Port of Rotterdam launches digitalisation programme for freight transport

rail freight transport_0

Nineteen rail freight parties have launched the Rail Connected growth programme under the leadership of the Port of Rotterdam Authority.

Rail Connected has arisen from the Rail Freight Transport Measures Package to promote and accelerate the growth of digitalisation and data sharing across the rail freight transport.

“In the past year, rail freight transport has grown by 10 per cent. It is our aim to continue building a competitive rail offer,” said Matthijs van Doorn, Commercial Director at the Port of Rotterdam Authority.

“We can only succeed if we take additional steps in efficiency, transparency, and reliability. This requires good infrastructure, good market circumstances, digitisation, and data sharing.”

“The transparency and insights that come about due to digitisation will contribute to improved predictability of rail freight transport as a product. Eventually, this will help optimise the use of the railway, the trains, and employees.”

The Port of Rotterdam’s project is also financed by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and comes as the development of the current Notification Container Hinterland Barge service by Portbase, the provider of the Port Community System.

The aim is to further digitise the exchange of information between chain parties.

The Managing Director of Portbase, Iwan van der Wolf, praised the new partnership: “This will allow the possibility of reporting trains to the terminal, for instance, and information will be available about the composition of the train.

“Data will be accessible when information exchange is standardised and digitised. At a later stage and with the proper authorisations, we can make it available safely to the rail freight sector and other parties. In this way, we use smart innovations to develop improvements.”

In its effort to promote digitalisation, the Port of Rotterdam Authority launched a pilot on drone regulations to coordinate traffic last month.

In 2021, the Port of Rotterdam processed 15.3 million TEU, its highest yearly total on record. With this the port also topped PTI’s list of ‘Top 5 Ports in Europe 2021

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