In managing goods transfers, a lot of paperwork is involved with the Bill of Lading. DB Schenker now revolutionizes this process by implementing the platform HAPTIK in the form of a simple token. The tokens will serve as an electronic form of the Bill of Lading, and they will replace the paper-based Bill of Lading in its entirety. For the first time, these tokens ensure that the transfer of goods in ocean freight becomes digital, more secure, reliable, agile, and with great saving potential. So, it is not surprising that they received the “Digital Transformation Best Practice Award“ from the CIO Magazine for digitalizing ocean freight.

HAPTIK digitalizes the Bill of Lading and with that the paper flood

The main document of duty in freight transport is the Bill of Lading. This document fulfills major functions such as proof that a good has been taken over by the carrier in the form described, securing the obligation to deliver the goods to its destination and consignee, and the transfer of the goods specified can be replaced by the transfer of the Bill of Lading.

DB Schenker is the first in history who can ensure a legally reliable solution to replace the Bill of Lading document. This is unique, and we will continue with the testing phase in May this year. The benefits are security, agility, and data reliability in real-time. With the paperless transport processes, our clients and we will realize tremendous savings!

Dieter Sellner
Head of Digital Transformation at DB Schenker

Together with the University of Oldenburg in Germany, DB Schenker has conducted the project HAPTIK. With HAPTIK, they developed an electronic Bill of Lading (eB/L) as the legal and functional equivalent of a paper-based Bill of Lading, replicating the core functions, namely its function as a receipt, as evidence of or containing the contract of carriage, and as a document of title. They found a legally reliable solution to replace the Bill of Lading documents for ocean freight in the form of a token wherein a piece of software code contains the Blockchain. It serves as the evidence of ownership, which cannot be counterfeited or falsified.

Blockchain innovation secures and simplifies the digital Bill of Lading, while HAPTIK provides legal certainty. In the future, the digital Bill of Lading data, with only one mouse click, can be sent, handed over, and verified within seconds.

It is well known that working with blockchain is never just new technology that leads to sophisticated solutions. Instead, it is the intelligent application towards specific problems that support efficiency, advanced procedures, services, and products. But the core advantage of Blockchain is that the data can be processed flawlessly and stay resistant to any counterfeit. It is connected to DB Schenker’s Internet of Things (IOT) strategy providing real-time visibility of shipments.

The base for a more efficient, simple, and secure transport process is laid, and the next step is receiving global acceptance to boost international usage. With HAPTIK, a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) shall be established. The first pilot shipment will be executed by a major German brand and will be accompanied by 20+ leading German corporates. The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) provided valuable feedback and encouraged further project development. Meanwhile, DB Schenker manages all the operations, and it is only a matter of time.

Published May 2022