eCMR Most Promising IT Innovation in Logistics


eCMR Most Promising IT Innovation in Logistics

Digitalisation becomes more and more important: According to a national research in the Netherlands by Beurtvaartadres, evofenedex and TLN, the eCMR is seen as the most innovative software solution when it comes to logistic processes.

Most logistic companies are aware of digitalisation and its advantages when it comes to logistics. Over 85 percent of the respondents of the Dutch study by Beurtvaartadres, evofenedex and TLN in 2019 implied to see digitalisation as a priority within their organisation. But still, decisions concerning the implementation of innovative IT solutions are often pushed back due to the expected investment needed. For most companies, the time it costs to implement a complex software solution plays a bigger role than the actual costs. But expectations for digitalisation in the logistic sector are high, especially regarding the eCMR. 

Beurtvaartadres, evofenedex and TLN are working together to optimise and stimulate the (digital) cooperation within the supply chains of their clients. The survey that has been carried out in 2019 provided them with the insights needed to act efficiently in the Dutch market. Respondents from thousands of companies have been interviewed to come results that can be used to prepare companies to the future of logistics.

Digitalisation as a Key Factor

Over 85 percent of the respondents implied that digitalisation is important or very important within their organisation. This score is comparable amongst the different groups included in the survey: Logistics service providers, forwarders and carriers as well as trade- and production companies including own carriers. However, when looking at their own organisation, respondents have a different idea on how digitised they already are. While 30 percent of the logistics service providers consider themselves a leader in digitalisation, only 11 percent of shippers do so. This is mostly due to the fact that carriers experience a gap between the functionality they need from software systems and the actual functionality of IT solutions. Another explanation is given when looking at the goals different companies want to reach by digitising: For logistics service providers, carriers and forwarders the aim is to optimise processes, while trade- and production companies and carriers are mainly looking to increase the use and the quality of data obtained by daily business within their company. Over 80 percent of the respondents indicated that digitalisation has increased efficiency within the organisation and are expecting to further improve it in the future. This especially goes for time savings when it comes to controlling and administrating tasks, eliminating repetitive tasks, informing clients about the status and location of the freight at any given time and obtaining real-time stock insights.

Sharing Data with the Supply Chain

While over 60 percent of the participants indicated that their organisation has already indicated at least one software solution, over 80 percent said to still use the phone of e-mail to transfer data. Most respondents do not see the urge of implementing artificial intelligence or analytics, to improve the internal processes. Also, using platforms such as Uber Freight or Transporeon does not seem to be the way to go for most companies in the future: While 16 percent are already using these platforms, 72 percent answered that they are not expecting to do so within the next five years. On the other hand, when being asked which system to share data they do expect the most of, the answers of the respondents were quite clear. Almost 50 percent said to see the eCMR as the most promising IT solution for the future. Looking at what the organisations expect to reach by digitising, this is not surprising. After all, companies achieve time savings in administrative and repetitive tasks when starting to use digital freight documents. According to the survey, companies are currently holding back to see how others implement the use of the eCMR before taking this step themselves.

All in all it can be said that digitalisation within the logistics sector currently is an important topic, and the eCMR can play a major rule over the coming years.