But what exactly is eFTI?
The internet is full of articles about eFTI, the European Electronic Freight Transport Information Regulation.
But what exactly is eFTI?
The eFTI Regulation entered into force on 20 August 2020 and gives EU Member States 5 years to implement eFTI. From August 2025, companies will obtain the right to make freight information available to public authorities digitally. This applies to all types of transport, i.e. land, rail, air and water transport. Paper cargo information also still needs to be accepted by governments, there are discussions whether digital exchange will become mandatory from August 2029.
So eFTI offers great opportunities to make processes in transport and logistics much more efficient. This should also be able to lead to significant cost savings.
The regulation states, if companies choose to make information available electronically, they must:
- Use data processed on a certified eFTI platform and, if applicable, by a certified eFTI service provider;
- Make data available in machine-readable format via an authenticated and secure connection to an eFTI platform's data source;
- When data is requested for inspection, communicate to the authorities a unique identification link to that data;
- Provide data in a human-readable format when requested by the competent authority on-site, on the operator's equipment.
At a number of presentations Aventeon has attended recently, the required architecture of such a system was discussed in more detail. As we understand it, the complete architecture should consist of a "private domain" (companies) and a "public domain" (governments). Such a private domain could belong to a company itself (e.g. a large logistics service provider, or an eCMR supplier, or a collaboration of companies, or a company that sees a business case for this).
Within the "private domain" part, a company makes itself known, via an authorisation mechanism, to an eFTI platform. That eFTI platform can communicate with an eCMR service and with a "Metadata Registry". Different eFTI platforms can also communicate with each other.
The public domain will have eFTI-Gates, where public administrations can retrieve information available within the private domain. These eFTI-Gates can also communicate with each other. An eFTI Gate Netherlands can therefore also communicate with an eFTI Gate Germany, so that the desired data can always be requested within EU Member States.
Several suppliers are already active in the private domain, but that number will soon increase. That mutual communication will be important there seems perfectly clear to us. But, governments (the public domain) are not that far yet. A lot of energy is being invested in it, but of course one has to get 27 member states to pull together.
A lot is about to change, which offers opportunities and challenges. Where possible, we will gladly support you in this.