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Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg start official tests of electronic waybills (e-CMR) on December 1st. They will take three years. After that the traditional, paper waybills may stop being used.

Dutch Association of Transport and Logistics (TLN) estimates that e-CMR will allow to save up to 180 million euros per year.

The digital version of the waybill saves time and, above all, tons of paper. Transports in which it is implemented are monitored, so the carriers can analyse them in real time and easily store and archive the necessary information.

Also shippers, freight forwarders and recipients have access to information on the whole process of transport at any time. Also in electronic form you can submit requests, instructions or complaints. All of this affects the reductions of procedures and costs, as well as increases the speed of information exchange. In addition, carriers can bill for the service immediately after its completion which definitely shortens the time you have to wait for payment.

Successful e-CMR test

The first international transport with the use of an electronic waybill took place on 19 January 2017. A truck with oranges belonging to the Spanish carrier Primafrio was sent in the 1300-kilometre route with e-CMR. The vehicle set off from Spanish Huelva, crossed the border with France and reached the French Perpignan.

Spain was one of the first countries to ratify the protocol on the electronic waybill. So far it has been signed by: Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, France and Estonia.

– the more EU Member States use the system, the more attractive it will become. Countries which will use e-CMR will benefit from it – emphasises Umberto de Prett, Secretary General of the International Road Transport Union (IRU).

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