The board of trade says the initiative will shave some of the costs associated with this type of trading through electronic documentation. For example, each domestic coffee trade involves 59 documents, producing 3.5 million manually processed documents annually across the industry. The World Trade Organization estimates that the cost of such documentation is about $420 billion--7% of total trade costs. The annual cost of shipping documentation in the United States is about $70 million.
The exchange is launching the project from its back-up location in Long Island City, N.Y., its operations headquarters since its original trading floor was destroyed in the World Trade Center attacks last year. It will continue with the initiative even while moving to its new home in downtown Manhattan early next year.