to the order/supply chain workflow and easily exchanged between all parties.
In addition, we’ve integrated our solution with the ACE Portal to automate the process of cross-border compliance completely. The ACE portal connects Customs Border Protection (CBP), trade representatives (customs brokers) and government agencies involved in importing goods into the United States.
To further enhance the solution, the platform offers fully digitized document flow with integrated OCR scanning tools and exchange tools like DocuSign, to transfer any physical documents into machine-readable information.
Usual documentation processes for cross-border shipping are completely manual and thus prone to errors causing costly delays. Due to a lack of transparency, numerous fault lines exist with data being shared with multiple stakeholders. In addition, there are manual steps a customs broker must take to submit all the proper compliance to get a border cleared PAPS number.
Our solution enables digitization of documents and fluid data exchange between all relevant parties from customs brokers, to transport companies and border officials in automated, digital workflows.
The solution covers all business processes around the exchange of custom documents for cross-border shipping. This includes certificates of origin, bill of lading, invoices and other relevant documentation.
There is also data exchange sent back to the platform from the customs broker which is the PAPS clearance number for importing into the US. This PAPS number is included in the digital footprint of the completed workflow.
In addition, IoT data can be leveraged (e.g. cold chain temperature readings) as required by the use case which ties into the sign-off handling process which is digitized and allows immediate exchange of digitally signed documents between parties, including timestamped submission and clearance of documents.
Cloud-based architecture that integrates with producer backend (ERP etc.), shipping software used by 3PLs and custom officials (e.g. Customs Direct to the ACE Portal). The frontend is a document handling system that generates and stores all relevant digital documents and connects them to a specific shipment identifier (pallet, truck, BOL, etc.)
Generate, digitize, store and share all relevant customs documentation. All documents receive a unique identifier that is written to our Blockchain backend, making them immutable and assigning a timestamp to every interaction with the underlying document. Thereby it creates an end-to-end provenance trail for documents from creation, to exchange and sign-off as well as archiving.
BOL, COC, PO, invoice, customs declarations, other specific documents (e.g. veterinary documentation for meat)
Production and shipping information, customs clearance information (PAPS number), responsible person/organization, date, time, digital signatures, exchange and edit timestamps.
Proprietary solution. Used Customs Administrations available data bases.
Customs Direct solutions were intregrated for data exchange with US border officials.
Getting all the stakeholders involved in the solution was the greatest challenge. Now that we’re forged a solid partnership with Customs Direct and we’ve battletested the solution, we can implement for any organization importing into the United States in under 30 days.
Many border delays are still related to issues with compliance alleviated with this solution.
All of the above. Depending on what end of the platform or workflow connects the organization the border crossing, there are automation benefits avoiding rekeying, human error, and delays saving time and money for all parties involved.
Deeper integration into producing companies and logistics provider
Wider coverage: Asia, Europe
Technical advancement: Blockchain is already integrated, IoT data would be next
References can be provided upon engagement. Customs Direct, the customs broker, and customs brokers in other countries which similar integrations as the ACE Portal.