Innovative Logistic Control Tower for European rail freight transport showing clear added value

The first operational results of the Logistic Control Tower for long distance rail freight transport show clear improvements of the intermodal supply chain. Thanks to better information customer satisfaction and process efficiency are enhanced.

A core initiative within European innovation project SMART-RAIL, Panteia acts as process manager and extensively cooperates with Seacon Logistics, builder and user of the Control Tower.

Within SMART-RAIL, Panteia connects market parties, international research institutes and public authorities such as infrastructure managers and port authorities. As well as adding our own extensive knowhow, we make the most out of combined backgrounds and fields of expertise.

Control Tower

The Logistic Control Tower for long distance rail freight transport will enable a more reliable, visible and competitive rail freight service as part of the multimodal chain. “Limited visibility of the progress of the train on the rail corridor presents a challenge to the intermodal chain as a whole,” according to Mr. Roger Baur, Manager Southern Europe at Seacon. “The Control Tower offers us better and faster insight in the rail product: triggers that help us improve operational efficiency as well as our customer’s trust in rail transport.”

The Control Tower consists of add-on IT interfaces between Seacon’s existing control system and track and trace information and systems in use with supply chain partners and infrastructure managers. Information sharing between different stakeholders is to create regular, and ultimately real-time, status updates of the course of transports on the rail corridor.


Implementation of the Control Tower on rail corridors Bettembourg-Le Boulou and Rotterdam-Venlo serves as a showcase for further uptake in the rail freight sector. By improving visibility and predictability the Control Tower shows the ability to make rail freight a more attractive competitive product. Baur: “Information sharing in the rail freight sector is traditionally limited and often not fast enough to be of practical use. Major efforts are needed in order to create a change of mindset. SMART-RAIL proves this is possible and brings positive results.”

SMART-RAIL is a European consortium of 19 research institutes and market parties from the transport sector. Its goal is to improve rail freight transport services with a focus on shippers. Key indicators are reliability, lead time, costs, flexibility and visibility. The project receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon2020 programme.

For more information on the implemented control tower concept and monitoring of results please follow this link.