Driving To Deliver Your Business


Luxembourg introduces eCMR for road transport

Luxembourg introduces eCMR for road transport

April 23, 2018: Luxembourg’s Secretary of State of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, Camille Gira, has signed the first electronic consignment note for road transport by Arthur Welter on behalf of Cargolux[1] between the airports of Luxembourg and Amsterdam, Schiphol.

The signature took place during the annual Luxembourg Supply Chain Day at the Cargo Center of LuxairCARGO[2] at Luxembourg Airport for a road transport operated by Arthur Welter on behalf of Cargolux Airlines International between the airports of Luxembourg and Amsterdam, Schiphol.

As of March this year, Luxembourg authorises the use of digital consignment notes for road transport after the adoption of the UNECE e-CMR protocol addition and also participates in a Benelux e-CMR project.

“By using electronic consignment notes, logistics companies and their customers can significantly reduce administrative and environmental costs that relate to the 400 million e-CMR that are issued on an annual basis within the European Community”, states Secretary of State Camille Gira. “In practice, 166.000 trees, 15.000 pallets and 600 trucks of paper CMR can be saved. Assuming a saving of 4,5 euro for each e-CMR, this would mean an efficiency gain of 1,8 billion of euro for the European Union.”

Patrick Silverio, Manager Special Services Cargo, LuxairCARGO highlights the benefits “In 2017, the Cargo Center of the airport operated by LuxairCARGO registered about 200.000 CMR. Document treatment, signing, stamping and archiving are definitively a time-consuming factor, which with the e-CMR will be highly reduced”.

The specialist trucking company Arthur Welter is also looking forward to the change: “In practice, transport orders are received from our customers in a digital data format and transmitted to the driver.

Consigner, driver and consignees use their smart phones for secure digital signatures. The e-CMR solution of DashDoc, currently establishing its office in Luxembourg, stores all data in a central database that can be accessed by each party.” states Rene Gloden, Chief Administration Officer, Arthur Welter.

For Ronny Claes, Manager Projects and Business Process Management Global Logistics at Cargolux Airlines, the switch is a move forward. “The digital integration of road transport information within our systems will lead to enhanced transparency and visibility for our customers. An important competitive advantage, not to be neglected,” says Claes.

A position which is echoed by Malik Zeniti, Director, Cluster for logistics, Luxembourg says, “This is an important step for the Luxembourg hub allowing a stronger data integration of records driving digitization in the transport and supply chain sector.

It positions the Benelux at the head of Europe facilitating movements of goods with electronic consignment notes thus acceptance throughout Europe”.


  1. ^ Cargolux (www.logupdateafrica.com)
  2. ^ LuxairCARGO (www.logupdateafrica.com)

How to ensure profitability in sea freight shipment..

Profitability in sea freight shipment is not a myth or a unicorn.. It is very possible.. Read how..

It is not a secret that ocean transportation and logistics is currently confronting immense change in terms of new technology, new markets, rising customer expectations, and new business models..

There have been a few articles on this blog about these advances like Blockchain based Bill of Lading[1], and other technologies that are shaking up the freight industry[2] .. There are many ways the industry could develop to meet existing and new challenges, some of which are evolutionary and others are more revolutionary.. While cargo transportation is generally a complex business, in some cases it could be straightforward as well depending on how you manage it..

It is also a fact that in this high paced business environment it is not easy to follow every market trend and find answers on how to tackle the prevailing challenges easily..

Each customer and each shipment has its own issues, peculiarities, problems and characteristics.. But the main question that several shippers and services providers ask is “How to ensure profitability in sea freight shipment“..

More often than not, exporters, importers, carriers and logistics service providers experience loss due to poor planning, decision making and implementation..

A lot of people get into the industry sometimes without knowing even the basics relating to the business, the specifics relating to the business, the requirements and some of the vital information that can make or break the business.. I have even written a Beginner’s Guide to Importing[3] for those who wanted to get into the importing business but didn’t know how.. Here are some steps you can follow to ensure profitability in sea freight shipment..

1. Understand the business : Elementary, but often ignored.. When I say understand the business, have a THOROUGH understanding of the business that are about to embark on or the one that you are already in..

Learn the nuances of the business and more importantly the pitfalls of the business.. Once you understand the pitfalls of the business, you will then be able to take necessary steps to avoid it.. How to ensure profitability in sea freight shipment..

Image by Massupa Kaewgahya from Noun Project

2. Employ right: Experience matters in running any business and if you want to ensure profitability in sea freight shipment, you better ensure that you employ right.. Your organisation needs to have people with relevant experience and understanding of their job at each level right from your bike messenger to the lower, middle and top management..

A simple example of where you could lose your profits would be for example if your bike messenger did not deliver the required release documents to the carrier in time which delayed the clearance of the cargo thereby incurring storage, demurrage and/or detention, which you cannot claim from your client..!! Employing the right people, training them sufficiently to handle the business and retaining their services as long as possible could make a big difference to your bottom line.. Once your team has developed a profound understanding of your customers, their requirements, and the strength of the company, they will intuitively know how to convert business into profits..

3. Have structure : Outline the organisational structures, SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) from the onset.. If your company has set and proven business systems, your teams will follow suit and ensure much needed profitability..

4. Optimise : For your business to be financially viable, whether you are a BCO (Beneficial Cargo Owner = Shipper) or a Freight Forwarder, one of your top priorities should be to optimise operational efficiency which goes a long way in reducing your logistics costs.. Apart from optimising operational efficiency, you also need to ensure that the resources of your company is optimised such as optimising the use of your own assets before you look to source from a 3rd party..

This will save you a bundle which can directly contribute to the profits on the sea freight shipment..

How to ensure profitability in sea freight shipment..

5. Cost Reduction : A guaranteed way of increasing your profits is to reduce costs..

Especially and importantly, the avoidable and unnecessary costs.. For example, if your business involves a labour workforce, you need to do a workforce analysis and ensure optimisation of your workforce.. This is of utmost importance as labour costs is one of the highest cost items in a labour intensive business such as Warehouse/Yard operation..

Cost reduction is a major factor that can happen only if you understand your business, the shipment and the costs that may be involved in the shipment.. Remember that no shipment is identical to the next.. For example, one might be stopped by customs for inspection (extra £££) whereas the next one might not be..

One might incur storage[4] and/or demurrage and detention[5] (extra £££) while the next one might not.. You could try creating a dynamic map of costs classified as mandatory (freight, surcharges etc), statutory (port, customs etc), variable (transportation, inspection etc) and avoidable (storage, demurrage[6] etc) costs on a shipment.. This will assist you in identifying the problem areas and try to control it immediately..

Costs like transportation, labor, storage, administrative, inventory carrying are some of the major contributors to the bulk of your logistics costs..

How to ensure profitability in sea freight shipment..

6. Partner with the right people : Even the biggest and best companies in the industry may not be able to handle all of the businesses and services themselves and may use the services, infrastructure, strengths and expertise of a 3rd party service provider from time to time whether in their own area or as a partner in another country..

Since you will not be there to do the work yourself, it is important that you partner with the right entity to provide the service.. After all it will be your name and reputation on the line.. Partnering with the right people is also important for you to be able to ensure that you don’t spend more than what you have to..

There are many scrupulous operators in the form of partners who have taken many people including customers and their own partners for a ride.. So safeguard against shipping and freight fraud[7].. 7.

Know which service type you need to use : There are a few different service types in container shipping.. FCL, LCL, Groupage are the different options that you as a customer have in terms of sea freight shipment[8]..

  • FCL : Full Container Load – this is when the full container is used by a single customer for his cargo..
  • LCL : Less than Container Load – this is when the same container is used for cargoes belonging to multiple shippers and consignees..
  • GROUPAGE : Similar to LCL with the only difference that these containers, cargo packing etc are controlled by a Groupage operator instead of the shipping lines in the case of LCL containers..

If you are wondering how this service type can ensure profitability in a sea freight shipment, consider this example.. Based on container dimensions[9], a heavy tested 20? container can load upto about 27.5 tons and upto 33 cbm of cargo.. When shipping under FCL service, whether you ship 2 tons or 27.5 tons you pay the same freight rate..

But in an LCL service type you will pay for the space/volume you use.. For example if you have only 2 tons of cargo to be shipped to Shanghai, it doesn’t make sense for you to pay the cost for the full container when you are only using 2 tons of the weight capacity.. In this case, it maybe profitable for you to ship the 2 tons as LCL or ship the same as a Groupage cargo with a Groupage Operator..

8. Know your currency : An area where profits can be very quickly eroded is currency fluctuation.. When you are entering into a shipment as an exporter or importer or handling it as a service provider, it is very important that you choose the right currency to trade in/quote..

For example if you are based in a country where there is severe Forex fluctuation, it might be safer and wiser for you to choose to trade/quote/pay in your local currency.. Know the technicalities involved in the buying and selling of currency to fund your shipment.. 9.

Insure correctly : Another key area often (surprisingly) neglected by many customers is not taking proper or adequate insurance cover[10], mainly to save costs..

How to ensure profitability in sea freight shipment..

This is shipping, which only involves packing (sometimes without following proper cargo packing guidelines) your precious cargo into a metal box which will be one of thousands loaded on a ship which is expected to safely navigate choppy seas[11] (inspite of your incorrect packing) across thousands of kilometers to your customer..

What could go wrong..!! 10. Visibility : Supply chain visibility is a key factor in any businesses especially in the retail or industrial sectors..

If you have proper visibility of your stock on hand or stock on its way to you and its ETA, you could avoid procuring extra stock locally at a higher cost, or over ordering to compensate for any shortfalls which increases your storage costs.. Maintaining visibility is a way to counteract uncertainties in the supply & demand process, and maintain proper service levels.. Noting that service disruptions can happen at any time along the supply chain, visibility allows the stock controllers to react quickly and find alternate routes of supply or distribution if the need arises while contributing to better cost control..

11. Plan Plan Plan : All your operations needs to be well planned and executed.. Planning your stock, shipment schedule considering holidays, delivery times, documentation time lines, transit times, weather related delays from pick up till delivery is key..

Lack of planning could lead to impulsive and forced decisions that will cost you and eat into your profit margins..

I would be interested to hear what steps you have taken to ensure profitability in sea freight shipment..??

In order to also try and answer this question, Dr.Lina Jasutiene took the initiative to unite myself and 21 other industry experts to discuss key areas of disruption shippers and logistic companies need to focus on now to overcome existing challenges with particular focus on sustained profitability.. Her Online Masterclass[12] features AUDIO INTERVIEWS with all the experts and covers topics such as

  • Future cargo transportation market trends
  • Disruption areas
  • Avoiding cargo damage
  • New Markets
  • Cargo issues
  • Legal challenges
  • How to adapt to changing environments
  • REAL STRATEGIES and much more

How to ensure profitability in sea freight shipment..

Image by Claire Jones for Noun Project The subject of my interview was

What are the biggest mistakes shippers make in packaging and stuffing any type of cargo inside containers and what are the practical solutions are to avoid cargo damages..

You can listen to my interview with Dr.Lina Jasutiene here..



  1. ^ Blockchain based Bill of Lading (shippingandfreightresource.com)
  2. ^ technologies that are shaking up the freight industry (shippingandfreightresource.com)
  3. ^ Beginner’s Guide to Importing (shippingandfreightresource.com)
  4. ^ storage (shippingandfreightresource.com)
  5. ^ demurrage and detention (shippingandfreightresource.com)
  6. ^ demurrage (shippingandfreightresource.com)
  7. ^ safeguard against shipping and freight fraud (shippingandfreightresource.com)
  8. ^ FCL, LCL, Groupage are the different options that you as a customer have in terms of sea freight shipment (shippingandfreightresource.com)
  9. ^ container dimensions (shippingandfreightresource.com)
  10. ^ not taking proper or adequate insurance cover (shippingandfreightresource.com)
  11. ^ safely navigate choppy seas (shippingandfreightresource.com)
  12. ^ Online Masterclass (transportnexus.org)
  13. ^ https://shippingandfreightresource.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/TransportNexus-Podcast.mp3 (shippingandfreightresource.com)

Northport now a container port after first container-only cargo ship leaves

Northport at Marsden Point has officially become a container port, with the first containers leaving on a new direct shipping service between Whangarei, Brisbane and Singapore.

The containers were loaded aboard the container ship Northern Diplomat at the weekend for the first all-container international shipping service to operate from the port.

The seasonal fortnightly service is being offered to Northland businesses by Mediterranean Shipping Company, and will improve sea freight transit times for local importers and exporters.

Customers already signed up to use the service include Northland growers of kiwifruit and other fruit and exporters of manufactured timber products. Advertisement

The deal with Northland’s £40 million kiwifruit industry will take more than 500 truck and trailer trips off the road south of Whangarei, and boost profits for the people who grow the fruit for export. At the moment Northland kiwifruit is trucked to Auckland where it is then put on a train to the Port of Tauranga.

The new service will run for the remainder of the 2018 fruit export period but will be available for any kind of import or export container shipment.

Northport’s commercial manager David Finchett said it represented an opportunity for all industries across the region.

He urged Northland business, both importers and exporters, to explore the possibilities presented by the new service.

“Our goal is to build cargo volumes to the point where the service becomes regular instead of seasonal. If we can demonstrate consistent demand for this shipping link from Northland importers and exporters there is no reason why it should not become a weekly service instead of a fortnightly one,” Finchett said.

“It’s a great option for Northland business that has taken a lot of work and coordination by Northport, Northland Inc and many other parties, to bring about. But, like all things, if we don’t use it we’ll lose it.

So we really hope that Northland makes the most of it.”

David Wilson, chief executive officer of Northland’s economic development agency Northland Inc, said new sea freight services linking the region directly with international markets presented a significant opportunity for its economy.

Northland produces about three and a half million trays of kiwifruit a year, which equates to about 13,000 pallets and is worth about £40 million. The cost to get one pallet of kiwifruit from Kerikeri to the Bay of Plenty is about £102. To load that same pallet at Marsden Point is expected to cost about £36, a saving of £66.

“Until now many Northland businesses have had to incur cost and time penalties to either bring things in through or ship products out of, other ports.

Links like this one, using our very own local port, bring new levels of competitive advantage to Northland and should be both welcomed and supported by local business owners,” Wilson said.

“The growth of Northport is a project within the Northland Tai Tokerau Economic Action Plan and will be an important part of any integrated logistic solution for Auckland and the top half of the North Island.”

Whangarei mayor Sheryl Mai described the opening of the new route as “fantastic news” that would further connect Northland with the world and strengthen the case for the relocation of Auckland-based manufacturers to Whangarei and the Marsden Point area, with its abundance of inexpensive industrial and port-zoned land.

Carl Muller, general manager of Orangewood, a post-harvest and orchard management company in the Far North, said the new service was “a real coup” for the region’s kiwifruit growers.

It was more efficient and cost-effective than export routes they had been using previously and MSC’s Singapore hub gave exporters easy access to markets virtually anywhere.

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