CaaS Nordic and EDIH initiative

CaaS Nordic is a non-profit independent association that has a history of public-private collaboration in Finland and Estonia. CaaS Nordic emphasizes the importance of international multimodal logistics and the digitalization of logistics in its work. The association approaches the issue from the perspective of transport corridors, which focuses on interregional cooperation. With the help of its members and other stakeholders, CaaS Nordic has succeeded in creating an active network of actors with which joint projects have been developed for benefit of authorities and industry.

CaaS Nordic together with One Sea ecosystem have prepared the European Digital Innovation Hub (EDIH) initiative called 5STAR eCorridors (Federation, Interoperability and Verification of Electronic data sharing in multimodal Sea/Truck/Air/Rail logistics in eCorridors). This EDIH initiative has been selected as one of Finland’s EDIH candidates for the coming 3-7 years. The 5STAR eCorridors EDIH promotes advanced digital technologies (AI, block chain, AR/VR, big data, 5G, Additive Manufacturing, etc.) and more effective use and sharing of data in Finnish SMEs and midcaps, who are operating in maritime industry, air/sea/land transportation and logistics, and in related manufacturing and service industries. The target is efficient and sustainable multimodal logistics and well-functioning export routes that are essential for the regional competitiveness and societal well-being.

Through EDIH, companies gain competences that enhance innovation and speed up time-to-market and time-to-money. It offers competence development, access to test facilities, support to finding investments and external funding, and access to relevant innovation networks and ecosystems. The EDIH related service providers include both private companies and academic organizations. The DIMECC Oy coordinated EDIH has strong industrial base that builds on the strengths of One Sea and CaaS Nordic ecosystems.


CaaS Nordic seeks to support the 5STAR eCorridors EDIH initiative with parallel large-scale piloting in the highly topical subject of cross-border logistics data sharing between authorities and enterprises. The key driver for such data sharing is the upcoming ELECTRONIC FREIGHT TRANSPORT INFORMATION – eFTI regulation, which will become the EU standard for public-private electronic transmission of regulatory freight transport information. 

The EU 2020/1056 regulation that was adopted in August 2020 will become applicable on the August 21st , 2025 and mandates EU Member States to be able to receive transport information in an electronic format that is machine readable and harmonized across the European Union. The scope of the eFTI regulation includes 7 EU regulations/directives covering EU Regulation 11, cabotage, combined transport, the transport of dangerous goods and waste and the interconnectivity of rail. eFTI is not mandatory for logistics operators, but if they want to present transport information in an electronic format to authorities, then they must use certified eFTI service providers and platforms. (Ref. European Commission, Lia Potec)

The EU eFTI regulation will significantly promote digitalization in the freight transport sector as there is a consensus that eFTI is a first step to be extended to all transport, vehicle, and crew related information.  The EU 2020/1056 regulation foresees that the European Commission will make an evaluation to make eFTI also mandatory for logistics operators. The convergence of the legislation towards electronic transmission of freight transport information is a priority because if – as is often the case – only one company or authority in a supply chain hinders or refuses the acceptance of electronic freight transport information (eFTI) then paper will still have to be used creating additional expenses instead of savings and efficiency improvements. Overcoming this problem is particularly important in the case of shipments using several modes of transport where too often the same freight transport information is re-keyed when goods are handed over within supply chains where many actors and authorities use different types of information systems and standards (Ref. cepPolicyBrief No. 2019-07).

Finland, the Baltic states and Nordic EU countries see major opportunity in implementation of eFTI as it will boost supply chain data sharing between public and private sectors, which will enable smooth and reliable transport with reduced emissions in the EU corridors. This is especially important for the EU nations that have longer reach to key markets. Therefore, these nations have more to gain from rapid implementation of logistics data sharing.  Implementation of eFTI is mainly run by authorities, but industry being the main beneficiary should step in to boost eFTI implementation stemming from their most burning requirements.

As stated in Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communication Logistics digitalization strategy

Finland wants to create more strategic approach to logistics digitalization and to steer future policy measures in relation to the logistics sector and to achieve efficiency, security and sustainability benefits through business-driven logistics digitalization. COVID-19 has shown the vulnerability of current logistics processes and lack of resilience and predictability. Logistics digitalization strategy aims at improvement of global competitiveness and sustainable growth.

Decision-in-principle of the Government of Finland on the digitalization of logistics was made in May 2021 (link attached). The decision-in-principle outlines the key actions of the Government to achieve the strategic goals of the digitalization of logistics. It also brings together the measures related to the digitalization of logistics that are included in other key programs of the Ministry, such as the Fossil-Free Transport Roadmap, the Transport 12 Program and the ICT Climate and Environment Strategy. A key focus area is also the logistics data sharing in collaboration with EU-countries.

Finland and Estonia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the transport sector

On April 2021, Finland’s Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka and Estonia’s  Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the two countries in the transport sector. The purpose of the MoU is cooperation in the transport sector and exchange of information between the countries in order to promote large-scale transport projects, such as the Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel, Rail Baltica, Trans-European Transport Networks, and North Sea–Baltic Sea core network corridor. The MoU provides an improved environment for applying EU funding for the projects. (Ref. Republic of Estonia Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications).

Estonia has chosen to play an active role in the digitization of European road haulage and calls on neighboring countries to work together to create a digital single market to make flexible and transparent logistics in the Nordic-Baltic region an economic success, to set an example of transnational co-operation to other European regions and to take advantage of our high level of digitization both in the private and public sectors. Estonia is the first in Europe to develop a National Access Point (NAP) model of national data registers, public services and private logistics processes to enable the state to perform roadside inspections of vehicles based on digital transport documents, thereby automating the inspection process and enabling companies to access national registers.

Estonian pilots and research have raised a number of challenges that need to be addressed, both nationally and internationally, in the implementation of digital freight platform solutions, but we are ready to work with the European Commission and the countries of the region to find solutions for legislation, user retraining and data standards. The Estonian e-transport roadmap contains principles for the implementation of both national activities and international joint projects in order to achieve a unified multimodal, digital trade route from the Nordic countries to Central Europe.

List of challenges that need more attention and cooperation to accelerate the transition from paper-based transport management to digital, real-time logistics:

  • Intense competition from logistics service providers in an oversaturated market
    • Develop common rules to control the implementation of digital solutions and the licensing and congestion management in order to increase equal treatment and transparency of transport companies
    • Digital solutions, focus on market openness for all service providers
  • Fragmentation of sectoral IT solutions and developments is an obstacle of the digital single market. More attention to interoperability of IT services and standardization of the data platform
  • A shabby set of standards and terminology (lack of multilateral and international agreements) require common data standard
  • Lack of wider competence in the field of digital logistics and technological fragmentation of the field. Train the trainers and to develop education process
  • The expectations and assumptions of the parties are over-dimensional and diverge in terms of both the content of the IT activities and their readiness to switch to them and pricing
  • Update legislation that is today partly excessively and restrictive, partly incomplete
  • Complexity of coherent coordination of cooperation between ministries and public authorities
  • With regard to labour needs, the focus must be on training and further training around truck drivers and other transport workers.

Measured sustainability through supply chain data sharing

Current supply chains are suboptimized for different stakeholders and modalities. Shipments go half empty, lots of time is wasted while waiting change of modalities and interchange of documents. Thus, the entire supply chain is full of inefficiencies that cause unknown amount of damage to sustainability. The EU FEDeRATED project has raised question (link attached) whether logistics sustainability should be enhanced by data sharing and emission measurements in supply chains.  We need to reach a holistic view of all stakeholders’ multimodal supply chain efficiency and sustainability. Therefore, it is mandatory to test and prove suitable governance structure for data sharing.

Our proposal: Large-scale trial initiative

Two major Finnish enterprises decided early 2021 to locate their biofuel refineries – a billion-dollar investment – in a third country due to Finland’s lack of logistical competitiveness. Decisive measures are thus required to improve logistics competitiveness of our North East corner of Europe. In the May 2021 Ministry of Transport and Communications presentation for Decision in principle of logistics digitization there was also encouragement to create a development plan for logistics digitalization research & development and to develop innovation activities providing support for EU project funding application. This is where CaaS Nordic initiative for large scale piloting of ELECTRONIC FREIGHT TRANSPORT INFORMATION CATALYZING SUSTAINABLE GROWTH AND VITALITY IN THE NORTH-SEA BALTIC CORRIDOR comes forward.

The key targets of the proposed large-scale trial are:

  • Key export and import industries utilizing North Sea Baltic corridor will be will be involved with their use cases and KPIs for digitalized logistics
    • Maritime cluster
    • Circulation and waste management
    • Paper and pulp industry
    • Metal and machinery industry
    • Technology industry
    • Agriculture and food industry
    • Wholesale
  • Authorities: testing of national access point requirements and authority data exchange
    • Customs and border control
    • Transport agencies
    • Ministries
    • Supervisory authorities
  • Key data sharing platforms for different transport modalities will be included to test use cases and KPIs to demonstrate permeability of the transport corridor
    • The FEDeRATED and IATA data sharing model
    • CEF eDelivery and Peppol data sharing models
    • Diginno/LogixDigi data sharing model
    • National access points data sharing model
    • TP1/TP2 dangerous goods platforms
    • Waste goods data sharing platform
  • Domestic transportation and cross-border recommendations for eFTI implementation will be generated
    • Indicating common development needs of states to
      • Securing key benefits
      • Avoiding worst pitfalls
      • Data sharing use for enhancing sustainability of the supply chains
      • Competence creation requirements
      • Interoperability test requirements

Proposed large scale trial content:

  • The choice of scope and participants
  • Stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities
  • Industry driven corridor vision creation
  • Master plan for federation of platforms
  • Industry use case driven trialing and validation
  • Dissemination


CaaS Nordic proposes initiative for EU CEF/public-private financed large-scale piloting of ELECTRONIC FREIGHT TRANSPORT INFORMATION CATALYZING SUSTAINABLE GROWTH AND VITALITY IN THE NORTH-SEA BALTIC CORRIDOR. Such cross border large scale trial should be preceded by a co-financed study to help Finnish and Estonian ministries and enterprises jointly design and coordinate a public-private CEF-eFTI project application.

For this initiative CaaS Nordic offers:

  • Defining scope of eFTI effectiveness and suitability for public-private digital multimodal logistics as a pillar of sustainable growth and vitality in the North-Sea Baltic Corridor
  • Stakeholder interviews and engagement for defining targets and themes of the eFTI-project 
  • Proposing test before invest approach for eFTI related data
  • EU level project cooperation
  • Regular review meetings and Webinar for actors in the region to cover interest in participation and recommendations for participation
  • Proposing training program on the automation and digitalization of freight transport data with hand-on exercises and material on electronic documents

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