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Ion Carbon & Minerals, LLC and Tata Steel execute the first ever eB/L transaction for coal export out of Canada

Ion Carbon & Minerals
Tata Steel
electronic bill of lading
  Canada first coal

Leading carbon trading company, Ion Carbon and Minerals, LLC (a division of AMCI Group), recently went live with CargoDocs electronic Bills of Lading (eB/Ls), executing a transaction which marks the first ever use of eB/Ls for coal export out of Canada.

The milestone transaction covered the sale of coking coal by Ion Carbon & Minerals to Tata Steel Europe. The cargo was shipped aboard the bulk carrier Marathassa, transported from Prince Rupert, Canada, to IJmuiden, Netherlands and Port Talbot, UK.

The eDocs flow began with drafting and online review/approvals between the shipper, charterer and vessel owner, using CargoDocs. The eB/Ls were electronically signed and issued by the agent (on behalf of the Master) to the shipper, Ion Carbon & Minerals, who subsequently endorsed and transferred the eB/Ls to Tata Steel Ijmuiden and Tata Steel UK, each of whom then digitally ‘surrendered’ the original to the owner for the vessel’s discharge.

Digitizing shipping & trade document processes forms a key component of Ion Carbon & Mineral’s and Tata Steel’s digital transformation efforts. By using eDocs, both organizations are able to:

  • Eliminate the need for printing and couriering of documents, achieving significant time/cost savings
  • Collaborate in real-time on relevant documents, thereby reducing errors and accelerating finalization and issuance of original eDocs
  • Eliminate paper-related fraud risks, as well as legal risks arising from issuing discharge LOIs
  • Improve trade flow security, transparency, and visibility
  • Support sustainability and ESG practices

Commenting on the milestone transaction, Heather Howard, Contract and Export Manager, Ion Carbon & Minerals, LLC said: “The ability to issue eDocs has made the entire process of drafting and releasing B/Ls so much easier. We have the confidence of knowing all parties involved have reviewed and approved the drafts for release and the original eB/L is in the hands of the owners long before the vessel reaches the discharge port.  Additionally, this platform has created a solid segway for Ion to begin our efforts towards digitized processes that optimize the accuracy and efficiency of our shipping and trade business.”

Cem Ugur, Group Head Chartering and Operations, Tata Steel added: “In our journey for 100% eB/L transactions, this comes as a significant milestone for us. We thank all our partners in this collaboration for making this possible.”


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