With the A1 Digital solution, Rail Cargo Austria (RCA) freight trains become “smart”

The End-to-end IoT solution from A1 Digital enables Rail Cargo Austria to collect information about the position and movement of its wagons throughout Europe by means of tracking and tracing.

A1 Digital brings kilometres of intelligent freight trains to rail

The customer:

Rail Cargo Austria AG (RCA) - the freight division of the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) - is the operational lead company of the Rail Cargo Group and one of the leading rail logistics companies in Europe and offers future-oriented, precise logistics solutions for every industry and specific logistics requirements in Europe. The 8,700 employees of the Rail Cargo Group ensure that almost 518,000 trains transport around 83 million tonnes of goods each year.

In order to meet the constantly growing customer requirements of the 21st century, RCA has started the Smart-Cargo project together with A1 Digital.

The challenge:

Given the worldwide practice of just-in-time production, which requires a demand-based delivery of goods, telematics is becoming increasingly important in freight transport. We have made it our mission to meet the challenges in the highly competitive logistics industry with innovative approaches.

The SmartCargo solution from A1 Digital provides comprehensive information during the entire transport of goods

The solution:

Together with A1 Digital, the RCG wagons are equipped with an intelligent telematics solution. As part of initial tests, around 300 wagons were equipped with energy-self-sufficient SmartCargo devices, which have motion sensors for positioning and a 3D acceleration sensor for shock detection.

The robust devices provide the exact GPS coordinates of the freight wagons at predefined intervals during the entire transport of goods. A freely definable geofencing can be used to monitor when a wagon crosses national borders or leaves a station, for example.

At regular intervals, A1 Digital's M2M SIM cards installed in the devices transmit all information over the mobile network to an IoT platform developed specifically for A1 Digital's RCG. The SIM cards, which are designed for worldwide roaming, guarantee cross-border information transmission. The SIM cards are managed through the SIM management platform provided by A1 Digital. In the absence of network coverage, the data transfer hardware also has an SMS fallback.

The incoming data is processed and visually processed on the IoT platform. The IoT platform offers extensive configuration and evaluation options in the form of various reports. In addition, limits that trigger an alarm can be set, monitored, and managed through the IoT platform.

The result:

The entire freight transport with around 13,700 RCG wagons will be equipped with an intelligent A1 Digital telematics solution by the end of 2020. This will provide real added value for Rail Cargo Group customers by providing comprehensive transport information and shows how wagon technology will develop in the future.

“The telematics solution by A1 Digital enables our customers to track freight wagons in real time and find out their current position and estimated time of arrival. In doing so, we are taking a major step towards cutting edge logistics. We are very satisfied with the solution developed by A1 Digital and we especially appreciate the harmonious combination of hardware and software.”

Clemens Först, CEO of the Rail Cargo Group (RCG)