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DB Cargo "smart" wagon upgrade reaches half-way stage

DB Cargo is moving ahead strongly with the digitalisation of its freight wagon fleet: the 34,000th wagon with state-of-the-art telematics and smart sensors has rolled out of the refitting facility in Seelze near Hanover

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The GPS and sensor technology bring a range of benefits for DB Cargo’s customers. The system is being fitted following a six-year contract awarded by DB Cargo to Siemens Mobility last year.


A telematics module, GPS and the use of RFID and NFC tags help the analogue freight wagons join the fully connected digital world. The modernised wagons use mobile telephony to transmit signals during the journey, such as when the wagon starts and stops or sensors detect an impact.


The data can help to produce useful information about the load condition, temperature and humidity and about the movement of sensitive cargo inside the wagon.

Marek Staszek (L) and Dr Jürgen Harland activate the telematics module. (Photo: Max Laufenschläger)
Marek Staszek (L) and Dr Jürgen Harland activate the telematics module. (Photo: Max Laufenschläger)

"The smart freight wagons are modernising rail freight transport and making it fit for the future," said Marek Staszek, Management Board member, Production, DB Cargo. "Our customers benefit from more manageable logistics chains, higher quality transport and predictable arrival times."


Dr Jürgen Harland, Head of Logistics and SCM at Salzgitter Flachstal GmbH, a key DB Cargo customer, said: "Our value chain relies heavily on efficient logistics processes. Digitilisation of our business processes is becoming ever more important.


"The smart freight wagon is the final piece in the puzzle. The new data will refine and improve forecasts and assumptions as it provides information not just on the consignment, but on quality, too."

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