ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 2, 2020 — National Grain and Feed Digital Solutions (NGFDS) officially launched the eagerly anticipated Barge Digital Transformation (BDT) platform on Nov. 2.
The platform will be live for corn bills of lading starting Nov. 1. Remaining commodities, including soybeans, wheat, soybean meal and distillers dried grains, will be available on the digital platform before the end of the year.
The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) announced its official partnership in July with the affiliated organization NGFDS to oversee the BDT platform. NGFDS has partnered with essDOCS to implement this platform that will digitize barge trading documents so that they may be transmitted electronically – a huge cost savings to the industry. In particular, the new platform is expected to digitize the approximated 70,000 to 100,000 negotiable barge bills of lading that NGFA members process each year.
“This is truly a momentous development projected to save those of us using barge transportation significant costs now being incurred while greatly improving efficiency,” said NGFDS Chairman Brittany Schaefer, logistics manager at Bunge North America. “My hope is that launching this innovative, secure platform for transmitting barge-related paperwork is just one step toward a future of efficient data transmission throughout the agricultural supply chain.”
Sign up here to be able to use the BDT system.
NGFDS hosted three training sessions for using the BDT platform on Oct. 21-23. View recordings of the sessions here.
NGFDS was established in March 2020 to oversee the Barge Digital Transformation (BDT) platform. The platform, developed through a partnership with essDOCS as an administrative utility for the industry, is meant to house, develop and distribute the documentation associated with the barge trade. In particular, it will digitize the approximated 70,000 to 100,000 negotiable barge bills of lading that NGFA members process each year. The industry group directing and funding this project includes representatives from NGFA and the following member companies: American Commercial Barge Line, Archer Daniels Midland Co., Bunge North America, Cargill Inc., CGB Enterprises Inc., CHS Inc., Gavilon Group LLC, Ingram Barge Co., Louis Dreyfus Co. and Zen-Noh Grain Corporation.
NGFA, established in 1896, consists of more than 1,000 grain, feed, processing, exporting and other grain-related companies that operate more than 7,000 facilities and handle more than 70 percent of all U.S. grains and oilseeds. Its membership includes grain elevators; feed and feed ingredient manufacturers; biofuels companies; grain and oilseed processors and millers; exporters; livestock and poultry integrators; and associated firms that provide goods and services to the nation’s grain, feed and processing industry. NGFA also consists of 33 affiliated State and Regional Grain and Feed Associations, and NGFA is co-located and has a strategic alliance with North American Export Grain Association, and a strategic alliance with Pet Food Institute.