We've got used to lost suitcases, but untraceable freight cars? Unfortunately, it happens again and again that wagons get lost. Thanks to a simple solution on the Internet of Things, rail vehicles will no longer be lost in the future.
It's hard to believe: Railway cars are disappearing again and again in international freight traffic. Especially when wagons are reloaded to 12,000 freight stations in 29 countries across Europe - similar to suitcases at an airport - you lose sight of them. A big problem for any transport company that can be solved quickly and easily with the help of sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Wagons from Prague in Berlin
"Suddenly a freight car of a Prague company is found at a marshalling yard in Berlin. No one knows how it got there," says Mark Damen of Dual Inventive, a company specializing in railway transport, describing the problem. Deutsche Telekom with its subsidiary T-Mobile Netherlands worked together with Dual Inventive on an IoT solution for tracking and tracing freight wagons and the freight they carried. A lucrative business, because in 2017 Deutsche Bahn alone had 83,386 freight wagons in stock.
From the sensor to the cloud to the mobile app
A box as big as a mobile phone, an intelligent sensor as small as a matchbox and an app that reads the data. That's all you need to track freight cars. The intelligent sensor, called TRT 3000, was specially developed for rail traffic and presented in Deutsche Telekom's Hubraum. The box is placed on the freight wagon and activated by app. So, you can always see where the wagon is. The sensor in the freight container sends data on humidity and temperature to the cloud. This information is very valuable and helpful for logistics companies that transport dangerous goods such as oil or chemicals. It is still a pilot project. But it is already clear that this can save money and make transport safer and more sustainable.