Millions of paper documents are exchanged everyday in international trade transactions. It has been estimated that these paper documentations cost $500 billion annually, an average of about 10% of the cost of each trade transaction. This represents as much as 5% of total revenue for importers and exporters, and is a significant expense for logistics companies, trade banks, and other trade intermediaries.
It also avoids delays commonly associated with transactions using paper documentation. However, in order for electronic trade documentation to gain widespread adoption, a reliable and secure solution is essential, allowing title documents, such as the bill of lading, to be exchanged electronically.