ALICE’s White paper sheds light on Rail and Intermodal Transport Challenges

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024

In the ever-evolving world of logistics and transport, the quest for sustainable and efficient solutions is becoming increasingly critical. ALICE, with the support of TRANSPOREON, prepared a White paper “Increasing the Use of Rail and Intermodal Transport in Europe: Integration of rail freight information with other supply chain solutions” that delves deep into the challenges, findings, and recommendations to drive the integration of rail and intermodal transport in Europe.

The White paper “Increasing the Use of Rail and Intermodal Transport in Europe: Integration of rail freight information with other supply chain solutions” unveils the stark reality of the industry, identifies the obstacles, and outlines a path towards a more sustainable, integrated, and efficient future. Whether you are seeking insights for policy-making, business strategies, or operational improvements, this White paper is your comprehensive guide to understanding the challenges and opportunities in Europe’s rail and intermodal transport landscape.

Modal shift: reality vs ambitions

The European Commission’s vision of a modal shift, emphasising rail and intermodal transport over road transportation, is at the forefront of discussions within the industry. However, the reality on the ground paints a different picture. The White paper examines two decades of efforts and highlights a stagnant modal shift and even a decline in rail market share.

ALICE conducted a comprehensive survey and workshops in 2022, involving shippers, rail sector experts, intermediaries, and other stakeholders. The findings are eye-opening. While the rail sector perceives itself as competitive with road transport, shippers see significant shortcomings in rail and intermodal solutions. The survey revealed a significant issue with the “lack of integration into other supply chain solutions.”

A glimpse into the future

The White paper not only identifies the issues but also offers a vision of the future. Shippers, the backbone of the transportation system, demand transparency and visibility integrated into their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Transport Management System (TMS). They seek comprehensive information on connections, schedules, transit times, reliability, and loading unit details. Real-time visibility is crucial, and some even envision sensor-based data for enhanced monitoring.

Challenges and Opportunities

The rail sector, though already equipped with certain tools, faces the challenge of making these solutions accessible and ready for seamless integration into shippers’ systems. The White paper highlights the need for a universal open model and a common data language to facilitate data sharing across the entire supply chain.

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