Spain to introduce first-ever tracking system for freight on rail in 2024

Spain to introduce first-ever tracking system for freight on rail in 2024

Rail Freight — 2023-07-17

Land transportation

The Spanish infrastructure manager Adif is introducing a new freight tracking system, called SIMPLE (Simplification of Processes for a Logistic Enhancement), at the beginning of 2024. This constitutes a first for Spain, where there is currently no platform for the traceability of the movements of goods by rail, as Adif explained. The project is being carried out in collaboration with Altia, a Spanish software provider company.

Adif and Altia tested the Altia Control Tower and SIMPLE platform for seven months on the route from the port of Algeciras, in the Spanish south, to the Zaragoza Plaza terminal in the northeast. Altia Control Tower records information about every event that occurs during rail freight transportation which is then shown on the SIMPLE platform. The system follows the goods through every step: from their entrance in origin, destination, or intermediate locations to container management, including train changes and track movements.

According to the parties involved, this new system is expected to nudge customers to choose rail over other transportation modes. This is because with the SIMPLE platform and the possibility to track cargo, transporting by rail should become safer. Moreover, Adif and Altia hope that the SIMPLE platform “will contribute to reducing stocks, optimizing routes, improving processes and reducing costs, gaining in efficiency and safety”.

Seven months of tests involving many companies

Along the Algeciras-Zaragoza route, the test trains also had an intermediate stop at the Azuqueca de Henares Dry Port, near Madrid. “The results of this pilot have demonstrated the feasibility of the SIMPLE platform, which will be operational in January 2024 to be used by all actors in the supply chain”, said the parties in a note. Other than Adif and Antia, various companies and entities were involved in the test phase. Marcotran acted as the train contractor, while Transfesa Logistics carried out railway operations. Moreover, Cosco Shipping Port Spain participated as a service provider at the Zaragoza Plaza terminal. Finally, Fesava took care of services at the Port of Algeciras, while SICSA overviewed the situation at the Azuqueca de Henares Dry Port.