AEOLIX pilot introduces electronic freight documents in Germany and Greece


German association BGL starts field trial to introduce TransFollow electronic freight documents.

The field trial is part of the so-called AEOLIX pilot with the aim to familiarize with the usage of TransFollow electronic freight documents in road transport. AEOLIX stands for the EU program “Architecture for European Logistics Information Exchange” which was launched in 2016.

With a total volume of 13 million EUR, the three year project focusses on optimizing cargo flows, facilitating supply chain management, reducing administrative burden and making better use of existing transport resources.

The pilot experiment with the name Living Lab 12 concretely deals with the process of checking and digitizing freight documents. In total, eleven German companies are participating in this field trial, which BGL (
Bundesverband Güterkraftverkehr Logistik und Entsorgung e.V.) won in the in the summer and autumn of 2018 partly through direct contact, but also with help of the regional associations.

During the test phase, the participating transport companies can enter all their transport-relevant data completely electronically, store logistical information and exchange this data in real time via a mobile phone or tablet. By collecting the data, the participants immediately receive information about the status of the transported goods. The AEOLIX pilot for cross-border electronic freight documents  (e-CMR) is the first step towards a fully digital documentation for the transport industry which should be the new standard for the future. For this reason, the recently published third mobility package of the German Government contains a legislative proposal on electronic documents for transport, as BGL pointed out.

Development of a common platform

The main task of the AEOLIX pilot project is to develop a common platform for connecting different logistics information systems. Specifically, internal and cross-company characteristics for immediate real-time information exchange should be included. The project is ending in August this year. After several registrations, shippers, carriers and recipients can communicate with each other via an Android smartphone, iPhone or tablet. Prerequisite is previous registration and the installation of the TransFollow app on the smartphone or tablet.

As part of the pilot, the carrier must first create a freight document in the form of a digital document. Once the driver has arrived at the consignor, he can either scan a generated QR code from his smartphone or alternatively sign on the device. The driver can also, for example, document damaged goods by taking a picture with the camera in the device. This photo is then connected to the transport process and is no longer lost. Furthermore, drivers can attach a text to the TransFollow electronic freight document. This information will be also forwarded in real time.

Living Lab 12

The extensive preparatory work for the implementation of the Living Lab 12 had already begun in June 2018. This included, among other things, the selection and training of the national associations. By the end of March 2019, the companies participating in the project under the BGL umbrella have been briefed on the use of the myAEOLIX, TransportPortal and TransFollow systems in several meetings.

The Start of the Living Lab 12 pilot was given on 1 April, 2019. By mid-June, the participating transport companies are to carry out the promised number of transports by means of an electronic freight document. The last transport must be completed by 16 June 2019. In the remaining time, the BGL compiles comprehensive reports, documentation and evaluations for the project management.


Meanwhile in Greece… Nestlé Hellas starts with pilot e-CMR

Signing process using the TF Approval

Also in Greece, the e-CMR pilot project coordinated by Greece association OFAE (Hellenic Federation of Road Transports) has been launched. One of the participating parties is the global food company Nestlé Hellas. They started on April 1st with a trial to transport bottled water from the KORPI mineral water plant that is active in Vonitsa. The process for loading the goods has been digitized by the implementation of the TransFollow e-CMR.

The carrier of this transport is Papageorgiou Transport & Logistics (PTL) based in Arta. The many years of cooperation between these parties and additional experiences will help to collect and evaluate meaningful data for the AEOLIX Pilot. The cargo was transported to the company DIAKINISISIS, located in Aspropyrgos, which maintains storage facilities. The exchange of data between the three parties was carried out digitally and in real time, thus improving the transparency and speed of the completion of the procedures.