Digitalisation becomes a competitive factor

Freight Transport & Logistics

Freight Transport and Logistics

Acting more flexibly and efficiently on the market

Article: Digitalisation becomes a competitive factor

To be able to act more flexibly and efficiently on the market, DB Cargo and DB Schenker rely on intelligent, networked IT solutions.

With limited transport infrastructures such as railway lines and roads, expensive resources such as locomotives and wagons, and ever-increasing market demands for flexibility and reliability, intelligent IT is increasingly becoming a key competitive factor in freight transport and logistics.

The Freight Transport and Logistics business area includes the DB Cargo and Schenker divisions. DB Systel supports DB Cargo with its complete service portfolio – from the secure IT operation of almost all applications to the major IT projects for intelligent digitalisation of core business processes. At DB Schenker, the focus is traditionally on the IT operation of important core applications and the cloudification of these.

DB Cargo is the largest European rail freight company offering rail transports for all sectors from a single source. Efficient, reliable and cost-effective production without IT is particularly unthinkable in single wagonload transport. Reduction of expensive manoeuvring work, exact scheduling of employees and locomotives, flexible response to disruptive events, and predictive and thus cost-reducing maintenance of freight wagons are all based on intelligently networked IT.

As part of Deutsche Bahn, we are familiar with the DB Cargo domains and all technical processes and procedures, and can also bring added value to IT innovation topics such as Big Data, artificial intelligence, blockchain and IoT (Internet of Things).

Agile software development makes it possible to react more flexibly to market changes by iteratively developing software in sprints in close cooperation between business and IT. Cloudification is another building block of flexibility, which also saves IT costs because, for example, test environments can be started up and shut down at the touch of a button (pay-per-use).

Application examples of successful projects in rail freight Transport:

  • XRail
    With the production alliance XRail, Europe is getting even closer together. International rail freight traffic is becoming even more reliable through coupling the reservation systems, and thus also more attractive to customers.
  • Mobile solutions, such as WMS & MPS and CDD-R
    In the repair workshops, efficiency and quality are increased by using mobile technologies and eliminating paperwork processes (workshop management system = WMS). For rail production in Germany (CDD-R) – the heart of rail freight transport – all mobile applications have been modernised. Both projects incorporate the latest findings on user experience (UX) for interface design.
  • Advanced ressource planning
    Integrated and thus precise scheduling of locomotives and train drivers with the ARP (advanced resource planning) system will now be adapted for Poland after successful deployment in France.