The first entirely digitalised cross-border movement of goods took place recently following the introduction of the Electronic Trade Documents Act (ETDA), which came into force in late September 2023. An article on page 12 of the November issue of Logistics Manager magazine discusses it in full but take it from us, a paper-free supply chain has been possible for a long time now. We just find it exasperating that it’s taken this long for legislation to catch up. However, now we’re free to be paper-free (wherever companies operate according to English law) with all the advantages that gives us. For instance, according to the aforementioned article, the paperless movement of the goods involved resulted in “… an 85% reduction in paperwork and an 89% reduction in logistics processing time.”
What’s not to like about that? If goods can be moved across international borders with the requisite trade documents (certain ones) having the same legality, effect and functionality as paper ones, then there is no excuse for not removing all paper elements wherever we can - and there’s plenty of scope for that. Where freight operators are concerned, modern transport management systems (TMSs) can now communicate without difficulty and provide real-time access to any information required, so they are fully capable of removing paperwork and eliminating the concomitant costs. Not only that: such a TMS will give management an accurate view of real-time performance and give them the ability to generate any relevant reports or other documents (including timeous invoices!) at the push of a button.
To find out how a supply chain can manage without a paper chain, contact Bashir Khan and he will give you a free demo of CarrierNet that will show you how it can be done.