The Ocean Freight Industry EIPP Standards Advisory Board (SAB), an independent organization of containerized shipping executives, on Thursday said it has made progress on several key electronic invoicing initiatives following its sixth bi-annual meeting in Hamburg, Germany, earlier this month.
During the two-day gathering, the SAB reached several important milestones to advance the use of electronic invoicing in the industry. The group successfully formalized best practices for electronic invoice submission and receipt, while also moving forward to develop standards for the corresponding credit note process and complimentary EDI (electronic-data-interchange) message guidelines.
Members also defined future project initiatives for standardizing business processes and electronic messages to resolve many common causes of invoice disputes, including the areas of contract management, booking and shipping instructions.
The group also heard from Frank Cirimele, director of products and services with the freight payment and audit services provider Cass Information Systems. He discussed the role of standards in the electronic payment of transportation invoices.
“Electronic invoicing presentment and payments is the last manual frontier in ocean shipping to be conquered in what is otherwise a rich EDI channel environment,” said Steen Erik Larsen, head of IT delivery operations, trade and marketing, and finance for Maersk Line. “The pace to implement EIPP is picking up and therefore the development of standards is critical to facilitate successful one-to-many integrations, to ensure timely, reliable and consistent processes, and to lower costs.”
The SAB also named Otto Peter, a 40-year industry veteran with deepsea freight experience at Kuehne + Nagel and Agility, as the new leader of SAB’s process team.
“Due to the collective brainpower and influence in the market overall, the SAB has been essential in advancing the use of e-Invoicing presentment and payment in the ocean container shipping industry during the past three years,” said Rod Agona, executive officer of the SAB and managing director of electronic invoicing at INTTRA. “We’re eager to continue in this positive direction and look forward to growing our number of new members in 2013. In particular, the ocean carriers have an unprecedented chance to collaborate with some of their largest customers on win-win strategies in eCommerce that could only be accomplished in a neutral forum such as the SAB.”
The SAB was established in 2010 by INTTRA and a core group of carriers and freight forwarders. It has grown to be a self-funded and governed 24-member organization. Members include Agility Logistics, BDP International, CEVA Logistics, CMA CGM, CSAV, Damco, DB Schenker, DHL Global Forwarding, Ecu-Line, Geodis Wilson, Hamburg Süd, Hapag-Lloyd, INTTRA, JF Hillebrand, "K" Line, Kuehne + Nagel, Leschaco, Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co., Panalpina, Röhlig, Sinotrans, and UASC.
Larsen and Agona are scheduled to speak during an American Shipper webinar on e-Invoicing
June 5. - Eric Johnson