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Hydro expands its journey to paperless trade

Paperless Trade
Digital Trade
electronic bill of lading
Michael Ouedraogo
Katerina Anagnostara
ICE Digital Trade
  HYDRO Blog Web Header 2023

Leading multinational mining & metals conglomerate, Hydro, recently completed a series of electronic Bill of Lading (eB/L) shipments with third-party buyers in the USA and Iceland, expanding its journey to paperless trade as it works towards using eDocs for all export shipments out of its Brazilian Alumina refining asset, Hydro Alunorte.

Hydro commenced its post-trade digitalization journey in December 2019, when several of its entities signed up for eB/Ls, initially acting only as receivers of cargoes. Hydro’s inaugural eB/L transaction notably marked the first ever paperless trade in the alumina commodity segment, involving bulk alumina transported from Australia to China, with Hydro Aluminium International S.A and Hydro Aluminium (Beijing) Ltd.

Thereafter and following a formal RFP process in 2021, Hydro Alunorte – the world’s largest Alumina refinery outside China – selected CargoDocs to power its eDocs initiative for digitizing and automating bills of lading and other export document processes. This was preceded by a series of inter-company eDocs transactions covering bulk alumina export from the Hydro Alunorte refinery in Brazil, to Hydro smelters in Norway. Today, Hydro Alunorte is operationally using CargoDocs to digitize the issuance of its bills of lading, on both inter-company as well as external shipments with third-party buyers. Furthermore, with Hydro Alunorte’s drafting agents all onboarded to the platform, the Company is now digitizing the creation and approval/review process for all its B/Ls – whether electronic or paper. Going forward, Hydro Alunorte aims to further standardize the eDocs procedure across its existing product flows and expand eDocs use to cover all export shipments, assisted by our Customer Success team which ensures the smooth digital transition of all stakeholders on the platform.

By using eDocs, Hydro has achieved significant time and cost savings, improved trade transparency and visibility, reduced risk of fraudulent documents, while eliminating the need to use Charterer’s Letters of Indemnity (LOIs).

Commenting on Hydro’s strategic post-trade digitalization efforts, Michael Ouedraogo, Alumina Trader at Hydro, said: "The use of electronic Bill of Lading has helped us improve our alumina operations considerably; thanks to this solution we are operating more efficiently while reducing our operational risks. We are glad to see an increasing number of customers, suppliers, shipowners and banks supporting eDocs initiatives and adopting CargoDocs."

Katerina Anagnostara, Director, Customer Success, ICE Digital Trade, added: "We are very excited to support Hydro Group’s digitalization efforts. Over the past years, the Group has successfully adopted and expanded use of eDocs across its trade flows, demonstrating a truly admirable commitment to digitally transforming the alumina market. We look forward to continuing to assist them in this journey."


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