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Smart container inventor sets out to pioneer digital freight trains

Traxens, the Marseille firm best known for inventing the smart container, is turning its attention to a different mode of freight transport. The company has signed with SNCF Logistics, France’s national rail freight operator, to develop the world’s first digital freight train.

“This digital innovation will be operational in the second half of 2017 and will give rise to a new generation of freight trains, which will help improve the performance and appeal of rail in the goods transportation market,” the pair said in a release.

With shippers eyeing greater use of rail freight, they are calling for real-time data to be made available from trains.

Traxens, a start-up founded in 2012, designed and industrialised the connected container, providing key information on the transportation and delivery of a shipping container such as location and temperature in real-time. Its shareholders include liner giants CMA CGM and MSC.

A detailed presentation on the digital freight train will take place on May 10 this year, at the Munich Transport Logistic trade fair.

Alain Picard, CEO of SNCF Logistics, commented: “The digital freight train is a major innovation for placing rail freight at the heart of the transportation offering in the 21st century.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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