Can this new online platform turn more cargo to rail?
The shift2030 initiative claims to have launched the tool that will allow more shippers and logistics service providers to turn to rail freight. The MATCH2RAIL platform aims to provide visibility to customers who are currently not using rail and help them enhance combined transport solutions.
“The target group of MATCH2RAIL are shippers and LSPs who are not using rail freight today. In doing so, we need the intermodal operators and freight forwarders in the market, who can expand existing lines or build new ones based on these additional transport volumes,” explained Sebastian Ruckes, chairman of the shift2030 initiative and business development manager at TX Logistik.
He underlined that the new platform does not aim to compete with similar services already offered by intermodal operators and freight forwarders. In contrast, it needs them to attract more customers in rail freight that did not have the technical knowledge and support to use it until now.
Combined transport at the forefront
The added value of MATCH2RAIL, said Ruckes, is that companies did not have a comprehensive overview of the routes they could use rail. Now, they will be able to “create viable scenarios to shift additional flows from road to rail,” he highlighted.
For shippers and logistics service providers mainly using road transport, it is not easy to turn their flows to rail in one day. As a result, the shift can take place gradually where rail transport can be utilised optimally. The focus lies mainly on the combined transport model so that companies that are not acquainted with rail will start using it in parts of their routes.
The new platform will function in a pretty simple way. Shippers can upload their cargo flows on a database that will allow them to sync them with existing rail connections. In simple words, the database will provide them with the needed information on rail services and efficient routes that they can utilise in their supply chain.
In addition, the platform will also provide space for the creation of new connections. Visibility is key in this sense since MATCH2RAIL will gather up shipping volumes for which there is no rail connection, and companies will have the chance to set up new train links according to the demand. “With these so-called ‘virtual trains’, we are increasing demand allowing intermodal operators and forwarders to build new connections explained Ruckes.