The e-CMR is an electronic version of a consignment note that provides information on the consigner, place of pick-up and place of delivery, the status of the shipment and all related information about the transport. It is used under the CMR Convention when transporting goods by road. The United Nations CMR Convention (Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road) from 1956 was adopted in order to provide a united legal framework for international road transport. The electronic format e-CMR entered into force in 2011. This version is becoming more and more widespread.
To date, 30 European countries have ratified and Italy is also moving towards the implementation of e-CMR system. In addition to simplifying document management process, the electronic version allows to increase the quality of supply chain services by enhancing their efficiency, transparency, and information exchange, as well as to reduce the environmental impact removing paperwork and to reduce administrative costs.
The e-CMR Italy project tested its use in the operational context detecting potential benefits and also difficulties in its use by Italian companies.
During the testing phase, the e-CMR process was used in 100 international trips involving the following foreign countries: Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Switzerland. In conclusion, some critical aspects emerged, including the need for better interoperability between different available platforms or the identification of a single platform. The need to develop the digital knowledge to facilitate the use of electronic devices was also highlighted. Positive results from this pilot project are expected, raising the awareness of all stakeholders in the supply chain.