Advantages of eCMR in dangerous goods transport

10 Jul 2024
eCMR en el transporte de mercancías peligrosas_FIELDEAS

We already know that eCMR, understood as an umbrella concept for the digitalization of all transport documents, is fully valid and effective in the transport of general cargo by road. But what are the advantages of eCMR in the transport of dangerous goods? Let’s see!

The transport of dangerous goods requires a specific type of documentation that must be carried on board the truck throughout the journey, as stipulated in the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR).

Mandatory documents for the transport of dangerous goods

In the transport of dangerous goods by road in Spain, mandatory documentation is essential to ensure safety and compliance with national and international regulations:

  • Consignment note (CMR). Information on the sender, consignee, carrier, description of the goods, conditions of carriage and signature of the parties involved must be included.
  • Dangerous Goods Transport Document (ADR). Specific document that complies with the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR). It must contain detailed information on the dangerous goods, including the UN number, proper shipping name, hazard class, packing group, quantity, and handling conditions.
  • Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Document that provides information on the properties of hazardous substances and how to handle them safely. It should contain information on substance identification, hazards, first aid, fire-fighting measures, accidental release measures, handling and storage, exposure control and personal protection.
  • Driver’s written instructions or safety instructions. Document that provides the driver with clear instructions on how to act in case of emergency.
  • Driver’s training certificate. Certification that the driver has received the necessary training to transport dangerous goods according to the ADR. It must contain details of the driver, date of issue and expiration of the certificate and classes of dangerous goods authorized to be transported.
  • Certificate of approval of the vehicle. Document certifying that the vehicle used for the transport of dangerous goods complies with ADR regulations. It must contain information about the vehicle, inspections performed and compliance with technical and safety standards.
  • Other documents such as vehicle registration certificate and technical data sheet, civil liability insurance, cleaning certificate and/or special authorizations for the transport of certain dangerous goods such as explosives or radioactive materials.

Digitalization of ADR transport documents

In line with the trend of digitization in the road freight sector, regulatory bodies already accept the electronic format of transport documents.

However, for dangerous goods there are doubts as to the feasibility of electronic formats. The ADR specifies that “if electronic data processing (EDP) or electronic data interchange (EDI) techniques are used instead of paper documents, it must be ensured that the data is available during transport in a manner at least equivalent to that of paper documentation”.

This gives rise to the digitalization of mandatory documents for the transport of dangerous goods, provided that a number of requirements are met:

  • That the information is available during the entire transport.
  • Be accessibleto be read.
  • It can be submitted promptly when requested by the control authorities.
  • Be accompanied by advanced electronic signatures and encryption to preserve their authenticity and integrity.

This means that carriers can carry the necessary documents on electronic devices such as tablets or in-vehicle systems, or use cloud platforms that allow authorities to access the documentation when necessary, in line with the latest amendment to the Land Transport Regulation Act (ROTT).

Also, at the European level, it is Regulation (EU) 2020/1056 on electronic Freight Transport Information (eFTI) that establishes a legal framework for the use and acceptance of electronic information in the transport of goods, including dangerous goods.

How eCMR works in dangerous goods transport

We have already seen in posts such as “The importance of having an eCMR system with full legal guarantee” or “eCMR or electronic consignment note, why implement it?” that the eCMR or electronic transport document has full legal and regulatory guarantee both in Spain and in Europe, so that in the transport of dangerous goods it is just as valid as the paper format.

Therefore, let’s take a look at how eCMR works in dangerous goods transport and the main benefits it brings:

Digitalization and accessibility

The eCMR facilitates the management, storage and access of dangerous goods documents.

It also provides real-time access to document data, improving transparency and coordination between carriers, shippers, consignees and authorities.

Regulatory compliance

The electronic transport document includes all the information required by ADR regulations, such as the classification of the goods, the UN number and the handling and emergency instructions.

In addition, updates on the status of the cargo and any incidents are automatically recorded in the eCMR, ensuring that all information is always up to date and available.

Advantages of eCMR in the transport of dangerous goods_FIELDEAS

Security and traceability

The main advantage of eCMR in dangerous goods is real-time traceability, providing accurate information on the location and status of dangerous goods.

Thus, when there are incidents, all parties are informed in real time, allowing for greater agility in decision making.


The eCMR system can be integrated with other management systems such as the TMS or ERP, which facilitates coordination and data exchange.

In addition, it can be connected to the second-generation intelligent tachograph system, which enhances the security of cargo and driver data.

Advanced electronic signature

In line with the latest amendment to the ROTT, the eCMR must be accompanied by the advanced electronic signatures of those involved, guaranteeing the integrity and validity of the document.

Administrative cost savings and sustainability

Digitalizing dangerous goods transport documents saves significant administrative costs, given the large number of documents that need to be issued for each shipment.

The eCMR reduces the costs of printing, storing and managing physical documents.

In short, eCMR modernizes and optimizes the transport of dangerous goods by improving visibility, traceability and regulatory compliance. Its implementation facilitates coordination between the parties involved, reduces errors and costs, and provides greater safety and efficiency in the management of dangerous goods transport.

FIELDEAS Track and Trace SeamLess eCMR for dangerous goods

Taking into account everything analyzed in this post, it is necessary to highlight that there are already eCMR solutions on the market with full legal and regulatory guarantees.

This is the case of SeamLess eCMR, one of the most outstanding modules of FIELDEAS Track and Trace, the most advanced, flexible and secure Supply Chain Visibility platform on the market, which guarantees the viability of all electronic transport documents, even in the case of dangerous goods.

Digitalization of dangerous goods documentation_eCMR_FIELDEAS
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Barbara Rodriguez

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