Prepared and sponsored by the Project: “eCMR in ND region”, Project ID: NDPTL Project 001-2021 

It seems that these days everyone talks digital as digital transformation in every economic sector is the main driver for growth and coherent developments. Transport logistics sector being a significant GDP contributor is still lagging behind applying digital solutions in order to create smooth logistics chains. Therefore, this topic is very much relevant on the agenda of various locally based or international events. It is important to understand that to achieve significant results, every stakeholder in private and public sectors should be on the same agenda and align their further steps. This aim was one of the main highlights at “DigiLogistics Masterclass: Next Steps Towards Paperless Transport”, which took place in Vilnius on the 24th of March 2023.

The aim of the Masterclass was to bring the knowledge and plans of European Commission and United Nations as well as practices of private sector in one room. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) focuses on interoperability of multimodal data exchange using UN/CEFACT standards and reference models while European Commission’s Digital Transport and Logistics Forum is creating legal framework for electronic freight transport information which is partly based on the before mentioned UN/CEFACT standards as well as eCMR Convention. And here the end users and main clients of these projects are private companies which already seek to implement first steps towards seamless and efficient paperless transport logistics chains.

“The UN/CEFACT Multi-Modal Transport Reference Data Model (MMT-RDM) already has all the information necessary for all business requirements – this project does not create new documents, but makes the existing standards more discoverable and useable – creating foundations for multimodal interoperability”, – says Regional Advisor in the Economic Cooperation and Trade Division at UNECE Mr. Mario Apostolov. UNECE is developing their documents on harmonizing and standardizing data exchange along digital corridors following the developments of the eFTI initiative as well analyse and re-use of UN/CEFACT semantic standards in pilot projects in the region. More information and guidance can be found at “Building electronic documents from MMT”.

During the Masterclass, Expert of DTLF and AlbrechtConsult Christian Lüpges confirmed that based on the analysis of the eFTI data requirements, international conventions and standards as well as input from DTLF, it was concluded that the UN/CEFACT Multimodal Transport Reference Data Model provides the most suitable base for the establishment of the common dataset and subsets. eFTI Delegated Acts will establish the data elements and their structure only for the eFTI common data sets and subsets. eFTI platforms will be able to extend the data sets to allow the economic operators to insert additional data relevant for B2B information sharing either by following MMT structure or any other models’ data structure. Also, it is important to note that eFTI content will cover the CMR data requirements, which means that the eFTI platforms can be used to support eCMRs. “During the discussions within DTLF it became obvious that eCMR is represented by the defined eFTI datasets and the eFTI common data set is built on the UN/CEFACT MMT RDM and that means – eFTI platforms can be easily extended to support for B2B any documents which data is mapped to the MMT’, – says Mr. Christian Lüpges.

As one of the highlights of the Masterclass was to extend and deepen knowledge and get better prepared for the forthcoming eFTI Regulation, Ms. Ulrika Hurt, Expert of Digital Logistics Centre of Excellence presented a more detailed developments and activities within DTLF. According to Ms. Hurt, eFTI Regulation lays down the conditions based on which competent authorities are required to accept regulatory information when that information is made available electronically by the economic operators as well as lays down the rules on provisions of services related to making regulatory information available electronically by the economic operators’ competent authorities. Ms. Hurt presenting the eFTI Gates architecture and the roadmap informed that the eFTI full application will turn into force more likely in 2025 December than 2025 August as it was roadmaped earlier.

The other part of the Masterclass was covered by experts and innovators of transport and logistics sector. Mr. Gedas Lukoševičius, Business Development Manager at DreamCubator delivered a presentation on What is transport industry digitalization and why and how to start it. CEO of LTG Cargo Eglė Šimė presented Digitalisation Challenges of Intermodal Transport. Ms. Šimė believes that the digitalisation is the key success factor while creating good customer experience in intermodal transportation.

Mr. Paulius Lazauskas, CEO of ITO Group introduced innovation opportunities for private businesses brought by eFTI Regulation. “Nowadays innovation in IT industry is digital transformation and goals of its implementation is to increase value through innovation, invention, customer experience and efficiency”, – says Paulius. Mr. Lazauskas supported Ms. Šimė’s opinion that the key indicator for developing digital transformation is end-user experience, who will use the solution on his business-as-usual day. eFTI ecosystem created a number of diverse end-users, such as drivers, CEOs of logistic companies, logistics managers, transport inspectors, policeman, etc. Having said that, Paulius believes that the main aim of his work is to make life easier to all of them.

This Masterclass took place due to close cooperation of multiple international partners. The initiative was derived by the eCMR Project financed by Northern Dimension Partnership for Transport and Logistics (NDPTL) Fund as well as the Action Plan priorities for Transport of EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. The event was also sponsored by CargoGo and LTG Cargo. The main organisers are Transport Innovation Association and Tech Zity, who hosted the event in Vilnius at the premises of Vilnius TechPark. The success of the event implies that it will be repeated further in other Baltic Sea Region countries with the aim to align knowledge and experience on the way towards paperless transportation.