Electronic consigment notes save time

Author: Natalia Noczeń

The digitalisation of supply chains and the consequent reduction of the carbon footprint was the most frequent topic of panel discussions at the recent TransLogistica Poland trade fair. 

International logistics operators, transport and forwarding companies, as well as IT solution providers, dominated the discussions. Managers pointed out that an important element of the digitalisation of transport is the implementation of electronic consignment notes (e-CMR). According to the European Commission‘s plans, control authorities will be obliged to honour them from August 2024, and guidelines are to be in place by mid-2023.

The point is that the current law already allows for the electronic exchange of documents, but hauliers and their customers rarely use this form of settlement. As the European Commission recently reported, #99% of transport companies use paper documentation in international traffic (at least in some area of cooperation with the customer). And yet, as experts confirm, the electronic consignment note brings many benefits to participants in the supply chain. For example, in terms of providing liquidity to hauliers (not counting the environmental benefits associated with the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions).

After the transport has been performed, an invoice is issued immediately. There is no need to wait for the driver to return and for the exchange of documents between the contractors, which consequently speeds up the payment for the service significantly.” – says Łukasz Chwalczuk of the Kancelaria Prawna IURIDICA Law Firm and, at the same time, president of the All-Poland Association of Employers of Non-Normal Transport.

As calculated by SIRA Consulting Research for the Danish Ministry of Transport, the use of e-CMR also saves time in preparing the letter, checking the cargo, confirming the delivery and other administrative activities related to the issue of transport documentation. With paper documentation, such administrative tasks take 23 minutes; with the use of e-CMR, only nine minutes. 

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