Gaining visibility into the subcontracting chain with eCMR

30 May 2024
eCMR cadena subcontratación_FIELDEAS

On the road to digitalization, road freight transport faces significant barriers to gaining full visibility of the increasingly complex and lengthy value chain. In particular, the main challenge is to gain visibility in the subcontracting chain.

The road sector in Spain has a very fragmented structure, which implies the presence of many small companies and self-employed workers. This results in long chains of subcontracting transportation services, which generates important blind spots within the chain.

In this sense, in the second edition of FIELDEAS Talks addressed the challenge of obtaining visibility from start to finish. The various logistics managers who participated in the meeting agreed that the structure of the sector is detrimental to achieving the desired visibility.

During the meeting, the managers explained that when a shipper contracts a transportation service, they are often unaware of whether their supplier has transferred part of the cargo to another. The problem is not in the first levels, which are more visible, but in those expeditions in which the third level of subcontracting is exceeded.

Ángel González_ONTIME_eCMR_FIELDEAS_en

For this reason, the participants of the second edition of FIELDEAS Talks assured that complete visibility in the supply chain will not be achieved without more control over the subcontracting chain.

Regulation for the control of subcontracting

In view of the great insecurity caused by unlimited subcontracting in road freight transport, the Ministry of Transport, in line with the stipulations of the National Freight Transport Committee (CNTM), issued the first step to limit the subcontracting chain in Royal Decree-Law 14/2022, of August 1, on economic sustainability measures in the field of transportation.

In the sixteenth final provision, “limits to the subcontracting of road freight transport”, it was stipulated that “the Government, within six months from the entry into force of this Royal Decree-Law, shall submit to the Spanish Parliament a draft law revising the subcontracting regime in road freight transport to encourage its efficient use, avoiding the loss of non-productive value in the subcontracting chain of road freight transport”.


After those six months, the bill has still not been presented and the subcontracting chain remains unrestricted.

Therefore, as an available and efficient solution, the managers stressed the importance of strengthening supplier loyalty in order to have complete and reliable control and visibility of the cargo.

In addition, it became clear that another solution to obtain complete visibility in the chain is digitization, especially of transport documents.

Digitizing for visibility in the outsourcing chain

Unlike paper, managing transport operations digitally offers greater data security and control.

In the case of the outsourcing chain, visibility and traceability solutions allow for connect all the agents involved in a transport operation, allowing to know at all times where the goods are, who is carrying them, how they are being carried and when they are expected to arrive at their destination.

In addition, the digitalization of transport documents provides greater visibility.

Roberto García_CAPSA_eCMR_FIELDEAS_en

As explained by the CEO of FIELDEAS, Óscar López, while the paper document allows changes to be made at any time and can be signed by any person, the electronic document does not allow modifications of any kind without the loader, and the other authorized parties, being aware of it.

This is because the electronic transport document or eCMR must be accompanied by the advanced electronic signature, which is uniquely linked to the signatory, allows the signatory to be identified and is linked to the data being forwarded so that any subsequent modification of the data can be detected.

In more detail, the latest amendment to the Regulations of the Land Transport Law (ROTT), in June 2023, specifies the characteristics that the advanced electronic signature must have in order to have full legal and regulatory guarantee:

  • Be linked only to the signatory.
  • Allow identification of the signatory.
  • Have been created using means that the signatory can maintain under his exclusive control.
  • Be linked to the data to which it refers so that any subsequent modification of the data can be detected.

For this reason, one of the main advantages of the advanced digital signature in transport documentation is that it allows greater control over the subcontracting chain.

With the eCMR, every time a subcontract is performed, it must be declared and signed electronically. In other words, successive carriers have to be declared in the eCMR, so that the shipper can see it and know the level of subcontracting that has taken place.

Supply Chain Visibility Platform and eCMR solution

As we have seen, digitalization is essential to gain full visibility into the outsourcing chain and the supply chain in general.

Today, there are technological solutions on the market that make it possible to digitize transport documents and the entire value chain in a simple, secure and interconnected way.

FIELDEAS Track and Trace is the most advanced, flexible and secure Supply Chain Visibility platform most advanced, flexible and secure, facilitating visibility throughout the chain despite outsourcing.

In this way, it responds to the need of the companies in the sector for a single platform The company’s visibility solutions include everything from document management to dock management, route optimization and carbon footprint calculation.

For its part, the SeamLess eCMR from FIELDEAS Track and Trace offers full legal and regulatory guarantees, as it includes an advanced electronic signature, which allows for greater control over the subcontracting chain.

Visibility in the transport subcontracting chain_FIELDEAS
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Barbara Rodriguez

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