Main partner in the Polish LL is Baltic Container Terminal (BCT) located in the Port of Gdynia in Poland. It is a maritime terminal specialized in handling containers for different transportation modes. With a current annual handling capacity of 750.000 TEU, and a potential capacity of 1,2m TEU, BCT is the leading container terminal in Poland and one of the largest in the Baltic region. BCT offers a wide range of services: BCT is well connected with the hinterland by motorways and the national rail system, however, poorly developed rail connections and information exchange systems impede BCT to reach a high intermodal handling share.
BCT runs a number of hinterland operations including rail transport from or to the Port of Gdynia. These operations involve many actors and consume a lot of time for exchange of information – phone calls, faxes and emails. This problem causes the hinterland planning of the port of Gdynia to be less efficient and less attractive for its customers.
The problem addressed in the Polish Living Lab includes rail transport and last mile transport by truck. Taking into account that 1,2m TEU were transported through the Polish ports in 2013 and 40% (upward trend) of deliveries were transferred to the hinterland locations and back by rail (ca. 20 trains daily), the problem of information exchange between all involved players (ca. 15 intermodal operators and 10 direct rail carriers) is significant. As a result, inadequate, long-lasting handling services at terminals increasingly become a bottleneck for fluent container traffic to the hinterland and endangers keeping the rail share at 40%.
The objective of the Polish Living Lab is to implement new business models of intermodal transport collaboration and coordination that are supported by an innovative communication platform. Companies (Logistics Service Clients and Logistics Service Providers), which are now working in the intermodal eco-system, will be able to collaborate and easily exchange standardized information in order to improve effectiveness and efficiency of transport and management of container flow to and from container terminals.
The solution developed in LogiCon is a communication platform named T-scale Intermodal that enables information sharing for the hinterland planning processes by all parties involved. The functionality includes exchange of bookings for intermodal transport, allocation of bookings to rail wagons, exchange of loading and unloading plans and status monitoring of execution. One of the main values of the platform is the stimulus towards cooperation in order to receive a transparent transport system which is advantageous for everyone. Such an attitude is quite new in the Polish market.
Features of the solution:
- simple to understand - time table layout, clearly defined roles,
- accessable - via web page with ID and password,
- easy to use - user friendly, intuitional,
- open - all stakeholders can participate,
- useful - providing useful information, ex. weekly arrival & departure plans, personalized dashboards and reports.
- to improve communication in intermodal transport
- to develop modern tools for information exchange
Main stakeholders and problems:
- Container Terminal - unable to plan operations well
- Intermodal Operator – unable to control the service offered
- Railway Carrier – unable to mange the fleet
Communication process in the past:
Communication process using T-scale Intermodal:
Role of SMEs
SME participation in the Polish LL was crucial - the majority of Polish shippers (exporters and importers) as well as some of the logistics service providers (intermodal operators, hinterland rail terminals, truck operators) involved in the intermodal supply chain are SMEs. Also road carriers used for last mile haulage are involved in the development of the LogiCon solution, in which they benefit from cooperation within optimised supply chains. SMEs were involved in the testing of the platform through various locally organised workshops where they could share ideas and provide feedback. Also, during more a more advanced stage of development, SMEs were invited to use the solution.
Benefits for SME’s
The main benefits for SMEs were a reduction of logistics costs, the possibility of better and more realistic delivery planning and online monitoring of container movements. The other benefits included the possibility of dynamic real-time delivery planning, reduction of transport cost due to group purchases of transport services, sharing loading space of vehicles, and access to a cheap and reliable track&trace solution.
Benefits for the whole industry:
- costs & time reduction in Intermodal delivery arrangements,
- accuracy of data exchanged,
- digitalization of a whole process among all stakeholders,
- easy and fast access to information on-line,
- standardization of operations performed,
- increase of competitiveness of intermodal transport.
Benefits for Terminals:
- Better planning and resource management - cost savings,
- Container flow control and management, congestion and idle time reductions,
- Speeding up rail operations,
- Automation of rail processes, invoicing, reporting.
Benefits for Railway Carriers:
- Better control of last mile operations,
- Better fleet management,
- Process standardization and automation – ordering, reporting & monitoring.
Benefits for Intermodal Operators:
- Own system integration with platform only,
- Better Intermodal delivery planning, better management of resources (human, equipment),
- On-line monitoring of last mile operations,
- Increased competitiveness,