Jensen, M., et al.
BCD ALL year
Benefit Summary HTML
This benefit summary describes the efficiency and security of an internet-based electronic supply chain manifest system (ECMS) against a traditional manual paper-based system. ECMS was designed to save time and money by automating the transfer of cargo information from one mode of transportation to another. The American Trucking Associations Foundation (ATAF) deployed the system at O’Hare and JFK International Airports, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) monitored the performance of the system for 2.5 years. The project was carried out in three phases with the primary objective being to improve the efficiency of cargo data transfer between manufacturers, truckers, and airline carriers.

At the beginning of Phase-I, participation included over 500 drivers and 11 airlines and/or freight forwarders. The study focused on providing truck drivers and facilities with biometric finger print scanners and smart-card devices to authenticate driver identification, and confirm cargo transfer at airports. Drivers could expedite cargo transfer by quickly identifying themselves using personalized smart-cards, and in some cases could store cargo seal information on smart-cards to confirm chain of custody.

Phase-II of the project involved the use of internet technology to catalog cargo manifests and facilitate transfer of information between manufacturers, truckers, and airline carriers. The catalog system enabled participants with biometric/smart-card devices to upload manifest cargo information onto the internet at the point of origin. The EMCS system would then automatically send e-mails to supply chain partners downstream to notify them of scheduled transfers, and participating drivers with biometric/smart-card devices could access this information and adjust their schedules to minimize downtime.

Phase-III of the project was designed to increase the functionality of the internet based manifest control system by providing additional information to regulatory agencies regarding high risk cargo and dangerous goods.

The benefits of electronic manifests, smart cards, and biometric devices were measured by comparing the time required to process manifests using the automated system against the time required to process manifests using the traditional paper-based system. Customer satisfaction data were collected using questionnaires to measure participant perceptions.
Hyperlink Exit Door
Last Modified Date
Lesson Background HTML
In 1999, with the support of the Office of the Secretary of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Freight Management and Operations, and the ATA Foundation led the formation of a pubic-private partnership to develop and test the first operational electronic air cargo manifest and security system in the United States. This project, named the Electronic Supply Chain Manifest System (ESCM), was an operational test to demonstrate the improvements in efficiency and security of an Internet-based electronic air cargo security system compared to traditional processes and paper-based manifest systems. The operational test deployed and tested a secure electronic manifest system that utilized leading edge security technologies, including: encrypted Internet transactions, 8K smart cards, and biometric fingerprint readers. The operational test was conducted in conjunction with manufacturing, trucking, and airline participants in the Chicago-O'Hare International Airport and the New York City-JFK International Airport service areas.
Publication Sort Date
Federal Highway Administration, U.S. DOT
Source ID
Electronic Intermodal Supply Chain Manifest Field Operational Test Evaluation
Source Review
External URL Disclaimer

(Our website has many links to other organizations. While we offer these electronic linkages for your convenience in accessing transportation-related information, please be aware that when you exit our website, the privacy and accessibility policies stated on our website may not be the same as that on other websites.)