ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Digital LTL Council of the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) is establishing a new standard for electronic bills of lading (eBOL).
The standard is part of the Digital LTL Council’s efforts to advance digitization of the industry to improve supply chain efficiency, according to a news release.
The Digital LTL Council is now asking its members to pledge adoption of the standard by July 2023.
“The eBOL standard is critical in helping the industry improve overall efficiency and operational excellence,” Geoff Muessig, chief marketing officer and executive vice president of Pitt Ohio and chairman of the Digital LTL Council, said. “As companies in the industry pledge adoption of this standard, we know the overall impact will be a major step forward for the industry and those we partner with and serve.”
The news release stated that “while other eBOL standards have been developed for the industry, the Digital LTL Council’s standard is distinct in its ability to reduce costs and errors, improve service and communication across the supply chain via better visibility, improve overall supply chain efficiency and secure the industry through contactless/paperless transactions.”
Member companies are being asked to commit to the following pledge in adopting the standard:
“Whereas digitization is critically important for the elevation of the LTL freight industry, and the NMFTA and its Digital LTL Council have worked to facilitate collaboration, automation, standardization and digitization – for the reduction of paper flow and overall better communication across the LTL industry – I recognize the importance of implementing an electronic bill of lading to achieve the highest levels of shipment outcomes and accurate invoicing, and pledge to develop and fully operationalize the eBOL with at least one business partner or 3PL, starting no later than July 20, 2023.”
Early adoption has been strong, officials said.
The following companies have already taken the pledge:
- AAA Cooper Transportation
- Averitt Express
- Banyan Technologies
- BlueGrace Logistics
- Carrier Logistics
- C.H. Robinson
- Dayton Freight Lines
- Dependable Highway Express
- Dohrn Transfer Company
- Echo Global Logistics
- Estes Express Lines
- KDL Logistics
- Koch Logistics
- Midwest Motor Freight
- Old Dominion Freight Line
- Project 44 (P44)
- Peninsula Truck Lines
- Pitt Ohio
- Polaris Transportation
- Ross Express
- Saia LTL Freight
- Southeastern Freight Lines
- Total Quality Logistics
- U.S. Special Delivery
- Ward Transport & Logistics
- Worldwide Express
According to Paul Dugent, executive director of the Digital LTL Council, the standard is the result of a sustained team effort by industry leaders and staff at NMFTA.
“We have worked two years to develop this standard because we recognize the impact it will have on our industry and its partners and customers,” Dugent said. “As we move toward widespread adoption, we are confident the benefits will also be widespread throughout the industry.”
Debbie Sparks, executive director of NMFTA, said: “Everyone understands the importance of cybersecurity and other best practices in the digital space. The standard we have developed here helps member organizations implement these practices structurally into their organizations in a cohesive and actionable way. This is consistent with the vision of the organization, to facilitate such progress for the entire industry.”
Project44 and a diverse group of industry executives formed the Digital LTL Council in November 2019 with the intent to advance the full digitization of the LTL industry. NMFTA became the LTL Digital Council’s lead sponsor in June 2022 to bring industry expertise, dedicated resources, marketing and legal support — in addition to the financial resources needed to accelerate the Council’s work.
To sign the pledge and download the new eBOL API, visit: https://nmfta.org/digital-standards-development/.
To learn more about NMFTA, visit www.nmfta.org.
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