Dror Levy, VP of customer success at WaveBL, spoke to Container News about the digitalization process of the shipping industry.
He explained the difficulties that companies may face during the digital transition, pointed out the role of WaveBL in this process and shared the company’s vision for the next years.
- How do you see the digitization process of the shipping industry? What are the next steps that should be taken?
At WaveBL, we are excited that the move from paper-based to electronic bills of lading has become a reality, also thanks to legislators removing regulatory hurdles. The Electronic Trade Documents Act 2023 (ETDA) is a good example. Moving to eBLs has made international trade more efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable. The process is still ongoing, and it is important to drive standardization by encouraging more collaboration and standardization across the industry, boosting investments in technology, data security, and infrastructure.
- What is the role of WaveBL in the digital revolution of the shipping sector?
As WaveBL, we are proud to be a pioneer and driving force in the digital revolution of international trade and shipping. As a creative, innovative, and flexible partner, we help our customers and strategic partners to digitize their networks – from electronic bills of lading to related documents used along the maritime supply chain. One of our success factors is the use of our unique blockchain technology in our offerings, which consists of our flagship WaveBL platform for electronic bills of lading and other documents that are part of the international trade process. But we are also constantly innovating and exploring new ways to digitize and streamline the shipping process.
- What are the special solutions that you offer?
WaveBL is more than a supplier of a digital platform for eBLs and related trade documents. First and foremost, we assist our customers and partners with their digital transformation – from eBLs via other electronic documents to sophisticated solutions along the maritime supply chain. Carriers, exporters, importers, banks, freight forwarders, customs, and certificate issuers are partnering with us to reap the benefits of moving from paper-based to digital.
Thanks to our close partnerships with the world’s largest carriers and freight forwarders, we are able to identify the latest industry trends and customer needs in near real-time. This allows us to customize and enhance our current solutions and develop and launch new features to cement our position as a trailblazer and innovator. Based on received feedback, we are currently developing complementary solutions to make global trade more efficient. As the trusted partner of our customers, we keep on supporting them with their current and future trade digitalisation challenges.
- Do you see any special challenges/difficulties that your customers (and generally the industry) face in the digital transition projects/process?
Yes, there are special challenges since digital transformation is complicated by disrupting centuries-old processes with deeply embedded ways that things are done. That’s why we assist our customers every step of the way. In general, the shipping and logistics industries are facing economic upheavals, post-Covid challenges, embargos, and a global economic downturn. Since shipping and logistics are part of the global supply chain, they are an inherent part of the global trade network. This means that each and every link (party) in the chain must be ready for the transformation and collaborate to achieve digital change. That’s why we at WaveBL help our customers bring their business partners so everyone is onboarded and can send and receive eBL. We provide our offerings and know-how to help our customers, but also to transform the global trade network while overcoming the inherent industry challenges.
On a personal note, I have seen this happening in several industries I have been involved in, such as telco, banking, insurance, automotive, and education, when they moved to digitization. As WaveBL, we see it as our duty and privilege to make the whole process as easy as possible for our customers.
- What is WaveBL’s vision for the future of the shipping industry in the next 5-10 years?
As the saying goes, it’s hard to predict, especially the future. That being said, we can safely predict that the future of shipping will experience a combination of technological advancements, regulatory changes, and industry trends.
As far as technology goes, we will see the consolidation of digital ecosystems and standards, and increased automation.
We believe that, much like the eBL domain today, the entire set of data and documents related to and supporting international trade will become standardized and digitized, increasing efficiency and agility.
We understand that there will be a heightened focus on building more resilient supply chains to make them less vulnerable to disruptions and fraud. The wider use of data analytics will help anticipate and mitigate risks as well as prevent fraud.
Emerging trends, such as enhancing customer experience, offering user-friendly digital platforms, and providing sustainable shipping options, will be on the rise.
Overall, as we see it, the focus will be on fraud prevention, increased efficiency, improved customer experience, as well as greater agility and velocity