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ON THE WAY TO THE DIGITAL SUPPLY CHAIN IN INTERMODAL TRANSPORT

Kombiverkehr has already set the standard in the intermodal transport sector by designing, programming and implementing a variety of digital applications. Today, these include comprehensive online timetable information systems, an emissions calculation application, a web-based booking system, an interface solution for bookings from forwarders‘ own IT systems and invoicing and timetable data in XML format. Standardised EDIGES interfaces between terminals and Kombiverkehr are due to be completed shortly. Kombiverkehr has taken a large number of measures to help bring about noticeable improvements in the quality of the information chain for the users of the road-rail transport system.

Information gaps nevertheless exist in today‘s intermodal supply chain and Kombiverkehr hopes to close them by undertaking a joint project with partner companies. The aim of the mFUND project “Digitalisation of intermodal supply chains“ is to make the complex logistical process more transparent and manageable from the users‘ point of view. As digitalisation gathers pace and customers call for more transparency in the supply chain, all the project partners are well aware that a standardised information network developed in close collaboration is the only way to improve the quality of the flow of information at a vertical level between forwarders, CT operators, rail freight companies and infrastructure providers.

The core remit of the project is therefore the intelligent merging of data fragments and the corresponding processing for different users. The project is intended to deliver a common data hub with  standardised interfaces for the electronic exchange of order, timetable and status data which has been specifically designed and executed for the requirements of Combined Transport. One of the intended aims is the calculation of virtually assured forecasts in real time of pick-up times for transport units when trains run late. A further intention is to use the findings of real-time data on the initial road leg for the purpose of optimising processes in the terminals and fully utilising train capacity on the part of operators, all of which will ultimately help customers in the freight forwarding and logistics sector with dayto-day scheduling. Only by sharing and linking digital data will intermodal transport become even easier to plan and more reliable for all the companies concerned in future.