> On 23 Jul 2019, at 20:18, John Ralls <jra...@ceridwen.us> wrote:
> That would be *way* out of scope for GnuCash. The only effect on accounting 
> is when the change in ownership of the inventory is booked. Deciding that is 
> completely external to GnuCash, which doesn't even do cost accounting for WIP 
> inventory. It might be in scope for an ERP program like odoo 
> (https://www.odoo.com/) that does do cost accounting, but even that's 
> doubtful and most of an ERP suite wouldn't be useful to a freight forwarder. 
> (I used to be the production control manager at an integrated circuit 
> manufacturer so I have a small understanding of international shipping.)

The focus here is not on inventory - it is just not mandatory thing for the 
freight forwarders. Many of them use warehouses of their partners. There are 
many ERP-systems, so it is not a point of interest now.

Instead, this is the ocean bill of lading that transfers the ownership of the 
commodity shipped. There is no reliable solution on the market yet. It has more 
to do with “smart contracts” or whatever is the correct term for using the 
means of version control system. And I believe you, guys, know pretty well how 
it works.

> You might invert the problem, though, and use GnuCash as the accounting 
> backend for a stand-alone shipping management program.
> Regards,
> John Ralls

That might be a nice workaround actually.
Let me explain the idea:
The thing is many people, including trading companies with many years expertise 
and actually successful international business, do not completely understand 
the concept “document of title” and what does mean that the B/L is 
“transferable”. That caused many troubles in my experience. Maritime business 
just lacks of modern solutions. 

This is why I’m here - if you are interested, I can explain how it works, where 
are the weak points, possible solutions, which points of control cannot and 
shouldn’t be replaced by robots. This is a main issue with recent systems - 
bots are introduced where human force is required and human do things, that 
will be easier for software.

With bills of lading you cannot afford that. Ocean freight forwarders are 
responsible for delivery of goods against surrendered B/L. And robots are not. 
Many companies are trying to implement electronic B/L using blockchain. But I’m 
afraid a possible failure of any of them (or any crypto-currency) might lead to 
a blind alley and mistrust. This is why my suggestion is GnuCash + electronic 
B/L. Both on the backend. It looks a way out of scope. On second thought they 
might seem closer than you think. 

It’s just something to consider. I’m trying to connect the dots only and 
introduce another use of GnuCash. 

Kind regards,
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