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AUSTRALIAN logistics software colossus WiseTech Global has acquired Bolero, a provider of electronic bills of lading and digital documentation capabilities for global trade. 

Bolero’s services enable carriers to digitalise bills of lading, creating eBLs that can be transmitted, endorsed and presented electronically to parties including port authorities, customs, financial institutions and logistics partners.

Transaction parties are then able to securely monitor progress and access information about ownership, progress and payment throughout the supply chain life cycle.

WiseTech Global CEO Richard White said paperless systems are critical as the logistics industry moves toward digitalisation.

“We see tremendous synergy in combining Bolero’s capabilities within the CargoWise ecosystem, creating seamless end-to-end digital workflows. The Bolero team’s knowledge and technology stack will be connected directly into the CargoWise ecosystem to provide benefits to existing CargoWise customers through the provision of leading eBL, digital documentation workflows and the digital connection to banking and settlement services,” he said.

“Our shared commitment to develop digital capabilities that enable and empower global trade means together we will continue to provide our customers with solutions to meet the future needs of the industry. We are excited to welcome Bolero into our global WiseTech team.”

Bolero CEO Andrew Raymond said joining WiseTech Global marks a significant step forward for full digital supply chain documentation, facilitating safer, smarter and faster global trade.

“Bolero has a proven track record with importers, exporters, ocean carriers, major banks, and port terminals,” Mr Raymond said.

“We are excited by the opportunity to enhance the leading CargoWise ecosystem and provide some of the world’s largest logistics service providers and carriers with digital documentation solutions. We remain committed to our long-standing customers and partners and continuing to enhance our solutions with the product development and innovation strength of WiseTech.”

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WTO highlights benefits of paperless trade

WiseTech Global’s announcement comes as the World Trade Organization releases a publication highlighting the advantages of paperless trade.

The Cross-Border Paperless Trade Toolkit was published in collaboration with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asian and the Pacific and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.

In response to growing demand for practical instruments that can harness trade digitalisation, the publication aims to draw attention to the technical and legal tools governments can use to transition to cross-border paperless trade.

WTO deputy director-general Anabel Gonzalez said there is demand for an easier, less costly and more inclusive global trade.

“Paperless trade specifically — and trade facilitation more generally — are also highly relevant in the broader context of the supply chain disruptions that we have been witnessing over the past two years,” Ms Gonzalez said.

“Paperless trade can be a very powerful tool to reduce trade costs, which is key to making economies more efficient, global trade more inclusive, and supply chains more resilient.”

The toolkit is intended to help officials implement paperless trade systems by considering the establishment of legal and technical frameworks.

The publication also lists the international and regional organisations which provide technical assistance and support programs for paperless trade.

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