Switching From Paper To Electronic Bills Of Lading: Part 1. Fundamental sociological structure, distributed ledger technology and legal difficulties

Mohd Hwaidi (Lead / Corresponding author), Graham Ferrier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The first part of this article proposes a conceptual framework for a sociological understanding of the uses of bills of lading. We argue that platforms that aim to facilitate an electronic format of bills of lading should be based upon the constituent components of the practices associated with paper bills of lading. In the second part of this article we suggest that Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), including blockchains, is the best technological means for facilitating the use in practice of immaterial bills of lading. The appropriate type of DLT is then evaluated in light of expected legal difficulties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-315
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of International Martime Law
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019



  • Electronic bills of lading
  • norms and law
  • social structure
  • legal issues on Distributed Ledger Technology

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