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Goodbye to the paper delivery: electronic control arrives in the transport of goods by road

Automotive News

The digitization process that has been applied in the road freight transport sector, continues to advance to achieve greater efficiency in the same, and thereby cost savings, both for customers and for the companies themselves. transport. More news in the free magazine ElEconomista Transporte

And in that sense, if at the beginning it was the passage from the paper tachometer to the digital one, now we want to be able to implement a new electronic delivery note system, known as a bill of lading, which is part of the rules for the international transport of goods. by road, called CMR (relative agreement au contrat de transport International Marchandises par Route) collected by the United Nations Convention for the transport of goods.

This agreement, ratified by most European states, indicates that it is advisable to use the CMR delivery note by companies and drivers, since this new electronic delivery note contains the information on the goods sent, the company that transports it and who He is the one who receives it. Until now, this road map was made of paper, but with the new impulse of technology, official bodies want to move towards the electronic format, moving from CMR to e-CMR. A new form of control of the transport chain that is much more efficient and also allows both companies and customers to save costs.

Effective since January
This new application has entered into force in January last year, and was initially adopted by Spain, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Switzerland. Throughout 2017, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden have also joined.

The letter carries nothing but an official document between the person who sends the goods and who carries it, and is an essential documentary proof of the load carried by the vehicle. With the e-CMR, operators can enter data electronically, store information related to logistics and carry out a real-time data exchange through a mobile phone or tablet. The step towards this new delivery note system will entail a reduction of the environmental impact with the reduction of the paper expense, an increase of efficiency and to be able to minimize those requirements that must be carried out for the archiving of the same.

It also limits the possibility of human error, and can be used in the platforms of each language, giving prominence as a protocol to movements of goods at the international level.

Implementation of the ‘e-CMR’
Although it is still a slow and embryonic process, it should be noted that in Spain last year one of the first tests of the use of the e-CMR was developed in a loading, transport and unloading path. This has been developed on a trip from Huelva to the French town of Perpiñán, and was carried out by the Spanish company Primafrio. This experience has made it possible to verify the goodness of the system change, the abandonment of the papers and the passage of that kind of classic delivery note to which modern technology now allows.

A seminar on the application of this new electronic delivery note in the Corell Foundation has recently been organized, with the participation of the main experts in the transport of merchandise by road, where it has become clear that the application of the e-CMR is “necessary and beneficial ”

One of the conclusions of this analysis on change is that it is one of the best ways to document transport contracts, because of the numerous benefits in costs, productivity and legal security that entails.

In Spain, transporters are required to carry a control document that is regulated by a ministerial order of 2012, which must be available to the Transportation Inspectorate, and if it is not conserved it is considered a serious infraction. This document is the one that establishes the conditions in which the transport is carried out. Its content is similar to the letter porte. Therefore, in the opinion of the Deputy Director General of Planning and the Regulation of Land Transport for Development, Emilio Sidera, participant in the day of the Corell Foundation, “it makes no sense to make two identical documents, when with one you could only fulfill all the requirements. ”

For Sidera, it is increasingly recommended to use a document such as the e-CMR with which you can prove the legality of what the carrier does in the administrative field, and that it is also one of the standardized models within the International Organization of Road Transport (IRU).

And while this e-CMR is essential for international transport, it should not be left aside in the national transport, in the internal one, given that it is much better to have a single control and documentation model, so from Fomento you want enhance “a change in the line of conduct”.

Application of new technologies
In this interest in the application of new technologies to road transport has been added the introduction of a section referring to it in the Digital Plan 2025 that defends the CEOE.

The Plan has a specific reference for freight and logistics where it deals with how to respond to new digital demands and gain competitiveness. This plan could accelerate the transformation towards a more efficient freight transport system, through the development of standards, speeding up the exchange of information, and the unification of transport document formats, harmonizing the different countries, with the implementation of the e- CMR.

From the main association of international road transport in Spain, Astic, the implementation of the e-CMR is defended because it is “beneficial for the sector,” and it is considered an opportunity to take advantage of everything that digitization offers. Although, as acknowledged by the association’s general director, Ramón Valdivia, “it is hard for us to make these changes, but we must break the inertia and enjoy all the economic and legal advantages it offers, as well as visibility”. And in his opinion it is one of the opportunities that Spain has to improve in competitiveness and be one of the pioneering countries in the implementation of the new electronic delivery note.

Although the official entry took place at the beginning of last year, it is still not possible to speak of a specific use by transport companies on Spanish roads, either internationally or at a national level. It happens as happened a few years ago with the change of the tachographs, and that although it is true that the models, old and new digital, shared protagonism a certain time, in the end the technology was the winner. The paper delivery note will continue to exist, but the e-CMR will gain strength in the coming years.

Felipe Alonso – 04/17/2018 (Translation Soft)

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