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Friday, 18 July 2008

International Market Entry & Distribution - BOLERO

Exporters studying the International Market Entry and Distribution module have shown interest in learning more about the growing trend towards paperless trading which is believed to significantly reduce the risk of global trade through less and better data and increase efficiency by reducing trade-transaction costs Just in case you weren't aware - paperless trading was the subject of a major international Symposium held in June 2008. Organised by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), the symposium concluded that using open, harmonized, international standards is critical for successful cross-border paperless trading (you can read more at:


For some time, banks, shipping companies and others in the supply chain have been developing their own proprietary systems which facilitate paperless trading and in addition, organisations such as BOLERO (Bills of Lading Electronic Registry Organization - http://www.bolero.net/) have endeavoured to provide a complete system - with mixed responses. Below are some comments from one of our export companies (all names removed) regarding BOLERO - if you have additional comments which you wish to add, please do so as your experiences can help others decide whether this is the right option for them.

"It has been around for many years and was initially vaunted as the only total solution for companies to embark on their paperless trading platform. Quite a few years ago it was marketed strongly in NZ and presentations made to interested companies.It is a major initiative, has major players involved and has had major amounts of money invested in it.The path forward for them has however not been an easy one for various reasons; some quick points that may be of interest:

BOLERO requires all parties involved in a transaction to be signed up with them.

It is a very costly business to sign up with BOLERO! (can be hundreds of thousands of dollars) "

"There are other platforms out there and there are many organisations e.g. banks, shipping companies etc. which have their own proprietary systems which go a fair way down the track to paperless trading at minimal cost to the customer" .

"I can tell you that a large organisation in NZ viewed BOLERO as its solution for paperless trading but has since backed off."

"You will see on the BOLERO website that ANZ flashes up as being involved with them - this relates to our London office having a very limited involvement in advising LCs via the BOLERO system to a large European Trader. We, as a bank, have had a "watching brief" for many years and certainly don't have any all up commitment to BOLERO - I suspect you will find this with most banks."

"From my observations, any sign up that BOLERO succeeds with, tends to be shouted about well beyond what the actual accomplishment is".

"I am aware that BHP (Singapore, I think) was using BOLERO at one stage but am not sure whether this is still the case."

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