SNCF and Traxens develop ‘digital freight train’
SNCF Logistics, France’s principal rail freight carrier, has forged an alliance with multimodal tracking specialist Traxens to create the so-called digital freight train. SNCF says the new partnership follows a year of research and testing to develop the ‘connected container’, which provides key real-time information such as the location of wagons and temperature of the containers.
Established as a technology ‘start up’ in Marseille in 2012, Traxens already has the backing of shipping container firms CMA CGM and MSC, and has been able to tap into its knowledge of shipping tracking and adapt its applications to make them suitable for freight trains. The new technology will be ready for implementation later this year.
“This digital innovation will give rise to a new generation of freight trains, which will contribute to enhancing the performance and attractiveness of rail transport in the freight transport market,” said SNCF in a statement. “A majority of shippers say they are willing to resort to more rail freight if certain criteria such as real-time data and on-time deliveries are better taken into account – which would be guaranteed with future digital freight trains.
“To succeed in this great project of the digital freight train, SNCF Logistics and Traxens have collaborated closely to combine their know-how, knowledge and skills,” it added. “SNCF Logistics brings its expertise to the needs of all rail freight operators and knowledge of the expectations of rail freight customers in Europe. Traxens relies on its technological expertise resulting from the invention and the development of containers connected to the maritime sector.”
The Traxens technology collects real-time data throughout the container’s transport, adding considerable value for clients and insurers, and making operations more efficient for customs. The devices also provide added value in the refrigerated transport of perishable goods, as they can remotely control and adjust the temperature of refrigerated containers..