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First Iron Ore Trade completed successfully using essDOCS CargoDocs electronic bills of lading solution

BHP Billiton
Minerva Marine
electronic bill of lading
trade finance
Iron Ore


Documentation flow between companies significantly improved through paperless processing

VALETTA, MALTA, 30th October 2013:

BHP Billiton, Royal Bank of Scotland, Westpac Banking Corporation, Cargill and Minerva Marine recently completed the first trade financed iron ore trade using essDOCS CargoDocs electronic bill of lading and eUCP Presentation solutions. CargoDocs was used on a shipment from Australia to China.

The eDocs shipment clearly demonstrated how a typical trade can be handled with greater speed, certainty and accuracy when compared with paper-based alternatives. In this trade the electronic bill of lading was drafted by BHP Billiton in Shanghai (eliminating the need for separate document instructions). It was then approved signed and issued on behalf of Minerva Marine by Wilhelmsen Ships Services in Port Hedland, Australia. BHP Billiton created original electronic peripheral documents within CargoDocs and the whole eSet was endorsed and presented electronically to RBS under an eUCP600 letter of credit.

Once accepted, the eDocs were transferred to Westpac electronically, after which they were forwarded to the buyers, Cargill. The times taken by the parties demonstrate the attractions of using eDocs. The eB/L (electronic bill of lading) was drafted, approved, signed and issued, and the full eDocs set was presented to RBS, the confirming bank, all within one hour. RBS presented the eDocs to Westpac Banking Corporation in Singapore, the Issuing Bank, the next working day. Westpac passed eDocs to the buyer Cargill, completing this four corner presentation within just 4 days.  100% of documents required under the letter of credit were presented as original electronic documents.

This shipment was one of a series of 6 carried out in quick succession using electronic bills of lading and eUCP Presentations over a period of a fortnight. The shipment was one of the first uses of CargoDocs electronic bills of lading in iron trades, the first live use of CargoDocs by BHP Billiton as well as the first use of eUCP Presentation using CargoDocs by RBS and Westpac. Both banks went from an oral agreement to move forward to the live shipment in less than 16 weeks.

Nadeem Ashraf, Trade Execution Lead, Cargill Singapore said “At Cargill, we are committed to innovation that creates value for our customers and partners and for us. We are delighted that essDOCS has supported us in creating a web-technology to simplify our processes around management of shipping documents. The use of these tools offers better customer experiences.” 

Manfred Schmoelz, Head of Transaction Services, Asia Pacific, for The Royal Bank of Scotland said, "As one of the leading global trade banks, RBS is focused on providing innovative trade solutions to our clients by supporting their needs with both our proprietary trade systems, as well as delivering bank-agnostic electronic platforms such as essDOCS. This is one of several industry 'first' trade transactions RBS has successfully executed with the electronic presentation of documents and we are indeed proud to have been able to help our long-term clients, BHP Billiton and Cargill, in this landmark trade." 

Manoj Menon, Global Head of Trade Services, Innovation & Customer Proposition, RBS, went on to say “Transferring the document electronically means this can all happen in minutes instead of days and the goods are released much sooner. eB/Ls are already proving very popular in the oil and bulk commodity sectors. Banks can already provide their own electronic banking services, but this may not be sustainable in the long term. Independent, multi-bank platforms are the way ahead for bringing benefits across international trade as evidenced here with essDOCS.“

Axel Boye-Moller, Head of Westpac Asia's Global Transactional Services said: "As a leading trade partner in Australasia, Westpac is well placed to work with key customers BHP Billiton and Cargill Group along with essDOCS to deliver this leading edge solution. With the increasing growth in global trade, we continue to support our customers with innovative solutions that deliver greater efficiency and speed across geographies." 

Capt. Yannis Giannopulos, Operations Manager, Minerva Marine Inc. said "We are fully committed to the commercially successful transportation of our client's cargo around the world and the adoption of eDocs to improve our operations efficiency by speeding up the documentation process. We do believe that a move from the traditional paper bill of lading to a secure electronic format is the future of shipping documentation, having numerous advantages for the industry. We are excited to be associated with this important development as provided by essDOCS CargoDocs solutions which is an easy functional, traceable, and user- friendly process.” 

Alexander Goulandris, essDOCS, CEO, said: “We are delighted to have been able to work with such trade finance pioneers as Cargill, BHP Billiton, Westpac, RBS and Minerva Marine on this transition to eDocs. The level of interest in eUCP Presentation continues to build globally, and we are excited about being a key part of the industry’s evolution to eDocs.”

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Note to Editors

About Cargill

Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 142,000 people in 65 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit

About Royal Bank of Scotland

The RBS Group is a large international banking and financial services company. Headquartered in Edinburgh, the Group operates in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and Asia, with on-the-ground operations in 38 countries including 10 across Asia Pacific, serving over 30 million customers worldwide. RBS Markets and International Banking business provides debt financing, global markets, risk management, financial advisory and transaction services to major corporations, financial institutions, and government and public sector clients around the world.

About Westpac Banking Corporation

Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac) was founded in 1817 and was the first bank established in Australia. As at 31 March 2013, the Westpac Group employed approximately 36,000 people (full time equivalent basis) in Australia, New Zealand and around the world, and had global assets of A$677.5 billion. Westpac is ranked in the top 5 listed companies by market capitalisation on the Australian Securities Exchange Limited (ASX). As at 31 March 2013, our market capitalisation was A$95.5 billion Westpac Institutional Bank (WIB) delivers a broad range of financial services to commercial, corporate, institutional and government customers with connections to Australia and New Zealand. Customers are supported through branches and subsidiaries located in Australia, New Zealand, US, UK and Asia; and New Zealand Banking is responsible for sales and service of banking, wealth, and insurance products for consumer, business and institutional customers in New Zealand. Banking products are provided under the Westpac brand, while insurance and wealth products are provided under Westpac Life and BT brands.

About Minerva Marine Inc.

Minerva Marine Inc. is a leading integrated ship-management Company dedicated to provide cost efficient, environmentally sound and reliable seaborne transportation service. Minerva has extensive experience in managing various vessel types and sizes including all tanker segments & dry bulkers (Capes, Kamsarmax), and currently operates a fleet of 54 vessels including 47 tankers, 5 modern bulk carriers and 2 N/B vessels. For more information, visit

About essDOCS

essDOCS delivers industry-led electronic shipping and trade document and data solutions which improve physical and financial operations, compliance and traceability. Our global leading eDocs suite, CargoDocs, offers solutions such as electronic bills of lading (eB/L) and supporting documents for the Tanker, Barge, Bulker and Liner markets, eUPC Presentation and Bank Payment Obligation solutions.   For more information visit

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