International logistics is broken. Cost of logistics halts business, transit through Russia is blocked, driver capacity, transport availability, emission generation, data security and reliability are growing problems.
Major changes in supply chains are thus now due for shippers who wish to maintain their security, sustainability and competitiveness of supply. More than ever, we need regional and EU collaboration for respond to these challenges. We need to federate our data platforms for way more efficient, reliable, resilient, transparent and interoperable data sharing.
eFTI workshop findings
In the recent CaaS Nordic ecosystem eFTI work shop we discussed why do we need eFTI ? how will eFTI come? what will eFTI be ?
Representatives from Digital Logistics Centre of Excellence explained the essence of eFTI and Heiti stated that the biggest beneficiaries of eFTI are the cargo owners and the state. They should push the change and reach better control of supply chain data. This would generate more on-time deliveries for shipments that have trusted status by authorities – meaning less shipment stoppings. This would be a competitive advantage for front running companies that utilize the data sharing opportunity of eFTI. For many nations this could also be vital as 10-15 % of GDP can come from transportation. The shift from CMR to eCMR will also mean requirement of totally new business processes, which is a major opportunity for systematic change for more efficient and resilient supply chains.
Public sector argued that eFTI benefits need to be clear & concrete to attract stakeholders particularly on these topics:
- Cost savings when replacing paper documents with digital tools
- Tools for smaller companies should come free of charge / at very low price
- Less roadside inspections and stops by CA when using eFTI
- Less stops mean less delays
- eFTI has high level data protection & data security
Matti Lankinen from Vediafi shared take from supply chain stakeholder eFTI-interviews last spring indicating the following:
- In logistics, digital solutions are already well used, but they are not harmonized or based on standards – e.g. eCMR is not harmonised
- The challenge is the scalability of the solutions in multimodal supply chains
- Digitalization is changing logistics control structures – even roles of players
- Implementing digital documents sharing is difficult to stakeholders
- A better overview and transparency and traceability should be obtained remotely
- Physical supervision is also needed
- Information and cyber security is perceived as an important part and people want to be prepared for various threats
- The integrity of operational systems and backup systems and their functionality must be ensured
- The transition “from paper to digital and from digital to paper” must be agile and secure
How to Go4eFTI?
After years of preparing the electronic Freight Transport Information – eFTI – initiative in EU we are finally reaching the implementation phase in the coming months. With all the delays caused by disputes of eFTI architecture and data content we face a very limited time frame for the actual implementation of eFTI in just a few years. The EU Commission has launched a CEF2-call to assist the member states in eFTI implementation – see: https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/opportunities/topic-details/cef-t-2022-simobgen-efti-works
The call leaves very little response time for the member states. Therefore, much of the work has already been done beforehand. Most notably the Baltic and Finnish ecosystems – CaaS Nordic and its three members, Vediafi, Digital Logistics Centre of Excellence (DLCE) and Transport Innovation Association (TIA) have been busy for more than 18 months in eFTI call preparation. These driving organizations pulled together the Ready4eFTI Memorandum of Understanding in June 2022 – https://ready4efti.eu/.
Aim of the joint initiative is to build a long-term collaboration to enable the benefits of large-scale supply chain data sharing in EU and beyond. The first – ongoing – step is to prepare funding application for the CEF-eFTI call. With this initiative current collaboration network is seeking potential new partners and beneficiaries for the project and beyond with other interest groups. Initial plan for the project is to seek multimillion 3-4 years project, which covers studies and piloting of eFTI especially in North-Sea Baltic TEN-T corridor. This initiative promotes the generic requirement of getting successful eFTI-Gate implementation with EU preferred decentralized data sharing architecture and strong private sector involvement to support eFTI implementation.
To support this approach a number of seminars have been arranged in Helsinki, Tallinn and Vilnius to build a common eFTI implementation approach to the shared transport corridors. Most recent was held by TIA in Vilnius with support of many sponsors like Northern Dimension partnership of Transport and Logistics (NDPTL). In this annual Transport Innovation Forum, the eFTI initiative was presented and discussed extensively by our ecosystem partners, authorities and enterprises – https://transportoforumas.lt/eng/
CaaS Nordic future contribution to eFTI
The 5Star-eCorridors EDIH-group were recently granted EU-Seal of Excellence, which will serve as pre-acceptance for EU-funding is essentially similar EDIH-project is sought with some home country funding. With this seal and potential support from regional funders like NDPTL CaaS Nordic ecosystem considers seeking role as EDIH-type of eFTI competence centre for stakeholders with capability for training, disseminating and providing technical support for eFTI governance and test before-invest.