Thanks to TradeLens eBL UNISPED GROUP expands its business by offering new products and services to customers across the globe

The customer

With offices in Milan and Naples, Unisped Group is a freight forwarding company that has been operating in the industry for more than 20 years and is one of the main exporters to the Middle East.

The challenge

The manual, paper-based processes used today for handling Original Bills of Lading are riddled with inefficiencies and risks, resulting in a lack of visibility, unnecessary costs, delays, and potentially lost documents. Around 70% of Unisped Group traffic is governed by a Master Seaway bill as it is the common practice among freight forwarders. (A Seaway bill is a contract of carriage, which is the same as an Original Bill of Lading. However, it is non-negotiable, it cannot be assigned to a third party and it is not needed for cargo delivery.

When a Seaway bill is issued, the Ocean carrier will deliver the cargo at its destination to the person or company mentioned as Consignee in the Seaway bill.) This means that, for Exw shipments, Unisped cannot hold the release of goods at the destination until the payment is received.

The solution

By adopting the TradeLens electronic Bill of Lading (eBL) solution instead of a regular Seaway bill, Unisped can surrender eBLs back to the carrier in one click as soon as payment is received, guaranteeing an immediate release at the destination. Thanks also to TradeLens' user-friendly platform and the interface with the carrier's website, the eBL surrender can be done at any time from any device.

By switching to eBL, as soon as payment is received, eBL is surrendered back to the carrier, in one click, guaranteeing an immediate release at the destination.

Fabio Bertoni, Managing Director at Unisped Group

The results

According to the first estimates, Unisped Group's savings in terms of cost and time within two months of the adoption of the solution is between 50 to 100 euros per BL and one to four working days, compared to the traditional release methods, i.e. telex release or sending a full set of originals to the consignee.

This makes the adoption of innovative digital supply chain tools and the creation of value for all parties more powerful.

Digitizing is by now one of the major keys to driving the economy. Onboarding our counterparties in this journey will allow us to expand our business by offering new products and services to a larger number of digitally-connected customers across the globe.

Fabio Bertoni, Managing Director at Unisped Group

Strengths and benefits of the solution

By switching to a fully digital and secure process, customers can digitally issue, transfer and surrender original BLs and enjoy the benefits of increased efficiency, courier cost reduction, speeding up the release at the destination, as well as eliminating the risks of loss or fraud of original BLs.


Moller - Maersk's ambitious target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in 2040 is driven by advanced technology and solutions.

Paperless eBL is one of those tools that will help us reach our goal by collaborating with our customers through a highly secure data and document-sharing platform.

Hala Demloj,

TradeLens Area Growth Manager at Maersk Italy

What's next

After a successful pilot phase and multiple customers already onboarded, Maersk and IBM's focus in 2023 will be client ease of use and network acceleration, which will be achieved by onboarding additional carriers and financial institutes to support the shipments subject to letters of credit.