• Integrating futures and cash markets: the eCOPS system


    ICE's direct involvement with the grading, certification and warehousing of physical coffee is an indication of how interconnected the futures and cash markets have become. The New York Exchange is also directly involved in the establishment of electronic transfer of ownership of lots of coffee through standardized electronic contracts and other paperwork that must accompany the movement of coffee through the marketing chain.

    In 1992 the then NYBOT introduced COPS or Commodity Operations and Processing System, a computerized commodity delivery system that addressed sampling, quality, weighing, title transfer as well as confirming title status of deliveries. This transformed the entire delivery process for the coffee industry by reducing the complex, time consuming, costly and inefficient paper trail for each delivery against a futures contract.

    In 2002 work commenced to transform COPS into eCOPS, a fully fledged electronic platform for the full automation of coffee and cocoa deliveries to US warehouses for the exchange. Effective with the March 2004 delivery eCOPS has now replaced the paper delivery trail with electronic versions of warehouse receipts, delivery orders, sampling orders, weight notes, invoices, insurance declarations and a number of other accompanying documents.
    Other areas such as bills of lading and customs entry documentation will be added as the system grows. For more on eCOPS see also 06.01.04 or go to www.theice.com. and look for eCOPS.

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