PrimeRail takes intermodal transport to next level with SaaS platform Simply Deliver
Transport order information being exchanged between intermodal entities automatically and full transparency to all supply chain partners. That is what rail operator company PrimeRail offers to customers using Simply Deliver’s cloud-based transport management platform. “In the intermodal industry where you have to fit together so many different parties, it’s all about reliability of processes,” states CEO and founder Patrick Zilles. “The only way to get there is to make data fully transparent to everyone involved and enable systems to communicate with each other seamlessly and automatically.”
As an ambitious start-up in the world of multimodal transport, German based primeRail has set the standard in the field of efficiency and visibility. As one of the first companies in the industry, it has succeeded in running a fully automated order management processes between customers, rail operators, terminals, transport companies and other parties involved. “I have been in the intermodal transport industry for twenty years and it strikes me to see that so many companies still enter their transport data by hand and send them over by email.” With his new company Patrick Zilles demonstrates that things can be done differently. By digitizing the exchange of planning data and being fully transparent towards customers and network partners, he offers the market a better service with more reliable processes. “With all those different parties working together in a multimodal network and all those tasks that have to fit together perfectly, reliability is one of the most important Key Performance Indicators you should pursue as a logistics service provider.”
Live within 16 weeks
When Zilles planned to start up his new rail transport company, back in 2019, he was in urgent need of an IT supplier who could provide him with the necessary technology to support his ambition as a fully automated intermodal operator. He took a close look at various transport management systems in the market place, but there was none that met his requirements regarding platform functionality and implementation time. Then he came into contact with Simply Deliver, a young Dutch software supplier that had its first success stories with a transport management system based on Software as a Service (Saas). With its modern technology platform Simply Deliver was able to quickly configure all the advanced functionality and necessary connectors on PrimeRail’s wishlist. The system was up and running within 16 weeks and on January 1, 2020 exactly according to plan – the first PrimeRail managed freight headed its way on the European railway.
Proactive non-conformity management
At PrimeRail now the entire planning and coordination process is managed in a fully automatical way. Transport orders issued by customers come in via EDI, orderlines are checked and imported in the system without human intervention, a transport plan is set and sent the relevant terminal and rail operators, who in turn send loading and departure times for confirmation, there are send to carriers, etc. etc. Zilles: “The only time our planners need to intervene is when non-conformities take place. If there’s a delay for example which causes that a crucial time slot at a terminal will not be met. With our transport platform we enable customers and subcontractors to work much more efficiently as well. They no longer have to send out order information by e-mail and our customer portal gives them full visibility to all relevant information.”
Benefits for customers
PrimeRail offers its rail transport concepts for several lines within the logistics hotspot of Europe comprising Germany (Duisport) and Italy (Milan). The large logistics parties it serves say they are pleased with the user-friendliness and the connectiveness of the Simply Deliver system. “During the implementation, we received nice feedback from one of our largest customers. They had never experienced such a smooth integration project before.” By connecting systems digitally PrimeRail takes a lot of manual work off their hands. They get more insight into the performance of the full intermodal process and their particular role in it. In case of non-conformities they can analyze the root cause themselves and find out why a certain connection was not achieved. Subcontractors have access to the whole order history, the status and the appointments that were made regarding to the planning. This allows every party to optimize their individual part of the game and make the network as a whole more reliable to customers.
Ready for growth
PrimeRail has been in operation for over a year now and is very successful. The number of transport orders the company has to manage increases every month, without problems. Zilles: “The Simply Deliver platform is highly scalable and allows us to grow without having to invest in new staff every time. Because it runs on a SaaS model, we neither have to worry about IT management. System upgrades are put in place automatically.” With Simply Deliver as a backbone PrimeRail has set the tone with fully automated transport management and is ready to expand its role as a leading player in intermodal rail transport.
“The Simply Deliver platform is highly scalable and allows us to grow without having to invest in new staff every time.”Patrick ZillesCEO PrimeRail