Digitizing the TDG

By Payload • April 6, 2021

Transport Canada is running a sandbox project to “evaluate whether electronic shipping documents can help us reach a level of safety that is equivalent or better than paper documents, and if so, under what conditions.” While the onus is placed on the transport companies who need to apply for an Equivalency Certificate to run digitally, the application process is easier than you might think (PAYLOAD has a ‘How-to’ document with step-by-step instructions to fill out the application). Transport companies gain a lot of benefits from applying for this certificate including increased speed, efficiency, and a better dispute process. Once the Equivalency Certificate is obtained by their transport companies, generators can digitize their entire TDG process.

So, we set out on a mission. PAYLOAD eManifest already digitizes a number of regulatory forms – like the AER Waste profile and BC Movement – so why not the Transport of Dangerous Goods (TDG) form too?

Working with Transport Canada, the PAYLOAD team has designed and implemented a new feature to our eManifest platform. TDG Mobile! This feature is designed to digitize the entire TDG process, from document creation through to delivery, and comes complete with a mobile app for transporters and a web portal for First Responders, satisfying the technology solution requirements to participate in Transport Canada’s TDG Paperless Pilot.

But why would you want digital TDGs?

The entire digital process saves time and money through a reduction in manual entry effort, reduction in stationery costs, and streamlining document hand-off and distribution. Not to mention a reduced environmental footprint.

Let’s take a deeper look at some of the impacts of switching from a manual to a digital process:

Digital creation of documents – generators are responsible for filling out TDG documentation and each truck load requires a unique document. Even in a smaller operation this becomes an onerous and repetitive task, especially when shipping the same products every load. Digitizing document creation reduces the effort from approximately 5 minutes per form to about 30 seconds for a fresh form and 15 seconds for a cloned form, freeing up generators to do other value-added tasks. Using just one form, our case study with a large Oil and Gas Producer in Alberta identified a savings of 75% of a headcount across four people creating forms, adding up to significant yearly savings.

Contactless handoff – reducing human to human contact has been a mandate for companies during the COVID pandemic. The current process includes operators handing documentation directly to transporters, then transporters to receivers. There is also a manual distribution of paper forms upon completion. Basically, a lot of hands touching a lot of paper. With Payload eManifest, documents are distributed and stored digitally, completely removing human interaction.

Removal of paper – the paper TDG process requires four copies (four pieces of paper) per truck load. There are currently over 2,800 products listed on Transport Canada’s TDG Schedule 1 and many are regularly shipped resulting in tens of millions of paper forms created annually. With eManifest TDG Mobile the paper count per form goes to zero. Not only would you be saving money on stationery, but you would be actively championing environmental causes that align with public expectations for corporate social responsibility.

Digital reconciliation – this is a lengthy process that usually requires the generator to wait for the paper form to be mailed from the receiver. This process can take up to 45 days at which point it is hard to rectify issues. With Payload, reconciliation is done via the web app so as soon as a receiver marks a load as received and reconciled, the generator can see the changes reflected in their environment. This reduces average reconciliation time by more than 95% and allows for issues to be dealt with immediately.

Increased accuracy of data – manual processes are naturally more prone to mistakes than digital ones, and when mistakes lead to being in violation of regulatory compliance, such mistakes are very important to avoid. Using pre-populated selection lists like built-in waste codes, and an easy-to-understand User Interface dramatically improves accuracy of forms, leading to less compliance issues.

There are other benefits to our solution like operational analytics, digitization of other documents such as Bills of Lading, BC Movement and AER manifests, and streamlined regulatory report generation.

If you have any questions, want more information, or would like a demo, contact us at

PAYLOAD is a brand built on innovation and creating value. Let us show you how we can save you time and money!