Hamiplant experimenting with e-CMR

NL: Electronic bill of lading will save millions

Dutch flowers and plants go all over the world. The transport is usually arranged with paper bills of lading, but there is a new development: the electronic bill of lading e-CMR.

Its usage can save annually, just for the Netherlands alone, EUR 180 million in administrative costs. It was used for the first time by exporter Hamiplant with the shipment of plants from the Netherlands to the Czech Republic via e-CMR. The first shipment has arrived.

Transport company Mandersloot delivers this week for Hamiplant trolleys with plants to construction markets in the Czech Republic with an e-CMR. The company Hamiplant is one of the largest exporters of indoor and outdoor plants. Jasper van der Klaauw, responsible for transport at Hamiplant, sees many advantages in digitizing the supply chain: "By combining the e-CMR and our administration, we can provide our customers quickly with current information. It will bring efficiency throughout the supply chain: less manual work, less paperwork, better overview. By having more efficiency in planning, we will also be more sustainable."

EU context
Since the ratification of the CMR Convention in 1956, transport companies in the EU use a paper bill of lading as accompanying document for transport. In 2008, the possibility was offered to use an electronic bill of lading, provided that such bill of lading meets the e-protocol on the CMR Convention and that two neighboring Member States have ratified the protocol. Only 11 countries have ratified the e-protocol: Netherlands, Denmark, France, Spain, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The Netherlands is a leader in the development and looks for as many allies as possible in Europe. Branch organizations TLN and evofenedex together have stimulated the development of e-CMR. The 90 year old organization Beurtvaartadres, which for many decades ensures that companies can send their goods with proper legal documents, was commissioned to develop a new protocol. This protocol, TransFollow, is ready for use. But nowhere in the EU, such a protocol with associated software as TransFollow, is being used.

TLN and evofenedex hope that this Dutch innovation, through experiments such as with Hamiplant, will become a success. Van der Klaauw of Hamiplant emphasizes: "It is in everyone's interest that the e-CMR becomes the norm in our business. Let's make it a European success."

Source: EVO

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