Everything You Need to Know About New Standards for Electronic Bills of Lading

This October the Digital LTL Council, of which project44 is a founding member, released new standards for Electronic Bills of Lading (eBOL). Under these new standards, shippers, LSPs, and carriers will reap the rewards of reduced costs and errors and improved communication and service. With this new digital standard in place, BOL data will be exchanged faster and more accurately than ever before.

So what is an eBOL and why does it matter to you? Read on to learn more.

Why You Should Care About New eBOL Standards

Before we unpack what this eBOL standard means for the industry, let’s review the basics. A traditional Bill of Lading (BOL) includes essential shipment information like origin and destination addresses, paper ID, shipment contents, and more. Bills of Lading are traditionally paper-based, which means their creation requires a manual process of entering data into a carriers’ system.

An eBOL (electronic Bill of Lading) on the other hand is exactly what it sounds like – it’s electronic, which means everything is handled digitally up until an actual shipment label is printed. This reduces the likelihood of human error and speeds up the entire process.

Despite the obvious efficiencies gained from eBOLs, according to MyCarrier, the LTL industry handles more than 85% of all shipments with paper-based processes, causing shippers and carriers alike to miss out on cost-savings and sustainability benefits that can be gained through digitization. Even before the introduction of this standard, project44 is projected to eliminate more than 167 million metric tons of emissions by the end of 2023 – or the equivalent of 769 million trees. Think about how much more we could all do with standardized digitization across the supply chain.

A huge step towards said digitization is through the use of APIs (application programming interfaces) that enable two digital systems to communicate. An eBOL API allows for the digital transfer of information between carrier, shipper and / or LSP seamlessly. More specifically, the use of eBOLs provide instant confirmation and initiation of tracking, eliminate manual tasks, and reduce carrier set up costs.

These cost and time savings can in turn be passed on to the end customer. A win-win if you ask us.

Getting Started with the eBOL API

Getting started with the eBOL API is easier than ever. project44’s LTL Dispatch solution offers a one-to-many API that eliminates the need for mapping carriers through more manually taxing EDIs (Electronic Data Interchanges), resulting in instant carrier confirmation.

Project44 e BOL API

Are you ready to modernize your processes and implement new eBOL standards? You can learn more and speak to someone on our team here.