Blockchain Based e-Invoicing Platform for Global Trade
Transportation of shipper's goods across country borders by loading into containers is known as global container shipping, and this is part and parcel of international or global trade. Multiple carriers, third and fourth party logistics companies are typically involved in a global container shipping journey. These organizations charge base service fees, unplanned, and value-added service fees through freight invoices based on pre-agreed contract rates with the shippers. The existence of multiple en route handoffs of the goods between the different carrier organizations involved in the shipment of the goods increases the complexity of the invoice generation process. Any discrepancy in invoices leads to disputes between the shippers and carriers that may take many months and person-hours to reconcile. This paper presents a blockchain-based e-invoice generation system for the goods carriers where one or more goods carriers are involved in the shipper's goods movement from origin location in one country to a destination location in another country. The generation of an invoice for a carrier primarily uses real-time shipment tracking information and pre-agreed service contract rates between the shipper and the carrier. Our system enhances e-invoicing process efficiency and lower costs for the shippers and carriers participating in global trade. The primary motivations for the organizations to adopt blockchain-based e-invoicing systems are to reduce the number of disputes on invoices, reduce dispute resolution time, and provide real-time auditing.