13.8.2018 Technology

The e-CMR as a solution for an industry with a pent-up demand

The e-CMR as a solution for an industry with a pent-up demand

The transport logistics industry is in part still stuck in the 20th Century. At the same time, it experiences a wide variety of digital progress, whose implementation will take time and willingness to adapt. Nevertheless, these digital solutions help the sector to develop timely. An example portrays the pilot project of the electronic waybill, the e-CMR.

Logistics companies the potential in the outdated freight paper handling

The transport and logistics industry is mostly still connected with a lot of organization and coordination effort. Freight paper handling, order submissions, and delivery documentation are a part of everyday life of each TRANS-port logistics at all levels of the value chain.

Most of these processes are operated manually. Orders are delivered orally, cargo details manually transferred and bills of lading only delivered in paper form. Here, many errors arise inevitably and valuable time is lost.

According to a survey conducted by the Frauenhofer Gesellschaft transport logistics service providers see a lot of exhaustible potential in the above areas due to the digitalization. Accordingly, the freight paper handling attracts the largest expected added value by digital processes. A concrete implementation offers the e–CMR.


Quelle: Frauenhofer Gesellschaft

What is the CMR and what progress brings the electronic Version?

The CMR is an official contract that is used since more than 60 years for international shipments and is ratified by 44 countries. It is a tool, to provide an overview of the basic information, such as freight details, pick-up and delivery address of each transport, to the sender, the carrier, and the receiver.

The electronic CMR is part of the conversation within the United Nations since 2008 and was used, by a resolution in the focus of the pilot project, for the first time in January of 2017, on a relation between Spain and France.

On behalf of the IRU (International Road Transport Union) TransFollow offers the solution for the digital CMR. Sender, transport service providers and the recipient can log into an online portal, which enables the transfer of information and communication. Past and future orders can be viewed and new contracts officially concluded online. Thereby the details of each transport are immediately available to view and invoices can be uploaded with little effort. Furthermore, the new technology promises integration with other in the transport logistics used software systems, for example, in the area of customs declaration or transport management.

What are the benefits of e-CMR?

On the one hand, the entire transportation logistics industry and the related stakeholders are becoming considerably more efficient. Participants save time, money and effort. For example, the autonomous driving is not imaginable without an electronic transmission of information. On the other hand, the positive impact on the environment through, for example, the paper savings are so significant, that countries around the world are encouraged to contribute to the implementation of such digital logistics processes to achieve the objectives for sustainable development 2030.

Challenges in the implementation

Of course, the demand, and the confidence in the product increases, the more countries agree to the development of an electronic CMR. According to information provided by the IRU the interest grows, to involve more and more companies into the operational process of the e-CMR. In addition to the 11 EU countries which have already guaranteed their consent, a further 7 European countries are interested to implement the digital process. However, the legal framework in some countries is a barrier to the application. In some countries, for example, a certified document in paper form is one of the legal prerequisites for conducting of transport orders. Thus, it required a change in the legal situation in order for the electronic waybill to be applied in those countries

What can we say about this?

We at sennder are in favor of this future-oriented developments and look forward to the challenges and progress that will come through the implementation of the e-CMR, and other digital solutions that are approaching us. We want to use our Know-How in the field of digitization of job transfers and cargo paper handling, the transport and logistics industry in the 21st century. To catapult century.