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Electronic FIATA Bill of Lading (eFBL)

FIATA & essDOCS offer FIATA members and their customers an electronic version of the FIATA Bill of Lading (eFBL). FIATA chose CargoDocs because it is an entirely web-based system which allows for the distribution of the FIATA Bill of Lading in electronic format. The system can be accessed with a registered user ID/password and a bank-grade security token, with no software installation required.


Solution Background

FIATA and essDOCS initially pulled interest from FIATA’s Association Members, of which 7 came forward wanting to test the new CargoDocs customized FIATA system. The system was tested with two Forwarders, who provided favourable results and feedback. This feedback was analysed and incorporated to further customize and tailor the CargoDocs solution for the Freight Forwarding industry. With testing completed, FIATA and essDOCS have now opened up CargoDocs to interested Shippers and Forwarders looking to implement the solution to their day-to-day business.

How it Works

CargoDocs allows for electronic FIATA Bills of Lading (eFBLs) to be drafted online, before a FIATA member signs and issues them electronically. All actions are handled by the same parties that would handle paper FBLs. Exporters can supplement the eFBL with supporting documents (Commercial Invoice, Packing list, etc.) and the whole set of Original eDocs can be instantly transferred within essDOCS’ secure, online eDocs Exchange (DocEx) to Importers or their Banks. Banks signed up treat the eFBL as the legal equivalent to the paper FBL under L/C transactions. Finally, the eFBL is surrendered to the agent at destination electronically, eliminating any need in the whole process to courier or hand-carry documents between parties. Release of cargo then happens as today. 


  • Shipping Instructions can be sent to FIATA members electronically, significantly speeding up current processes.
  • Streamlined, collaborative drafting of eFBLs, reducing time for drafting/approving documents and allowing faster release of eFBL to shipper/exporter, with more accuracy
  • No courier fees or delays resulting from physical distribution of documents
  • Significant time and cost saving when eFBLs or other documents require amending (e.g. if Bank finds a discrepancy against L/C, or a COD requires new documents)
  • In Trade Finance applications, eDocs are delivered directly to the L/C or eDoc Collection team, bypassing the local office and speeding up L/C review
  • Eliminates risk of fraudulent B/Ls being presented at destination for collection of goods
  • No more lost bills of lading
  • eDocs archived electronically and searchable so can be accessed at any time, reducing paper storage


Contact us to get started or request your very own free online demo.