Digital rail

Deutsche Bahn AG / Max Lautenschläger


Digital Rail the smartification of cargo transport

Choo choo … and beep.

Trucks are still the main means of transportation for cargo in Germany. These heavy-load vehicles pose several key issues for society, such as air pollution, increased rate of traffic jams and a high degree of infrastructural damage to roads and bridges.

Rail on the other hand is a lean solution, with positive effects for ecology, societal costs and traffic density. However, today only 17 per cent of transportation is handled by train. The main reason for this small ratio is that costs of transportation via rail are in many cases higher than the transport costs via truck. Secondly, just-in-time delivery, a widely spread concept in logistics, necessitates high flexibility and short transportation time are named.

The digitization of cargo transportation can tackle these aspects. And umlaut supports its customer DB Cargo to jump on the digitization bandwagon. With our hands-on mentality and methodical tool set we manage to organize equipment of wagons with telematics and sensors, setting up an IT-framework and implementing smooth operations in the process – naturally in close collaboration with our customer and other involved external companies. Thereby we’re supporting the digital transformation within the company.

Being able to know the whereabouts of every single wagon of the about 70,000 railcars strong fleet and what specific goods are loaded seemed impossible at first. But it was made possible through a well-known and appreciated umlaut end-to-end support: from technological requirements engineering, supplier management and procurement support to materials, roll-out and configuration management, process implementation and management up to operations and transformation management – it’s a one-stop-shop.

The result: a large rate of the existing freight wagon fleet is already smart, with numbers steadily growing.

And this is just the beginning. Adding its technology and consulting expertise on top, umlaut is constantly working on new solutions to raise the whole digitization potential in rail logistics and many more areas.