Digital trade platform provider essDocs says it has completed the world's first integrated paperless iron ore trade transaction.

The transaction incorporated letter of credit (L/C) management over the Voltron blockchain or distributed ledger platform.

Time saving

The trade involved Rio Tinto selling bulk iron ore to Cargill, which sourced the cargo from Australia on behalf of a customer in China in a deal supported by HSBC and BNP Paribas.

Rio Tinto and Cargill collaborated on Chinsay's Intelligent Contract Platform (ICP) to dramatically reduce the time it took to create, issue, approve and digitally sign commodity contracts from several days to hours.

Contract details and data flowed from ICP to Voltron, where L/C issuance was completed in less than two hours compared with 1-2 days for traditional, paper-based L/Cs. One single-source L/C was digitally transmitted across the platforms.

100 per cent paperless

Rio Tinto, Cargill, ship agent, shipowner, HSBC and BNP Paribas collaborated via essDocs' web-based CargoDocs solution to draft, approve, sign, issue, transfer and electronically present the electronic bill of lading (eB/L).

Without exception, all documents required under the L/C were presented electronically, with one single-source eB/L plus supporting documents digitally transmitted across the platforms.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.