Railforum 2019: Smart Corridors Emerging

Ecology, safety and economy drive the logistics of tomorrow – but digital edge is required just about everywhere.

 

Smart traffic takes many shapes and forms, from smart containers and smart rails to smart terminals. One of the most intriguing recent concepts in this field is Corridor as a Service (CaaS), coordinated by Traficom, and aimed at creating a new operating model to boost international logistics in a business-led manner. 

The goal of Corridor as a Service is to improve goods logistics through digital services, allowing, in essence, for Finland to become a key logistics hub for pushing and expanding the boundaries of international commerce. This new operating model seeks to significantly improve the accessibility and attractiveness of Finnish logistics. For businesses, this offers opportunities for developing both currently existing and new forms of business activities, as well as improving transport operations and networking.

“Logistics has huge digitalization potential and Finland could well be the frontrunner in this area,” said Juha Kenraali, Director General of Data, Traficom, appearing at Railforum 2019.

According to Kenraali, such megadrivers as ecology, safety and economy all support CaaS ideology. “We’ve been at this for two years now, using such tools as artificial intelligence, blockchain and MyData,” he said, adding that data sharing is really the key to building the concept.

“We don’t want to just build an ecosystem, we want to build a business ecosystem,” he noted.

Container is still king

Jarkko Rantala, Unit Manager, WSP Finland, took a look at the global container transport, pointing out that “containerization” of logistics is ongoing: “The volume growth in containers matches that of global trade, meaning 3-4 % annually,” Rantala stated at the seminar. 

Building more fluid supply chains is a key driver for economic growth in Rantala’s opinion, as well. “As we see complexity rise in logistics, we need better efficiency via use of transport units as well as automatization and flexibility.”

According to Rantala, “intelligent corridors”, with carbon neutrality as their target, could well be the wave of the future.

Dynamic customs

How about the role of authorities, such as customs, amidst all this digital disruption? - Hannu Mäkinen, Director General, Finnish Customs, stated that a smooth customs clearance is the target for the customs officials, too. 

“We want to ensure that the info in the transport chain is correct, and speed up border crossings,” Mäkinen said, adding that the over-all security of the transport chain is another priority. 

“Finding modern, common solutions is very much what we want to achieve.”

According to Mäkinen, Finnish Customs performs the required control measures in accordance to the risk analysis. Normally, that risk analysis is based on advance info that is submitted digitally. 

In the future, an entire block train could – conceivably – feature only one transit declaration, said Mäkinen. “That is something that we are currently looking into.”    

 

PHOTO: Juha KenraaliDirector General of Data from Traficom, sees that Logistics has huge digitalization potential and Finland could well be the frontrunner in this area.

 

Text: Sami Anteroinen, Dialog Designs
Photo:  Janne Torikka, Easy Visual