SBB cargo trains. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

SBB launches track and trace app for rail freight operations

The Swiss railway company SBB has launched Cargo View; an application that allows its rail freight customers to follow their shipment through the country. According to the company, it is the first track and trace application for rail freight operations.

The central element of the web application is a Swiss map. Coloured symbols show where the shipment is currently located. The program provides information about the location of the wagons, the weight of the load and its contents. If the car is delayed, a symbol with a clock appears. This allows the customer to plan operations accurately, SBB explained.

“With this information, our customers are able to timely align their follow-up processes to the expected time of arrival,” said project manager Patrick Sorg. At the moment, innovation-minded customers such as Vigier, Planzer, Panlog and Swiss Krono are testing the track-and-trace application.

Two more apps

In addition to Cargo View, SBB has launched two more apps in its effort to digitalise its business. With the additional ‘Cargo API’ application, customers can integrate Cargo View into their own ERP or logistics system, SBB explained. Moreover, it has launched ‘Cargo Check-in’.

“Since switching to the scheduled timetable for freight transport one year ago, SBB Cargo customers have been checking in their wagons after loading. In this way, they let us know a consignment is ready for pick-up. So far, this check-in was done by passing handwritten notes from the ramp to the office. With the new mobile application, the check-in is handled directly on the ramp by pressing a button on the tablet or smartphone”, according to SBB.

Digitalisation

“With the applications, we can make a leap into the digital age and thus enable transparent communication with our customers,” said Sorg. The three applications have been available to SBB Cargo customers since the beginning of April.

SBB Cargo will launch more applications this year. This includes, for example, international end-to-end tracking. This provides the customer with additional transparency about transports on international routes as well as between the loading point and the station.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is editor of RailFreight.com, online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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