The UK has ratified the e-CMR protocol, which allows national and international transports from and to the United Kingdom to be done with digital consignment notes.
Signing the e-CMR protocol has been on the agenda in the UK for quite some time. After a successful international pilot project with the e-CMR platform TransFollow, the West Yorkshire based carrier Brian Yeardley Continental under the supervision of the UK Ministry of Transport and several associations such as the Freight Transport Association, the ratification was only a question of time.
By agreeing to the protocol in December 2019, the UK allows the use of e-CMRs as a fully accepted alternative to paper consignment notes for national and international transports. With the entire logistics sector constantly moving forward, the digitalisation of the consignment note has been long overdue.
It allows users to increase supply chain visibility with real-time insights for all business partners and continuous status updates of the e-CMR, but also significantly reduces the time spent on administrating and archiving each document. This leads to administrative cost savings and offers further optimisation of the supply chain.
But UK-based companies are not the only ones to profit from the ratification: “With the ratification of the e-CMR protocol by Portugal in September, the UK is the 24th country to sign, enlarging the area to use digital consignment notes, adding important players to the potential digital network.
International companies, especially from the Netherlands, who are currently been seen as front runners on using digital consignment notes, can start on digitising transports with yet another country straight away.”, explains Hans Lip, International Sales Manager at TransFollow.
Also, domestic and international users profit from simplified processes when it comes to border-crossing transports within and outside of the EU. The TransFollow e-CMR can, for example be used as reliable proof on intra-community transports to apply the VAT zero tax rate and other administrative tasks occurring on international transports.