Loaders, carriers, forwarders and technological platforms, create a working group to promote the use of eCMR.

Several business associations of shippers, transporters and freight forwarders, together with the main technological platforms operating in the sector, have decided to promote the digitization of documents used in the transport of goods, due to the new demands for health security.

The initiative has the support of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, which culminated at the beginning of this year the regulatory framework that governs the use of electronic support for road transport control documents, as had already been done with the Waybill and the CMR.

This initiative, which was born with a national scope, aims to serve as a springboard to extend its momentum internationally, since the vast majority of the laws of the EU States are aligned with document digitization, also promoted by the European Commission itself .

The exchange of documents on physical support between the different links of the supply chain, as well as their possible presentation to traffic agents, on the occasion of possible en route inspections, is undoubtedly a favorable occasion for the spread of COVID- 19, and a serious concern both for road transport companies and their drivers, as well as for users of the service (shippers and receivers of goods) and their employees, who must handle the papers that support documentation. With this concern in mind, some companies have urged their respective organizations to explore and analyze the and “normalize” the documents by electronic means, so that this possible vector of contagion is minimized.

In this sense, as soon as the so-called “de-escalation process” was started by the Spanish Government, some of the most representative associations of the National Committee for Road Transport such as Astic, Cetm, Fenadismer and Feteia-Oltra, along with the associations of loader companies such as AEUTRANSMER and TRANSPRIME, decided to create a working group in which to integrate in addition to several technological “partners” operating in this field, such as Pionira, Transfollow, Wanatruck or e-customs, to various entrepreneurs in the sector, to specify practical measures that promote and generalize the substitution of the traditional physical support on paper for the digital one.

The Ministry itself, through the General Directorate of Land Transport, grants its institutional coverage to this initiative, which, according to sources, has decided in its first meetings to be permanently open to new incorporations, both from the side of sectoral associations and their businessmen, such as technology platforms, regulatory authorities and surveillance agents, as well as other stakeholders interested in promoting digitalization in road and intermodal transport.

For shippers’ associations, “to the undoubted advantages that document digitalization brings to transport management, the new factor of health security is now added; a factor that no one doubts has acquired great relevance. This facet will be a point of decisive inflection in the generalization of this application of new technologies to the transport”.

Also from the transport associations it is underlined that “the protection of our drivers against the coronavirus has always been in the forefront throughout the crisis and is going to suppose a priority focus on the so-called “new normality” and, consequently, minimizing the chances of contagion will be a fundamental guideline of the decisions of our companies at all levels “.