Digital platform helps goods from road to rail

Shippers that wonder if their transport could also be done by rail have just got a new way to find out. In MATCH 2 RAIL, they can upload their journey, and the tool will align it with existing combined transport routes. The so-called virtual train encourages them in making the shift to rail.

This is how the IT platform is described by the Shift2030 initiative, which launched the tool together with its partner digi-trust.eu B.V. “With MATCH2RAIL, we are showing shippers and logistics service providers in a clear and understandable way on which routes they can already use rail and thus actively contribute to climate protection”, says Sebastian Ruckes, Chairman of shift2030.

Closing the gap

Access to rail has not been that easy for shippers, the non-profit organisation describes. “Shippers and logistics providers have not had a comprehensive overview of the routes on which they could already use climate-friendly rail. In turn, on the combined transport provider side, there is a lack of visibility as to which shippers’ transport flows could have the potential to create new rail connections.”

To close this gap, the action MATCH2RAIL has been launched. “Shippers can easily upload their current and planned transport flows (door-to-door) into a smart database in order to align with existing connections in combined transport”, the organisation points out. The target group are shippers and logistics providers who are not using rail freight today. In this way, it wants to contribute to the 2030 climate goals of the transport sector.

Viable scenarios

“We are also creating visibility to potential new services by bundling shipment volumes for which there isn’t yet an attractive rail service available. With these so-called ‘virtual trains’ we are increasing demand, allowing intermodal operators and forwarders to build new connections”, says Ruckes.

“MATCH2RAIL allows us to create viable scenarios to shift additional flows from road to rail. In doing so, we need the intermodal operators and freight forwarders in the market, who can expand existing lines or build new ones based on these additional transport volumes.”

About shift2030

The initiative shift2030 wants to bring together those who are committed to work on a modal shift. “The transport sector failed to reduce emissions. Any initiated measures to decarbonise the transport sector literally got burned by growing transport volumes. The dominant way of transporting goods still is on road, with all its well-known negative effects”, it writes on its website.

“At the same time, eco-friendly rail freight did not catch up. Besides all pledges, plans and good intentions: a modal shift from road to rail has not been achieved so far.” With new technologies and solutions, shift2030 wants to demonstrate how rail freight can become more competitive.

Digi-trust.EU is a spin-off from the EU-funded NexTrust project, which demonstrated an innovative approach for anti-trust compliant collaboration in the European transport sector. digi-trust.EU is partner of the shift2030 initiative.

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Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is editor of RailTech.com and RailFreight.com, online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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