A solution that eliminates the problem of different railroad tracks
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
“We noticed that the railroad business in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, Ukraine, for example, lacked solutions like those used in Western Europe. No tool on the market could ‘talk’ in both narrow and broad-gauge track standards. That's one of the challenges, which inspired the creation of CargoRail”, says Jolanta Skeivelienė, who heads the Railway Industry Department at software development company Blue Bridge Code.
Two primary standards in one system
At the starting point for the creation of CargoRail, one of the business challenges was: companies carrying out exports to territories with different-gauge railroad tracks had to prepare the documents that accompany cargo by hand.
“It’s mainly carriers from broad- or ‘Russian’-gauge territory that run into this. They generally use systems suited to broad-gauge track but that don’t handle narrow-gauge standards. We foresaw that when Rail Baltic starts to operate and narrow-gauge cargo volumes increase, this problem could become more acute. All the processes have to occur not just on a bigger scale, but faster. That’s why we decided to come to the carriers’ aid and create a solution that ‘knows how to speak’ both standards,” Jolanta Skeivelienė says.
CargoRail facilitates the people who transmit information to other countries and eliminates the need to code messages. The solution automatically prepares and dispatches those messages according to the activity operations data as stipulated under the specific standard.
Process digitization and reduction of human errors
But CargoRail is not just for those who work with foreign companies. The solution is suited to all companies operating in the railway field – infrastructure managers, carriers, and shunting service providers. It enables the digitization of the internal processes and operations of all these railway industry participants.
"At the core of CargoRail are processes, not individual documents or functions. Automating processes, reduce time for cargo loading and unloading, train formation, assigning a locomotive, etc., makes it possible to avoid human errors and reduces time-intensive mechanical work. The biggest advantage of this digitization process comes when you need to communicate in more than one country or system. But even if you’re only working in Lithuania, digitization of internal operations brings benefits. The solution lets you charge accurately for all operations, automatically prepare invoices, see and analyze all the tasks performed by work brigades, and avoid errors,” the head of Blue Bridge Code’s Railway Industry Department says.
“The constant exchange of a lot of important information is part of the nature of the railway industry, so such collection of data and automation of operations makes administrative work more efficient. Client operatives in CargoRail, enter data only once. Further, the railways' freight software - CargoRail automatically prepares all the required documents and transfer that information to other stakeholders (including railway infrastructure managers, shunters, and other countries’ customs)", she adds.
Future role for artificial intelligence
As solutions for the railway industry develop, new technologies are also advancing, including artificial intelligence applications. Blue Bridge Code’s team also plans to expand CargoRail with new planning features based on artificial intelligence.
“The features will use all the data we have, and it easier to perform orders and assign railcars, locomotives, and engineers. Artificial intelligence should select those three components considering the price, distance, and other key criteria. For instance, if we knew how long on average it takes railcars to go from Kena to Klaipėda, then using this tool and planning the same order, we’ll foresee the trip's length and number of stops. We’ll know when we’ll be able to use the same railcars to fulfill another order. Moreover, in selecting railcars, the tool would automatically assess the price, analyze and choose the cheapest variant,” the Blue Bridge Code representative says.