E-CMR is gaining momentum with its benefits in Germany – See how!

E-CMR is gaining momentum with its benefits in Germany – See how!

The context🚛

 

W

e currently find ourselves in a key moment for the logistics industry. Every stakeholder within the global supply chine is searching for innovative solutions that would contribute towards their efficiency in order to become more competitive in this dynamic market. In addition, the governments of European states are carefully observing how companies’ needs are changing while the markets are developing in order to provide appropriate legislative solutions in order to support domestic firms. The last instance which portrays this tendency of a state contributing towards a positive change within the transport sector is Germany, who, as of the 5th of April, adopts the digital waybill – E-CMR, becoming the 31st government which has implemented the E-CMR Protocol of the CMR Convention.[1]

The Causes  🗺️

“The benefits of the digital waybill are obvious. It will contribute towards a faster and more efficient supply chain, all the whilst making life easier not only for logistics companies, but for every individual client.” confirms Andreas Schauer – Germany’s minister of transport and digital infrastructure after having adopted the E-CMR Protocol.[2] In reality, digital waybills offer additional comfort for all stakeholders in two fundamental areas – decreased expenses and clear-cut transparency during all important steps starting from the commissioning of a transport mission until its execution.

The administrative expenses related to the conventional paper waybill will drastically decrease. The removal of costs related to printing, informational updates and physical data storage will lead to a significant decrease in costs for logitistics firms given the volume of documentation that paper-waybills create. On the other hand, it is crucial to acknowledge the time that different companies along the supply chain must currently dedicate in order to enter, update and transfer information on paper. This obligation costs valuable time which can be instead invested for commercial progress given the dynamic transport and logistics market.

The ability to track and update information in real time provides more visibility and transparency for everyone along the supply chain. As such, every stakeholder can remain calm because they will benefit from a fast and easy access to all necessary information during the transport mission. Moreover, when an action related to a claim or an invoice is necessary, firms can enjoy the advantage of being able to act switfly and appropriately according to the circumstances. This will improve the effectiveness of every party’s work while at the same time decreasing the risk of delayed payments and mistimed communication.

Therefore, the digital waybill is becoming an invaluable tool for senders, carriers and freight forwarders as it allows them to enjoy a more effective workflow, smaller costs, and more available time for expanding and optimizing their business – three objectives which Claims Trans focused on during our previous analysis of the topic.

Why is it important that precisely Germany has adopted the E-CMR Protocol?

According to major transport organizations and unions, Germany’s absence from the E-CMR Protocol, which regulates the implementation of digital waybills, is the main cause which has prevented a more significant development of digital waybills towards more widespread use in Europe.[3] On the one hand, Germany’s strong export economy implies that a significant portion of European carriers and forwarders have long-standing partnerships with German companies who export their products within the European internal market and abroad. On the other hand, Germany is a transit state for almost half of the land freight in Europe.[4] This positions Germany and its domestic firms as key stakeholders for many of the transport missions completed in the European market.

By actively engaging with the digital revolution, which the E-CMR promotes, Germany showcases its clear intentions to support domestic firms by creating an efficient and calm commercial environment as far as the optimization of the supply chain, regardless of its size, is concerned. This development provides valuable insights for European transport companies who either have German clients and carriers as partners, or who frequently use Germany as a transit country during their transport missions. Therefore, a timely and prompt reaction to this change by the other European firms in the logistics industry will not only ensure them a more efficient and calm workflow – but it will also fortify and improve their commercial relationships with clients and partners.

A Look into the Future 👀

At Claims Trans, we believe that the latest digital innovations in the industry indicate that the logistics industry indeed finds itself in a key stage of its development. The needs for more effective work through suitable automatization and digital solutions are becoming more visible and the transport companies are showing an increasing willingness to explore the different methods of becoming more competitive. This development is evident on a European-wide level as, in a decision from November 2019, the European Parliament certifies its desire for digital waybills to progress towards mass use in the European Union, expecting that the E-CMR would be mandatory by the year 2026.[5] In fact, digital waybills are becoming the tool which can allow the transport sector to experience the necessary innovations which will improve the processes for all stakeholders along the supply chain.

Therefore, it is important for all stakeholders to undertake appropriate strategic actions now, in order to ensure their adequate positioning in the future of this ongoing digital (r)evolution of the transport industry.

Bibliography:

[1] Latest Ratifications | UNECE. [2022], accessed 5 April 2022 at: <https://unece.org/latest-ratifications>

[2] Germany signs up to e-CMR digital consignment note protocol. [2021], accessed on the 5th of April 2022 at:

https://www.automotivelogistics.media/policy-and-regulation/germany-signs-up-to-e-cmr-digital-consignment-note-protocol/42341.article

>

[3] Digital Transformation: ECMR – A digital future for the CMR document. [2021], accessed on the 5th of April 2022 at:

https://vrioeurope.com/en/digital-transformation-ecmr-a-digital-future-for-the-cmr-document/#top

[4] Germany goes paperless with e-CMR [2022], accessed on the 5th of April 2022 at:

https://www.iru.org/news-resources/newsroom/germany-goes-paperless-e-cmr >

[5] Impact Assessment for Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on electronic freight transport information. [2019], accessed on the 5th of April 2022 at:

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource.html?uri=cellar:810e3b10-59bb-11e8-ab41-01aa75ed71a1.0001.02/DOC_1&format=PDF>

Is CARGO THEFT the most significant financial risk for road carriers?

Is CARGO THEFT the most significant financial risk for road carriers?

Unfortunately, cargo theft is an increasingly common occurrence in the daily lives of carriers. Even just one such event could have significant negative consequences for transport companies. It is for these reasons that this article will focus on cases that are repeated many times in practice. We will also look at the useful preventive measures that can be taken to reduce the chance of these accidents.

According to statistics from various organizations (eg. TAPA EMEA), registered cases of theft and in particular, the total value of stolen goods amounts to billions of euros in just one year. The highest number of thefts have been registered in recent months in Western Europe: the United Kingdom, France, the Benelux and Germany.
Източник илюстрация: TAPA EMEA – report January 2019

Inseparable from any theft are the financial consequences for carriers. They may receive a claim for a missing item that exceeds the limit of liability set by the CMR Convention. In such situations, most companies rely on their own intuition and business acumen to solve the case. In this way, they tackle challenges that are extremely specific and contain many solutions. It is because of the importance of these situations that carriers need to have more control in order to achieve an optimal solution for all of their claims.

Here are the main types of theft of goods, according to the practice and the current trends in logistics:

  • Partial theft of the goods in front of a loading or an unloading address while waiting for loading / unloading, a ferry or during a night’s rest. It is most often the case that the carrier waits in line or for the unloading timeslot, and in many cases due to delays, the working hours of the receiving warehouse can expire. In such cases, it is sometimes too late to look for a parking space in the area, in which case, drivers most often decide to stay waiting in front of the address to unload in the morning. This is exactly what criminals are waiting for as they are concentrated in the logistics areas and are very well aware of the types of cargo that are loaded / unloaded near those places. The theft occurs at night, most often after gas intoxication of the driver who is sleeping in the cab, unable to react.
  • Theft during transit while the vehicle is parked at a gas station or a parking lot during a 45 minute break or at night. In these cases, criminals most often act by the method of “trial and error”, ie. they cut the tarpaulin of the cargo space, checking the goods that are being transported, and when they find an attractive product, they act. In case of theft, the carrier must call the police, obtain a report, as well as inform his insurer on “Carrier’s Liability (CMR);
  • Theft of the entire vehicle, together with the cargo. They are the result of an organized criminal scheme, in which criminals purposefully plan the “victim” and the place of the event, tracking it through a GPS device. Usually the goal is an attractive, expensive and fast-moving product. Criminals may act by force or weapon, or expect a convenient moment when the vehicle is left unattended. In the last few years, even in Bulgaria, there are a significant number of similar situations, such as cases in which the driver leaves an already loaded vehicle to pick up the documents for the goods, and then does not find the truck. Another example is the theft from a parking lot (paid or one, owned by the transport company), and the presence of lighting, fencing, video surveillance and security which are not an obstacle for criminals. In some cases, the vehicles themselves are subsequently found, naturally without goods in them.

After identifying the most common cases of theft, it is important to list the main recommendations for prevention and ways for carriers to avoid these situations:

 

  • Good advance planning of the carriage and the break spots, avoiding highway pockets, loading and unloading addresses or uninhabited places. You should choose the safest possible places, according to your experience and knowledge
  • Navigation only on the main planned route, without deviations
  • Use of electronic anti-theft security systems to be installed on the truck and trailer, and technical capability to locate the vehicle
  • Use of surveillance cameras in front of and around the truck and in the trailer
  • Use of special measures to lock the doors of the trailer
  • When transporting expensive goods (the driver should always be interested in what kind of goods he is transporting), ask for special instructions from your client and, if possible, perform the transport with a pair of drivers so that overnight stops can be minimized
  • Do not leave the vehicle unattended unless absolutely necessary
  • Always be vigilant and drivers should never share information about the goods, loading and unloading addresses

The arguments presented should serve as a guide for every transport company in dealing with thefts. It is impossible to summarize all possible options, but there are sustainable solutions that will improve the overall situation on a larger scale. These are the construction of more secure parking spaces, the availability of better security, as well as more efficient handling of cases. For their part, carriers must strive for higher levels of control over theft. In this way, they will be able to take active care for their business and will reduce losses in such incidents.