As of 10 July 2020 , Ukraine became officially the 27th country to accept electronic CMR (eCMR). This news came after the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine issued a decree which entered into force on July 12, 2019, allowing the use of electronic CMR consignment notes.
“Digitalisation benefits supply chain stakeholders regardless of where they are in the world. e-CMR, as well as any other electronic data exchange, is equally beneficial to shippers, freight forwarders, transport operators and authorities.”, said Barry van Leuven, Managing Director at Pionira. “Ukraine’s access to e-CMR is strategic, as it connects Eastern European digital freight corridors from Finland, the Baltic states, Poland and Ukraine to Romania and Bulgaria, going all the way to Turkey. Let’s now wait for Germany to join, so that we can connect the whole of Europe.”, he concluded.
CMR is a UNECE convention regulating Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road, and is supported by the CMR document, which is the most frequently used transport document in cross-border road freight transport in Europe and large parts of EurAsia. It is estimated that approximately 140-200 million CMR documents are used for cross-border transports in EU. While widely used, CMR like any other paper-based document leads to inefficiencies in logistics chains. By starting to use electronic version of the document authorities and logistics industry will remove inaccuracies, delays in for example invoicing and will reduce need to use paper, thus leading to environmental benefits.
eCMR is also essential in preventing further spread of COVID19 within logistics chain as it removes need for physical contact between people, which is required when handling paper document.
Seeing more countries ratifying this convention strengthens the importance of FENIX and AEOLIX, which have been at the forefront of the digital logistics. eCMR is only one piece of a large logistics digitalisation puzzle, but it is essential as it is the key element connecting shippers, forwarders, transport operators, drivers, road and customs authorities.