The e-Rail freight project has reached an important milestone.
From November, DB SCHENKER Rail and FRET SNCF will start running bilateral paperless shipments as a regular procedure, with the option of print-outs as a fallback only if absolutely necessary.
The implementation of the Electronic Consignment Note (ECN) between France and Germany was started in 2010, when Fret SNCF began implementing the ECN in the same way as DB SCHENKER was already doing.
Green Cargo is currently developing and implementing the ECN, and other partners (Trenitalia, Rail Cargo Austria, etc.) are ready to take the first steps.
In 2012 the project will go further, with strong support from RAILDATA and CIT in Bern, using a subset of ECN for Combined Traffic Operators and an electric version of the CIM/SMGS consignment note for shipments to Asia. Paperless transport by rail from Bordeaux to Beijing will perhaps then be possible.