Insights

Our latests case studies, briefing notes and news

Case studies, briefing notes and news

Case
How the Letter of Credit delays your busines
January 2024
Recently, I had to prepare a shipment for India. It was a large piece of machinery, used in the oil industry, manufactured in our factory in Rotterdam. As always, it was my responsibility to arrange the financial security.
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Announcement
Shipnext & Mercurion connect platforms
December 2023
This week Shipnext announced that it will enhance its service by connecting its shipping platform with the Mercurion trade security platform.
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Case
Not a trace – our Bill of Lading got lost
November 2023
Many of you, indirectly involved in the shipping of goods, underestimate the risk of loss of the ‘Original Bill of Lading’ affecting the ability the draw on the LC.
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Case
Lost in Transhipment
October 2023
The Letter of Credit (LC), as a trade finance instrument has not fundamentally changed during the past 150 years. LCs have many similarities with bank cheques. However, bank cheques have been phased out and LCs are still being used in today’s trading environment.
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Announcement
Mercurion on the Baltic Grain Exchange, in Copenhagen 21 September 2023
September 2023
Mercurion Trade Services is present at the Baltic Grain Exchange in the Øksnehallen, Copenhagen on September 21, 2023
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Briefing note
How secure is Cash Against Documents really?
August 2023
How secure is Cash Against Documents really? The risks explained.
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Briefing note
Commodity Trade Finance Technology Award
July 2023
We are thrilled to announce that we have been shortlisted for the Commodity Trading Awards 2023 as part of Commodity Trading Week on the 25th April at the QEII Centre, London.
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Case
Bargain Hunting
June 2023
Maybe necessity can make a good bargain after all. A company engaged in the supply of steel products to various industries, from construction companies to utilities and energy firms, recently expressed its faith in its suppliers.
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Case
Recent fraud damages that could have been prevented
May 2023
Singapore-based trading house Trafigura thought it bought nickel cargoes worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Theshipments comprised about 1,100 containers of a material that was supposed tobe nickel. What actually happened in this case shows how important ‘monitoring’in combination with ‘secure settlement’ is when trading goods internationally.
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Case
Confusing Legal Jargon
April 2023
Different types of documents explained. The moment one’s valuable cargo is loaded on a ship, the carrier (often via an agent) will usually provide a set of documents that are necessary to claim the goods once they have arrived in the port of destination (effectively being put into storage in a warehouse).
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Briefing note
Safer procurement
March 2023
A new approach to settling purchases. Many companies import raw materials or components to produce products. If their procurement departments source these from suppliers in countries where they do not have the benefit of an efficient and fair legal system, they expose themselves to certain risks.
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Case
The law of diminishing returns
February 2023
Why is change so difficult? In our previous analyses, we established that banks are not optimally set-up to deal with the settlement of international trade, in particular, when goods are transported internationally.
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Case
Secure & Agile Procurement
February 2023
Taking a flyer on a supplier. Most manufacturers and whole-sale distributors are dependent on a regular flow of goods through import, often from far away. For this type of ‘flow’ traditional security documents, if at all appropriate, are often a bureaucracy that can slow things down. What are the alternatives?
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Case
Mercurion analysis: ‘The Capital Game’
January 2023
Are banks the best partners in trade finance? Following the financial crisis in 2008 and its aftermath, bank regulations were tightened in a major way; at least this is what the authorities had in mind in order to avoid another crisis caused by a shortage of capital in the banking system.
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Case
Back to Basics
January 2023
Why dealing with a regulated third party that is not really set-up to achieve secure settlement? We established that the banking business has become a much more capital intensive business, as regulators have declared war on all sorts of hidden forms of leverage (such as the 365-day revolving facilities, amongst others).
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Case
Let’s open the floodgates again
December 2022
If security is required we simply decline the business! Having had experience with the LoC process in a number of different contexts we have had a disproportional number of problems with these documents considering the small volume of business we conducted with counterparties requiring LoCs.
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Case
How the Letter of Credit consumes your headroom
November 2022
About ten years ago, I was a manager of a treasury department of one of the biggest commodity trading companies in the world, headquartered in Rotterdam.
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Case
Why we liked Mercurion as an alternative
October 2022
We are a company that manufactures and exports production lines (specialist machinery for a whole host of manufacturers, including the car industry). The high-tech infrastructure for the plants we develop takes time to manufacture and is worth (USD) millions, if not tens of millions.
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Case
Great to have some overview
September 2022
From a chemical company in Ludwigshafen (Germany). We are a large company producing and trading a whole host of chemicals. Over the years our credit department has implemented procedures to reduce the risk of bad debt. An important aspect is the securing of letters of credit.
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Case
The ‘Piggy in the Middle’
July 2022
This case study explains how disputes between banks lead to obsessive ‘gap risk – behaviour’ of your bank and as such, slow down your business.
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Because trade should be easy

Open an account and experience how easy international trade can be.