Expectations for 2020
Hans Lip, International Sales and Marketing Manager of e-CMR platform TransFollow on the development of the logistics sector and digital freight documents in 2019 and on what to expect in 2020.
TransFollow is looking back on a successful year – what were the developments within the logistics sector that helped the development of the platform?
Hans Lip: Logistics is data-driven – at TransFollow, we have always been convinced that the future of the logistics sector lies within using the data we have to optimise processes and to find innovative business services. From the beginning, the idea behind the platform was to make existing data of freight documents visible and usable by digitalisation. This helps companies to improve their supply chain and communication with business partners. For years, digitalisation was not on top of the agenda of many companies, although they were aware of the advantages. In 2019, we saw a change, with more and more companies integrating e-CMR platforms and starting to work with TransFollow. Of course, the decision of the European commission to make the acceptance of e-CMRs mandatory in all member states by 2025 and the ratification of, amongst others, Romania, Poland, Portugal and especially the UK helped with this development.
Were there any surprises or disappointments?
Hans Lip: As we always believed in the power of data, the positive development of TransFollow and digitalisation within the logistics sector were not a surprise. It was only a question of time that companies start realising and making use of the advantages of digitalisation. However, we were hoping to see Germany ratify the e-CMR protocol in 2019.
How did you see the developments of the logistics sector as a company?
Hans Lip: The increasing awareness of the advantages of the e-CMR has helped us to a very successful year. We did not only see the interest of companies during trade fairs, but also in signed contracts with customers to implement TransFollow as a platform. We entered many interesting implementation projects and are looking forward to many more.
What are your expectations for 2020 – for the logistics sector and for TransFollow?
Hans Lip: First of all, I expect the trend from 2019 to continue. After all, digitalisation and the e-CMR offer companies a competitive advantage, and it is easier to stay ahead of the chain than catch up later on. Next to the direct advantages that TransFollow offers its users, such as reduced administrative costs, the benefits of using generated data to improve internal processes will be a focus in 2020. Also, time will show how the e-CMR can help companies to process imports and exports to and from the UK. Last but not least, we expect Germany to ratify the e-CMR protocol this year.