Facilitate your international rail transport with TVMS

March 8, 2024

To simplify the management of international rail transport, TVMS is a unique and comprehensive solution. How can the TVMS platform facilitate your cross-border transport?

If not well anticipated, the management of international rail transport can be complex and difficult due to factors such as customs regulations, documentation requirements, the multiplicity of transport modes and coordination with various stakeholders. An easy, efficient and stress-free crossing of international borders is only possible if appropriate measures have been taken in advance in terms of compliance with foreign regulations and collaboration with railway companies, freight forwarders and logistics companies.

Implementing a TVMS (Transport Visibility & Management System) is the best way to meet these challenges with a single tool. Thanks to its planning, monitoring and analysis capabilities, TVMS is your best ally in managing international rail shipments globally and effectively.

Why is international shipping complex?

International shipments involve sailing with

  • Complex customs regulations: In Europe, these include customs declarations, waybills, the requirement of a EORI number, customs debt, temporary storage for goods from outside the EU...
  • Varied documentation requirements: EU legislation requires customs declarations, declarations prior to arrival and departure, documents for the single authorization...
  • Coordination with multiple parties in different countries: rail operators, logistics forwarders, authorities...

Each country may have its own rules and procedures, making it important to have a solid system in place to effectively manage these complexities. When transporting goods within the European Union, national and European regulations must be respected.

TVMS: an essential tool

TVMS (Transport Visibility & Management System) is a collaborative platform for managing transport visibility in real time for rail freight. It uses innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, and GPS data from physical sensors to provide complete and accurate supply chain visibility.

The platform tracks the location and status of freight shipments at every stage of the supply chain, from departure to final delivery. TVMS improves the quality of service by quickly detecting potential incidents and offering solutions in real time. TVMS also provides the shipper with the documents necessary for the transport of goods by rail, such as the automatic generation of the consignment note.

Streamlining customs compliance

One of the critical aspects of international shipping is customs compliance. A TVMS simplifies customs compliance by automating documentation processes and ensuring compliance with regulations.

It offers features such as electronic document management, customs integration, and automated compliance checks that minimize errors and facilitate customs clearance.

Improved visibility and tracking

Tracking international shipments in real time is essential for effective supply chain management. A TVMS provides better visibility by tracking the location and status of goods at each stage of cross-border travel. How? Thanks to GPS data collected by sensors installed on the cars. These sensors provide the TVMS with real-time information on the position of the wagon and alert logistics teams in the event of an incident during transport, regardless of the country where the wagon is located.

The map visualization function improves the visibility of transport as a whole. At a glance, users can effectively assess their planned and ongoing rail expeditions.

This visibility allows stakeholders to proactively address any potential issues, improve communication, and make informed decisions. In addition, when combined with artificial intelligence, location tracking provides an accurate estimated time of arrival (ETA), which is very useful for the shipper who can then inform their customer or site of the delivery and keep them informed of any delays. For Arkema, a major global player in the field of special materials and which operates more than 100 production sites in Europe, this increased visibility has greatly improved the quality of its service. Thanks to the accurate calculation of the ETA and the alerts of the TVMS in the event of anomalies during transport, Arkema is now in a position to immediately inform its customers of delivery dates and possible delays, and to take the necessary measures to remedy potential problems. In addition, work at the delivery site is more efficient, as there is no need to rush for deliveries that have arrived later than expected.

Optimizing route planning and consolidation

Effective route planning is crucial for international rail shipments to ensure on-time delivery and optimize costs. TVMS optimizes transport planning by identifying the most efficient routes and consolidating shipments to maximize freight utilization and reduce transportation costs. Thanks to AI technologies, TVMS provides logistics teams with the best alternatives for each of their transports, regardless of the countries crossed.

Thanks to the automated assistance of TVMS, teams are more efficient in their daily operations and are not constrained by the tedious tasks of manual verification and contact with each rail operator in each country through which their shipments cross. Ciment Calcia, a Heidelberg Group company specialized in cement, explains how the use of TVMS allowed him to proactively control his transport from A to Z, by automating tedious tasks.

Collaboration and communication

Managing cross-border transactions involves collaboration and communication with multiple stakeholders, including shippers, carriers, customs authorities, and suppliers. A TVMS facilitates collaboration by providing a centralized platform for communication, real-time updates, and data sharing. It improves coordination, eliminates communication gaps, and ensures that all parties are on the same page.

A single source of truth is essential to ensure smooth and seamless collaboration between stakeholders. While Excel documents, phone calls, emails, and faxes take time due to their diversity and sometimes inaccuracy, a TVMS platform offers the possibility of digitizing and to gather all data and documents in one place, easily accessible by all stakeholders: shipper operational teams, logistics teams, railway companies, end customers...

Analyses and reports

Data plays a crucial role in optimizing cross-border transactions. A TVMS offers strong analytics and reporting capabilities, allowing businesses to gain valuable insights into KPIs, costs, and operational efficiency.

This information makes it possible to identify areas for improvement, cost reduction, and optimization of the performance of international shipments.

A TVMS allows shippers to analyze their KPIs in a detailed and data-oriented manner, according to routes, carriers or goods: completion rate, punctuality of deliveries, filling trains, utilization rate, utilization rate, unavailability, maintenance, break times by site... Precise KPIs are essential for shippers who transport across Europe, because they facilitate the definition of optimization levers with their various partners throughout the supply chain - and across borders.

Managing international rail shipments can be complex, but a TVMS simplifies cross-border operations by automating processes, improving customs compliance, increasing visibility and tracking, optimizing route planning, facilitating collaboration, and providing valuable analytics.

With TVMS, shippers can streamline cross-border operations, improve efficiency, and ensure transparent management of the international supply chain.

👉 Facilitate your international rail shipments