5 Best Practices for Digitising European Rail Freight Projects

April 5, 2024

The latest RailTech Master Class tackled the issue of digitising European rail freight projects. Damien Roussel, Supply Chain Optimisation Manager at Arkema, went over his 5 best practices to succeed in this endeavour.

The latest RailTech Master Class tackled the issue of digitising European rail freight projects. Damien Roussel, Supply Chain Optimisation Manager at Arkema, went over his 5 best practices to succeed in this endeavour.

1. Creating a single source of truth for real-time transport tracking

Navigating international shipments can often leave logistics managers feeling blindsided. Arkema's decision to equip their entire wagon fleet with GPS trackers revolutionised their visibility, particularly on international routes. By partnering with Everysens, which aggregated all their tracking data inside the TVMS platform, Arkema ensured a comprehensive and unified source of truth for real-time monitoring. Maintaining GPS tracking quality through regular monitoring and collaboration with railway undertakers further solidified their operational prowess.

Key elements:

👉 Track wagons by installing a GPS sensor on every wagon of your fleet.

👉 Use a platform such as Everysens to gather all the tracking data into one place and benefit from a single source-of-truth.

👉 Monitor your data regularly to proactively solve possible issues.

2. Foster collaboration with customers and railway undertakers

Effective collaboration lies at the heart of successful rail freight projects. Arkema's strategic alliance with both customers and railway undertakers paved the way for seamless data exchange and operational enhancements. By sharing GPS positions with their railways undertaker and leveraging Everysens' platform for performance evaluation, Arkema bolstered operational efficiencies and fostered mutual growth.

Key elements:

👉 Benefit from a collaborative platform such as Everysens’ TVMS to enhance your collaboration with your partners: both railway undertakers and your clients.

👉 Give transparency to your customers to boost your SLA. Access to a precise ETA, such as the one provided by Everysens, is key to a good relationship with your customer.

3. Ensure shipment security and compliance with legal requirements

In the realm of hazardous goods transportation, adherence to safety regulations is non-negotiable. Arkema's meticulous approach to ensuring shipment security involved rigorous scrutiny of tracker certifications and proactive compliance with legal requirements. Real-time tracking of rail fleets carrying hazardous materials not only enhances safety protocols but also mitigates risks associated with non-compliance.

Key element:

👉 Real-time tracking for shipments containing hazardous goods guarantees an elevated standard of safety.

4. Tackle challenges of international deployment

Expanding operations across borders requires overcoming logistical hurdles and harmonising data sharing. Arkema's collaboration with Everysens has facilitated the tracking of European shipments, and paved the way for future partnerships with other rail companies. By prioritising interoperability and standardisation, Arkema has overcome the complexities of international transport.

Key elements:

👉 GPS tracking greatly facilitates the management of international transports.

👉 The TVMS allows for the tracking of all rail transports, everywhere in Europe. All the data is centralised in a single place, facilitating the everyday tasks of your logistics teams in terms of planning, tracking and analytics.

5. Unlock new gain levers: modal shift, fleet reduction, and cover tracking costs

Unlocking new levers for efficiency and sustainability lies at the crux of digital transformation in rail freight. Arkema's proactive approach to modal shift, fleet optimisation, and demurrage penalty exemplifies their commitment to sustainable logistics. Leveraging real-time visibility to promote rail transportation whenever feasible, Arkema not only reduced carbon emissions but also optimised fleet utilisation and enhanced operational resilience by covering the costs of tracking thanks to demurrage penalties.

Key elements:

👉 Digitising your European rail freight operations will lead to an optimisation of your rail transport, thanks to different levers

👉 Managing your rail freight operations through a digital platform like Everysens greatly facilitates the use of rail freight as a mode of transport. It encourages the modal shift from road to rail, which leads to a reduction in carbon emissions.

👉 Optimised rail transport means an optimised fleet, ultimately leading to a reduction of your fleet size: a non-negligible cost reduction.

👉 Always know where your wagons are, even when sleeping at your client’s site. Be able to apply more easily demurrage penalties, and cover the costs of tracking.

In conclusion, the journey towards digitising European rail freight projects demands a strategic blend of innovation, collaboration, and adaptability. By embracing these best practices, companies like Arkema are not only revolutionising their own operations but also paving the way for a more sustainable and interconnected future in freight transportation.

Let’s discuss how to apply those best practices to your business case.