Digital transport is now possible between the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, as transporters in the three countries switch to paperless consignment notes. Announcing the milestone, the Benelux countries launched a trial of the system today.
This is the first time that an international transport has taken place from the Netherlands with a digital consignment note. e-CMR has been operational between France and Spain for some time, as well as nationally within the Netherlands and Luxembourg. This latest trial will presage - in three years’ time – fully operational e-CMR from Copenhagen to Seville.
The switch to e-CMR in the Benelux offers possible savings of EUR 4.50 per consignment. With an annual figure of around 65 million consignment notes used, this represents overall savings of close to EUR 300 million per year.
e-CMR also increases accuracy and brings efficiency gains. It represents faster administration with reduced data entry, no paper handling, no fax, scan or letter exchanges and no need for paper archiving. Invoicing is faster and there is a reduction of delivery and reception discrepancies. Greater transparency brings data accuracy, the means to control and monitor the shipment and real-time access to the information with proof of pick-up and delivery.
With this operation, the Benelux countries are testing the operation of the digital consignment note. They will share findings with the European Union to drive momentum for wider uptake of the system via the ratification of the e-CMR protocol among countries such as Germany, Italy and Austria, to facilitate fully digital transport throughout Europe.
The trial has been strongly supported by IRU members, TLN (Transport en Logistiek Nederland) and EVOFEDENEX (Dutch Association for Logistics and Transport).