The following section features a short description of all important TransFollow terminology, including some examples of real world use.
The Freight Document
A freight document contains transport related data that is agreed upon by two or three parties. Those parties are entities that occupy a role on the freight document. The main roles are consignor, carrier and consignee. The party creating the freight document is called the submitter. The secondary roles are place of delivery, place of taking over and subsequent carrier. For TransFollow-specific administrative reasons a place of taking over must always be provided when creating a freight document, the other secondary roles are not mandatory. A structured goods section on the freight document contains all data regarding the transported goods and, if relevant, the returnable items. Since a freight document can be related to records in other IT systems, references to documents like transport orders or other records in those systems can be registered. A freight document itself also has a unique id that can be stored by the connecting systems for later reference. By signing the waybill – when transferring the goods - the two parties that sign, explicitly agree about the part of the freight document that is legally binding. Some elements like estimated times of arrival, references or supplement documents are not part of this scope.
The status of a freight document shows the current phase in its so-called life cycle. It also determines if certain data can still be added or changed. The freight document status can change from draft to cancelled or issued. After issuing only a certain number of elements can still be changed. When goods are picked up by the carrier the status changes to transit. Before this moment the carrier also invites the consignor to sign for handing over the goods. At delivery, the carrier can invite the consignee to sign for reception of the goods. Then the status becomes delivered or delivered for inspection by the consignee.
The submitter is the account that initially creates, and later issues the freight document. A freight document can also be created with an issued status. The same account can – but does not need to – occupy another role on this freight document.
An account is an email address with password and an optional telephone number with which to log in at TransFollow. Accounts can be created through the TransFollow Portal.
Roles are ‘slots’ within the freight document in which consignor, carrier and consignee information can be stored. Address and contact data, for example, is stored within each specific role. An account can be associated with each role. For the carrier role, an account is mandatory. If an account must be associated with
a role on a freight document, the accounts email address must be used to create the association. By filling in the email address the role is being occupied by the account, but only if the account exists. If no account exists for this email address, an email will be sent inviting the owner to create an account.
Actions executed on a freight document can only be initiated by an account that has the necessary permissions. Viewing, updating or adding comments are examples of actions that need specific permissions. Every role has a default set of permissions.
Delegation of Roles
An account can delegate (the permissions for) his role on a freight document to another account. This means the second account can act on behalf of the first account. The first account keeps his original permissions. Delegation can be helpful when a submitter does not have all the information regarding the goods or the
destination when creating a freight document. The party who does have the right information can be delegated by the submitter to fill in the blanks if the account has another role on the same freight document. A delegation can be valid for one document or for all future documents. The delegated account cannot delegate the received rights himself. Only the original account can revoke a delegation.
Files that need to be added to the content of the freight document can be attached. There are several types of attachments: Sealed, general and supplements. Sealed attachments are not visible for the carrier. Supplements can be added after the freight document has been issued. When adding a comment a carrier
can also add an image as attachment to the comment.
When parties need to communicate information about their own systems records to each other or to themselves later in the process they can add this information in a reference. A carrier for example, might want to add trip information, so he can later select all freight documents that belong to one trip.
Information about the nature and the number of goods or items in transport can be supplied in a structured way, including attributes like name and description, proprietary product coding, EAN, SSCC, Value, Weight and Volume. Apart from goods also Returnable items can be registered as a separate type category. Here the added details Quality and GS1 code can also be supplied.
Available Signing Methods
TransFollow provides three methods for signing. When transferring the cargo, the two parties involved, a carrier and either the consignor or the consignee, can sign for the relevant contents of the consignment note by TransFollow Approval or by a handwritten signature on the device of the carrier. Multiple consignment
notes can be signed off in one action. If no counterparty is present when picking up or leaving behind the cargo, the carrier can sign without approval of the other party. Whether this is acceptable, or whether a signature on glass is acceptable when picking up the cargo is for the Submitter to decide. The consignment
note can contain specific instructions about the available signing methods at each transfer.
- TransFollow Approval: The TransFollow Approval is an advanced mechanism for exchanging an electronic signature that ensures both parties have access to the same consignment note. The signature and a controllable attribute of the exact content (of the consignment note) are exchanged by means of a QR code. Both parties must prove their association, which is why QR codes are presented first by the carrier and then by the other party. A TransFollow account is obligatory for both parties.
- Sign on Glass: If a counterparty does not have a TransFollow account, they can sign for transfer by offering a signature image. Additionally, they can enter their email address to receive a PDF copy of the freight document they just signed. The option to register the GPS location of the moment of signing can serve as supporting information.
- Without Approval of the Counterparty: The most simple and unilateral way of signing is by letting the driver approve of a transfer of the goods on his own.
- Comments: When a driver or his/her counterparty deems it necessary to comment on the state of the goods or on the quality of the transport operation these comments can be added to the freight document as part of the legal scope of the content. This means that a subsequent signature also covers the agreement of the parties about the comments just entered. Comments must always be entered on the drivers TransFollow App or the onboard computer connected to that app