The ‘paper borders’ are finally fading
Operating on a global scale, with over 350 carriers and 650,000 containers in service, the logistics service provider Van Donge & de Roo, transports goods by road, rail, water and air.
Dennis de Roo, Managing Director Van Donge & De Roo
Important link in digitalization
In 2019 Van Donge & de Roo decided to digitize the CMR consignment note in cooperation with Beurtvaartadres, the Dutch distributor for TransFollow. The first pilot will be rolled out shortly and will be used to deliver as many containers as possible from A to B without using any paper document. The company also wants to collect data to optimize the supply chain. Managing Director Dennis de Roo speaks about the advantages of digitalization and why it is good opportunity to take a closer look at all your processes.
Dennis explains: “We have been working for quit some years on automating as many processes within our company as possible. The cooperation with Beurtvaartadres is also an important link in this. Our goal is to transport containers digitally to their final destination. Digitally, in the broadest sense. All facets within the supply chain are connected to each other. The TransFollow eCMR is the last piece of this puzzle.”
Breaking fixed routines and patterns
Implementing the standard TransFollow eCMR in the world of logistics sometimes appears to be a challenge. “Beurtvaartadres has helped us a lot with the deployment of the eCMR. In the beginning, we noticed some resistance from the various parties. Of course, change can be quite challenging. For example, it takes some time to get used to enter everything digitally instead of normally receiving a paper consignment note in your hands. Everyone has his or her own routines and patterns, sometimes being difficult to break-out from.”
Nevertheless, the logistics sector has been through several changes over the years. Think of pin numbers and customs documents that are now collected on one sheet of paper. “As soon as people become aware of the benefits of the TransFollow eCMR and by the fact that everything is digitally locked within the eCMR, the traditional way of working will eventually disappear completely.”
More data, more profit
One of the benefits of the eCMR is that you gain insights into the entire supply chain. You can track your transport from start to finish and collect important data along the way. “I wanted to see immediately what my carrier delivered and at which locations. Normally I had to wait for the physical paper CMR document to be returned. Now you don’t have to wait any longer. The TransFollow mobile App provides a solution to process the data and inform all supply chain partners continuously about the status of the transport.
The driver can let the other party sign for the loading or unloading or, when nobody is present, sign for the transport themselves on the mobile App. Signing the TransFollow eCMR for loading and unloading can therefore also be done remotely. Then, I immediately receive a message that the cargo has been signed off”.
Van Donge & de Roo transports a lot of goods to Germany, where the use of the eCMR is not ratified yet. “When transporting goods by road to Germany, I still have to deliver a paper CMR to the customer. If I charge waiting hours, they want to see that on the consignment note. If I have to charge the waiting hours, I hold back the invoice for a day. I actually give 31 days credit to the customer and pay for the transport within 7 days. If I can invoice faster, it saves me a day’s time. This will make a huge difference to my liquidity.”
Insights in processes with eCMR
Van Donge & de Roo transports about 650,000 containers. You’ll understand that not everything goes as planned. But you can learn from mistakes, especially if you have a good understanding of your supply chain. You can learn this with the use of TransFollow. “Thanks to the wealth of data. For example, now I know how many chassis I need per day. For the same money, I normally manage 16 to 20 chassis, which I also have to pay for, even though I only need 10 or 15. Without the right data nobody would have noticed this and everything would have gone on according to the old routine”.
The next step in the collaboration between Van Donge & de Roo and Beurtvaartadres is to roll out the TransFollow standard eCMR to several customers. “I think we should introduce this. After all, we know how the logistics sector feels about changes. I want to get rid of the paper document and go digital. So I get to receive this valuable set of data.”
“The collaboration with Beurtvaartadres got off to a good start. They respond and act quickly and they are of great help with the implementation of the TransFollow eCMR. Unfortunately, COVID-19 caused a delay on the rollout, but I am convinced that we can move forward quickly to optimize more in the supply chain. ”
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