Rotterdam Launches Smart Rail Freight Application
The Port of Rotterdam has announced the launch of OnTrack, a new digital application which provides real-time insight into the movement of rail freight.
With over 250 rail connections arriving and departing from rail terminals at Rotterdam, this mode of cargo transport between the port and its hinterland is becoming increasingly important.
As a way of making rail freight flows more efficient, the Port of Rotterdam Authority has developed a device which displays the movement of cargo via rail networks and its handling at rail terminals, making planning processes easier.
Developed and extensively tested under the project name HAROLD, the application will be used by nearly every carrier and terminal involved in the transportation of cargo via the Port of Rotterdam.
Being able to anticipate the arrival of cargo, as well as any changes to the schedule, is vital for the relevant carriers and terminals.
According to a statement, most terminals currently use their own planning system and standards for rail transport, communicating the necessary information to involved parties by telephone or email.
Instead of these inefficient processes, the OnTrack application combines data from various stakeholders in the rail chain and “enriches it with smart business algorithms”.
Read a Port Technology technical paper by Patrik Berglund about freight rates and where is the container industry is heading
Information collated and accessible through the solution includes the number of containers or cars that have been loaded or unloaded, deviations from scheduled timeslots and both the expected and actual departure times of trains carrying cargo.
Real-time notifications from the application will also allow carriers and terminals to anticipate and manage delays more effectively.
While the system will be used initially at the Port of Rotterdam, it can also be rolled out to other ports in the Netherlands and abroad in the future.