From document to e-CMR/eFTI dataset. The EU eFTI regulation as a unique opportunity.

  • Posted on: 14 March 2022
  • By: rhemeleers

This morning, I have been preparing a one-page presentation to explain the importance of the upcoming EU 2020/1056 eFTI regulation for logistics companies and public administrations of Luxembourg.

eFTI : electronic freight transport information.

Within the scope of the eFTI regulation, as from 21 August 2025, EU Member States are mandated tobe able to receive transport information in an EU harmonised machine readable electronic format. eFTI is not mandatory for economic operators (EO), but if these want to share data electronically with EU authorities, then they must use so-called certified eFTI service providers and platforms.

eFTI is a key opportunity. At least for 3 reasons.

  • The eFTI regulation assumes that economic operators will share data at the source and as such keep their sovereignty to grant and revoke access to their data. Authorities "pull" datasets of information so that logistics operators can use same source data for commercial, transport and compliance purposes.
  • The EU 2020/1056 eFTI regulation is a first necessary step towards sharing other documents such as licenses and permits in an electronic format. eFTI is definitively a first step towards 100% digital data sharing processes.
  • The implementation of the eFTI regulation is also a first step towards a EU federated data sharing architecture and future EU mobility data space. Participants will trust each other because they agree on identities, authentication and access policies. They also use common language with semantics that are interoperable.

In practice. Lessons learnt from the Benelux e-CMR/eFTI project

  • The Benelux e-CMR pilot project has been pioneering since 2018 the upcoming eFTI regulation. The (13) e-CMR IT service providers that are authorised to participate in the Benelux project offer their customers state-of-the-art cloud services providing end-to-end integration of road transport within (often) multimodal supply chains. Specific information related to "events", such as loading, departure, arrival and unloading, are reported through the on-board systems of the truck and mobile applications. Data becomes immediately available to all trusted parties. A Belgian study (VBO/FEB 2019) indicates that economic operators can aim an efficiency improvement averaging 13,11 Euro when using electronic transport documents.
  • Several of these Benelux e-CMR IT providers confirm that the new digital environment is already adopted by their customers for other documents, datasets, such as electronic invoices, dangerous goods information and waste movement notifications.
  • Government authorities confirm the importance of the upcoming eFTI implementation as a key solution to be able to trust, and verify, information that is presented in a digital format by the transport service operator.

What does this mean for an air-cargo airline, road transport service provider, a removal company, a European distribution center?

It is clear that sustainable profitability of logistics service providers is often explained through their ability to integrate all internal and external available revenue. They collect for cost, revenue, operational and customer information for each shipment, for each transport itinerary in structured datasets ("digital twins").

An integrated information platform is essential to provide customers with end-to-end, often multimodal. solutions. Solutions that can be tailored on the fly to specific customer demands and opportunities. Solutions whereby expected time of arrival, also expected shipment and transport itinerary profitability are monitored against what was agreed when accepting bookings.

This is the promise of the upcoming EU eFTI regulation when enabled by an EU trusted data sharing infrastructure where logistics operators will be able to share datasets of information between each other and with government authorities.

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