On January 19, in Perpignan, the first ever border crossing to use electronic consignment notes marks the launch of e-CMR between Spain and France. Part of a wider strategy to digitise trade facilitation systems, it offers increased efficiency and reduced operational costs.

IRU Secretary General, Umberto de Pretto said,

“The ultimate purpose of the electronic consignment note is to further improve the quality of the supply chain, with improved efficiency and visibility. The more member states using it, the more appealing the system becomes, as countries which accept e-CMR will enjoy mutual benefits.”

The e-CMR launch, jointly organised by IRU, ASTIC (Asociación de Transporte Internacional por Carretera) in Spain and Fédération Nationale des Transports Routiers (FNTR) France, starts in Huelva and travels to Perpignan, crossing the border at Le Perthus. The 1300km journey involves the transportation of oranges.

The paper based CMR consignment note is an official document on shipments between senders and transporters. It provides a paper trail of the logistics transfer and is the sole document held by the driver of the truck in relation to the load carried.

With e-CMR, transport operators will be able to input electronically, store logistics information and exchange data, in real time.

Joaquín del Moral, Director General de Transporte, Ministerio de Fomento (Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure), Spain, commented,

“As one of the first countries to ratify the e-CMR protocol, Spain is in favour of the electronic consignment note – and therefore fully supports this initiative to test and analyse the benefits. It represents the future of logistics operations.”

The timely recording of data means that agencies instantly receive information on the goods being transported, so any required subsequent actions, such as initiating legal processes, invoicing or even accident response procedures, happen faster and at less cost.

The move also reduces the environmental impact of global trade, using less paper and minimising archival requirements. It limits the potential for human error and can adopt multi-language platforms for seamless international application.

The launch, facilitated by TransFollow, is an important new milestone for the e-CMR innovation, proving that it works and is simple to implement and use. It is likely to prompt other countries to join – therefore increasing the potential for common benefit.

Alain Vidalies, Minister of State for Transport, France, remarked during his closing speech at FNTR’s 71st Congress,

“The French Government’s accession to the additional protocol to the CMR Convention in January 2017 sends a powerful message to the goods transport industry. It shows a strong commitment to encouraging more fluid supply chain operations, and in turn to the promotion of growth and competitiveness. We are looking forward to seeing – in practical terms – the benefits that e-CMR will bring to the logistics industry in France. It is the first step towards fully digital transport operations that we intend to deploy in the coming months.”

Rules for transporting goods internationally are covered by the United Nations Convention for the carriage of goods, the CMR (Convention relative au contrat de transport international de Marchandises par Route). Transport operators, drivers and those receiving shipments use a CMR consignment note, which contains information about the shipped goods and the transporting and receiving parties. Until recently, CMR notes were only issued in paper form.In February 2008, a protocol was added to the CMR Convention concerning the use of the electronic consignment note. This protocol entered into force on 5 June 2011, and to date eleven countries have acceded to it. Just last month France acceded to e-CMR and other countries that have already joined include Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland.


Karen Mazzoli
Media Relations Manager, IRU
Tel: +41 22 918 27 96
Mobile: +41-79-633 89 53

Erinrose Sullivan
Innovation, Marketing and Communications Consultant, IRU
Tel: +41 22 918 27 45

Notes to editors

About IRU

IRU is the world’s road transport organisation, promoting economic growth, prosperity and safety through the sustainable mobility of people and goods. Founded in 1948, IRU has members and activities in more than 100 countries.www.iru.org

About TransFollow
TransFollow is the standard for the digital waybill. TransFollow provides shippers, carriers and receivers with more management and control over the logistics process. Each party can connect to the TransFollow platform and use their own business software to exchange information, receive or deliver digital signatures and monitor the status of a shipment. In addition to the waybill, TransFollow also makes the proof of delivery (POD) available digitally. TransFollow is an initiative of EVO and Transport Logistics Netherlands (TLN). EVO is the knowledge organisation for logistics questions and TLN is the association of undertakings for transport and logistics. These are independent and neutral parties that collaborate on the implementation of the digital waybill standard. www.transfollow.org