Seaborne exporters must check the weight of containers from July 1


“The SOLAS Container Weight Verification Requirement” document drafted by the World Shipping Council includes the weight checking requirements for export containers.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) approved amendments to the SOLAS convention on Safety of Life at Sea, including the mandatory requirement to check the weight of each container to be exported before loading it onto their vessel.

This is a legally binding requirement in force as of July 2016, affecting all parties involved in international container transport in the European Union, including carriers, loaders, parcel companies and shipping lines.

This new requirement calls for all parties affected to adopt measures to check the gross container mass with the weight of the full container, or from the weight of all packages and cargo items. Either way, they must accredit the use of a certified method validated by the competent authority of the country in which the cargo stowage was completed.

Notification of this new requirement may be done using the “VERMAS” (Verified Gross Mass) message, whose guide is available for issuing in EDIFACT and XML format.

At EDICOM we can help you integrate this new data schema for declaring the gross mass of export containers electronically.

Contact your sales consultant for more information on this new requirement.

We will be glad to take care of you.

Partner relationship key to supply management

Every company aims to provide an efficient response to consumers, with good service and a wide range of products. However, sometimes this gives rise to surpluses or, on the contrary, a shortfall of goods, which means making the customer wait. Both situations entail high economic costs for businesses. This makes accurate planning crucial in each stage of the supply chain, calling for fluid communication between trading partners.

Nowadays, CRP/VMI (Continuous Replenishment Planning/Vendor Managed Inventory) technology helps achieve this total synchronization between supply and demand throughout the entire supply chain. To do so, it not only applies electronic data interchange, but also submits all the information shared between the parties to complex mathematical analyses. This way, it manages to accurately estimate demand in line with real needs. In general, we can talk about three key factors to improve relations between partners and, consequently, supply management through CRP/VMI technology:

  • Implementing EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), which enables the different profiles to exchange messages in standardized format, securely and integrated with the information from the ERP.
  • The use of specific tools to analyse and process all data exchanged between the parties by programming mathematical algorithms that customize the demand forecast .
  • Automatically transferring requests, shipping notices, despatch advices and purchase orders to increase efficiency and so meet deadlines.

What are the outcomes?

Adopting a CRP/VMI system based on these three cornerstones means saving on economic costs and more efficient service. Suppliers know in advance what the forecast demand is and can suitably adjust their production plans and delivery schedules. This way, they can optimize available resources and cut down the number of incidents with orders.

In turn, distributors and retailers can maintain optimum stock levels, something particularly important in the case of perishable goods. As a result, wastage is avoided and it is possible to guarantee on-time delivery.

If you have any questions about this supply management system and its benefits, you can check out the FAQs here.

Which EDI message types are used in the logistics sector?

In the supply chain, fluid communication between all those involved is essential if the product is to reach the end customer in good time. However, one of the most significant parts in this process is undoubtedly the logistics. Operators and carriers have to make an extra effort to achieve an optimum exchange of information with suppliers, distributors, customs authorities, final recipients of goods, etc. And they need to do it in record time and without any errors occurring. This explains EDI technology’s high penetration in the sector.

In this post we discussed the different types of messages that make it possible to use this system in the logistics world and explained how each of them is composed.



This message is issued by the client and the manufacturer is the recipient. It is used to place an order for goods.


The manufacturer issues this message to make the request to prepare a new order and sends it to the logistics operator, so that they can get ready in advance.


This is the most widely used message in the logistics sector. On one hand, it is used by logistic operators to send the despatch advice notifying the customer that the goods are ready to be shipped. On the other, the manufacturer may send it to the logistics operator to give notice of procurement in store.


With this message, the logistics operator reports the order status to the manufacturer. As a result, it is possible to have a real-time record of the phase the process is in and estimate times in the supply chain of products to the final customer. In other words, traceability is guaranteed.


This designates the e-message used by the manufacturer to send the bill to the customer. Including this message in our B2B communications significantly shortens payment collection times.


This message lets the manufacturer inform the operator of their product catalogue in real time: references, product features, logistics information … all relevant data are kept updated. This way, alignment of the master product is achieved.


The aim of the Inventory Report is to provide the manufacturer with information on the quantity of the product in stock available from the warehouse.


Along with the DESADV message, this is one of the most widely used in this area. The logistics operator uses it to confirm to the manufacturer that the order has been received. This avoids the bill being rejected later.

The use of these messages automates communication flow in the supply chain and reduces the number of errors. In addition, transactions are optimized, thanks to the traceability provided by EDI technology and the option of implementing validation processes.


How can I adopt EDI in this sector?

EDICOM has developed different technological solution specifically designed for logistics, such as the EDICOMNet B2B communications infrastructure, the CRP Flow tool or the EDICOMData electronic catalogue. Thanks to these, large companies in this sector worldwide have simplified and enhanced their day-to-day management. This is the case, for example, of DHL, Logista, Grupo Carreras, FCC or Kuehne & Nagel.

EDI, a key technology to ensure traceability

The European Union is increasingly calling for greater traceability in production and distribution processes for consumer goods, with a view to ensuring food safety and consumer information. Good examples of this are the two new regulations rolled out since December 2014 governing meat and fish labelling.

Regulation 1379/2013 came into force on 1 January. In it, the European Council lays down common marketing standards to be applied by individual Member States in the sale of fish. The commercial designation of the species and its scientific name, the production method, the capture or farming zone and whether the product has been frozen are some of the mandatory specifications that must now appear on the labelling.

Similar indications have also been mandatory for meat products since April. That was when Regulation 1337/2013 came into force, governing the traceability of fresh refrigerated meat from swine, sheep, goats or poultry. In this case, it is essential to know the country where the animal was raised and where it was slaughtered.


What do these regulations entail for the logistics sector?

Compliance with these regulations means that traders are required to ensure traceability at all production stages of the foodstuff, as well as its distribution. This is why producers, freight forwarders, logistics operators and distributors rely on technologies like EDI, which not only automate procedures, but also provide total traceability of transactions.

“The number of companies adopting EDI solutions is growing, especially in terms of the DESADV message”, explains EDICOM Sales Manager Luis Molina. This message, which contains all the information on the goods, is now equipped with the appropriate fields to suitably comply with European regulations. This way, we are aware of the product features at all times and the correlation between the label and the packaged food is assured.


Other regulations driving EDI

Beyond the food sector, European legislation encourages electronic systems in other fields mainly affecting logistics companies. “Consider, for example, the EMCS or the measures implemented by Portugal and Hungary to control goods movements”, adds the EDICOM Sales Manager.

The ease of complying with these regulations, along with its operational and economic advantages, make EDI “an indispensable system for all supply chain stakeholders: producers, carriers, logistics operators and distributors.” Bear in mind that thanks to this technology it is possible to link up with any trading partner automatically and simplify the receipt and delivery of goods. This is why so many companies have already implemented EDI solutions developed by EDICOM.

EDI holds sway in Italian logistics sector

Working in record time without making mistakes. These are two of the main demands that logistic companies have to meet in their business activities. Unlike in other sectors where the supply chain communication flow is between supplier and distributor, this one involves many other stakeholders: producers, carriers, logistics operators, clients, final recipients of the goods, customs, etc. This explains why Electronic Data Exchange (EDI) has such a firm foothold in the sector.

“This technology makes work easier and prevents manual errors, so companies can become much more efficient”, explains Luis Molina, EDICOM Sales Manager in Italy. EDI automates all processes. With this system, the recipient can know in advance which goods they are going to receive and get ready to accept them. It also allows shipment traceability, so that those involved know the goods information at all times and can check up on it.

In Italy, until recently EDI was a technology not widely used, even in this sector. However, lately we have seen increasing growth. “The advantages of this system, combined with the legislation rolled out in the European Union, have encouraged an increasing number of businesses to implement EDI”, adds Molina. The DESADV message, which gives the recipient the data on the goods to be received, is the most widely used in the logistics area and is growing apace. Especially since European regulations 1380/2013 and 1337/2013 came into force, designed to set up traceability systems for meat and fish.

“Many big companies in the logistics sector have already rolled out EDI systems with EDICOM solutions and, in addition to improving their operations, have achieved a cost saving”, explains Luis. Among them DHL, Logista, TNT, Kuehne & Nagel, Corriere Cecchi, Gruppo Panalpina, Terminal Darsena Toscana, Carreras, FCC Logistica…


A simpler day-to-day

EDI is suitable for any kind of logistics company, regardless of size, due to the automation it provides. These are some of the solutions that make everyday life easier in the sector:

  • EdicomNet. A communications infrastructure that automates the sending and reception of documents in B2B environments, regardless of protocols, recipients, countries or sectors etc. EDI is a standard language and hence interoperable, so you can connect with any partner. In addition, the information is shared by more secure channels.
  • CRP Flow. A continuous replenishment tool, which is fed the EDI messages exchanged between supply chain stakeholders. It also takes into account many other parameters, such as the archive volume or holidays. This way, order calculation is more precise, so stock breakages are avoided.
  • EDICOMData.This electronic data catalogue synchronizes product information between trading partners in line with GS1 standards. This way, any change in a trade reference is shared in real time with all subscribers. These data also allow integration with e-commerce portals, fundamental in order to comply with Regulation 1169/2011, which requires the nutritional information on each product to be displayed before the sale is made.