Friday, September 6, 2013

Rail Freight Broker Launches Cargo Tracker as it Seeks to Expand Intermodal Services

Persuading Shippers to Switch from Road Haulage Demands Cutting Edge Technology
Shipping News Feature

UK – In July FreightArranger, a company devoted to moving more cargo currently carried by road onto the rails, announced the open trials of its newly installed systems. Forwarding groups are promised that eventually quantities as small as one container will profit from the intermodal system. Now the online brokerage says it has developed a tracker to provide real-time data on the whereabouts of goods shipping via the system.

The FreightArranger cloud based system is intended to make it both easier and quicker to use rail freight, currently a service which is principally used by bulk contract customers, by providing a simple enquiry and booking screen on the web. It is designed for single or multiple container moves, bringing the benefits of rail freight to a wider community.

The company claims the five-second refresh rate for its tracker compares to rival software which is often updated hourly, or even in some cases every four hours. Customised features could include, for example, a desktop or email alert due a set number of minutes before goods are due to arrive, or a separate indicator if a train is running more than a certain amount of time behind schedule. FreightArranger says it has designed the system to make best use of the UK's transport network, reducing congestion and producing less carbon by finding money-earning uses for the spare capacity rail hauliers. Managing Director Nick Radcliffe explained:

"Our locator is the first of its type for rail freight. Its speed of refreshing data, every 5 seconds, and the ability to have self-customised alerts make it the most advanced system available today. Rail freight went into serious decline for several decades between 1950 and 1980 due to competition from road haulage, but it seems the pendulum swung too far and is now on its way back. There is room for both to work side-by-side, but to really capitalise on the reduction in congestion, carbon footprint savings and cost efficiency over long distances, rail needs to embrace the internet and that's what we're doing."