Potential impact control tower concept

The Smart-Rail project, funded by the European Horizon 2020 Programme, explores innovative ways to improve and promote rail freight services from shipper’s perspective, i.e. focussing on the market needs and acting on, specifically, five topics: reliability, lead time, costs, flexibility and visibility. To this end, the project adopts an integrated approach, aiming at improving the cooperation overall in the supply chain and within the rail sector, improving the data availability for freight stakeholders, testing sets of measures in three CITs (pilot processes, which test, monitor and improve sets of solutions) and communicating and disseminating its outcomes.

The present deliverable belongs to the “Continuous Improvement Track 2: Control tower for long distance rail freight transport” Work Package (WP7) of the project. This Work Package aims to increase the reliability services both for planned and unplanned disruptions and to increase the visibility of the supply chain. This enables shippers and logistical service providers to make better decisions based on real-time data and to circumvent delays in the supply chain.

In order to realise this goal, WP7 is going to develop a logistic ‘control tower’ for freight transport on multi-modal corridors including rail links realizing more transparency about alternatives in the multimodal network. WP7 also defines the optimum synchromodal solutions for both supply (infra manager, terminal and rail operator) and demand (shippers, control tower) based on shared data about capacity of infrastructure (rail network and terminals) on tactical planning level. The corridors between Rotterdam and Budapest and between France and Spain will be used to design, implement, validate and improve the control tower concept in this CIT.

However, successful implementation of the control tower concept requires information of and cooperation between different stakeholders such as infrastructure managers, terminal operators, railway operators and logistics service providers. In order to get involvement of participants it is necessary to create awareness about the service, be able to show the potential impact of the control tower concept for their own organisation (benefits, costs, risks, etc.) and to create support for the service from these participants. Quantitative impact of the service has been shown, and different interactive sessions have been organized to discuss about the impact and effort needed for implementation of the control tower concept (including necessary cooperation with other stakeholders).

For more information please read the report on ‘Potential Impact of the control tower concept’