1 Final Report Work Package 10 Documentation Work Package Manager: Prof. Dr. Heinrich Seidlmeier
2 AlpFRail WP10 Documentation Institute for Organisation and Information Systems (IOWI) Prof. Dr. Heinrich Seidlmeier Fachhochschule Rosenheim, University of Applied Sciences
3 Contents A. Objectives, expected results and the general approach of WP 10 B. Evaluation of existing systems with similar or same functionality C. Evaluation of customer needs D. General concept for the AlpFRail Information and Quality Management System E. Prototype system ARAILIS F. Development options and prospects G. Summary Achieved results Appendix
4 A. Objectives, expected results and the general approach of WP 10 The confirmed application form for the AlpFRail project titles workpackage 10 with Prototype of an Information and Quality Management System. The main objective was to create transparency of the freight flow for the customer in order to get a customer friendly system with the following features respectively results: Get an optimized way from start to destination Get price information for the complete carriage Get transparency for the actual position of his good Get information in case of exceptions. The needed main activities were described as followed: Evaluation of the customer needs and the local existing systems (possibility of integration or enhancement to an international system) Analysis of the needed data, definition of the structure Definition of the interfaces to other systems (data collection from railway companies, ports, transshipment centres, exception handling...) Definition of a system which keeps all data actual Creation of an user friendly interface Implementation of the prototype with the 2 examples At the same time, this prototype system with 2 examples of different starttarget lines was the expected main result of WP 10. For the internal project management of WP 10 and the communication with the other workpackages this presetting was transformed into the following system functions (planning, tracking and quality information) and project schedule.
5 Figure: System functionality A. Evaluation of existing systems with similar or same functionality 1. research of relevant systems 2. develop structure for comparing systems 3. analyzing and comparing 4. define results B. Evaluation of customer needs 1. defining a form for a market survey 2. conducting market survey 3. analysis & interpretation of results C. First draft definition of complete concept and prototype system; start of prototype cycle 1. definition of functions 2. analysis of needed data 3. description/evaluation of needed external systems 4. modelling of logistic processes 5. starting prototype cycle D. Definition of interfaces to external systems; simultaneous prototyping 1.data collection from railway companies, ports, transshipment centers 2. analysis of available exception handling data 3. simultaneous prototyping E. Finishing concept of complete system and prototype cycle 1. describing detailed functionality for interface, exception and actualizing management 2. simultaneous prototyping F. Finishing implementation of prototype system for 2 examples 1. development 2. testing user interfaces and functions G. Test operation of prototype system 1. conducting interface & exception management tests H. Completing concept of future scenarios 1. description of future enhancements, usage, needs, possible customers and operators, opportunities and risks Figure: Project plan for WP 10
6 Because of the expected complexity of the system with only semistructured requirements in the beginning of the development we chose an evolutionary experimental prototyping process. The ideal system should be the result of a number of prototype development cycles. The cycles should be strongly influenced by important project steps, aspects or views. Figure: Developing approach In the next chapters the efforts to implement the ideal approach are described.
7 B. Evaluation of existing systems with similar or same functionality The incitement for an evaluation was to see how others manage the information flow and the process of booking in the web especially with combined transport and at all. Further it should give us an idea how to create web applications in the right order and easy to understand for the user. Aside from these aspects we looked at tracking and tracing systems. In addition we tried to get information about what is important in coherence with information and booking systems and how does companies implement this information. 1. Commercial software 1.1. Approach of evaluation We only explored companies, which are present in the World Wide Web with information or booking systems in coherence with combined transport. The following list contains explored systems which gave us valuable information: Company Information Booking Web page system online system online Stinnes/Schenk x X er Dachser x x Fercam x Kombi Verkehr x x Kühne & Nagel x x DHL x x ABX Logistics x x SBB x x
8 Figure: Explored companies First we turned our attention to the functionalities of booking systems. Because information systems has the same functionalities like booking systems excepting the booking process, the 4 main aspects in such a system are transportplanning, transportrequest, transportorder, transportexecution with all its subcomponents. Moreover we analysed general basic principles how to see under 1.2. Strengths and weaknesses. The following chart shows the main aspects in functionalities we have benchmarked. Transportplanning Transportrequest Transportorder Transportexecution Timetable for goods Catalogue for freight cars NHMcodesearch (specify the freight) Freight station search with warehouse possibilities Waste of energy Check executing possibilities of transport: Kinds of freight Weight of freight Costs Time of departure Mesures of freight Order processing Communication with the company Validity Tracking an tracing Way of transport Invoice processing House to house transport Custom processing Exception handling General benchmarks Interfaces / hard and software conditions Look and feel of web handling Special offers as guided tours, news letter, Special areas of business Figure: Benchmarking In the evaluation process, companies came across without any data about information, or booking system in the web. Further more we searched on many university sites to receive related information without any success Strengths and weaknesses The results of the analysis especially from the functionalities are shown in the following chart.
9 Planning Request Order Execution Stinnes SBB Kühne+Nagel DHL kombi verkehr Dachser ABX Logistics Fercam Full information No data Good information Satisfying information Adequate information Figure: Weaknesses This chart shows that Stinnes has full information about all 4 main functionalities in the web. All other systems do not cover the whole chain from Planning to Execution completely (see details in the Excel sheets mentioned in chapter 1.3.) Results The prepared Excel document consists of different tables. Concerning the following aspects we did the benchmarking. The first Excel table is a detailed overview about all systems. This table is linked to the other tables where the rating methods are described. Appearance in the web Like clarity, usability, variety in offers, multilingualism, information content, number and size of pictures, font size, font colour, background image, screen layout, operator convenience, uptodatedness Functionality of the system Like transport planning, request of transport, transport order, booking possibility, tracking and tracing, charge information, handling the invoice,
10 exception handling, special business solution, flexibility, internationality, connection possibilities, clearance at the borders, means of transport Door to door transport possibility Is there an opportunity to book from door to door that means the freight will be fetched from a client an will be delivered to the destination company? Interim storage facility Is there a possibility to store some goods till they get collected? Transportable freight What kind of loadings are accepted? Annual value of transported freight How many weight or wagons has been transported? ISO certified Is the company ISO certified? User groups What kind of business is the offer designed? Carrier Who runs the business? Fellows Are there cooperations with other companies? Additional features Like info letter, transport library, current articles, search The second table in Excel describes the functionalities in a very accurate way. The third table include the rating criteria for the web page. The fourth table outline all considered systems without any results and benefits. The fifth table shows a consolidated overview about all explored systems in a final rating how to see below.
11 Consolidated overview about explored systems Stinnes/ kombi ABX Schenker SBB Kühne+Nagel DHL verkehr Dachser Logistics Fercam Function planning transport request of transport order of transport booking tracking and tracing exception handling Special business solution flexibility internationality connection offer value of range Web presence customer friendly value of information clearness specials Technical aspects interfaces = very good = good = satisfying = no data Figure: Final rating The sixth Excel table tries to benchmark all selected information and filtered out the best and the worst parts of every system. For the sake of clarity the complete Excel sheet with our detailed results and valuations will be attached at the end of the document (see the Appendix 1 ).
12 1.4. Benefit We achieved our goal to get information and inspiration about online systems for combined transport. Moreover we built up knowledge about what is important for those systems. Now we are able to pick out the best parts of every explored system and develop a new one. The new AlpFRail Information System ARAILIS (see chapter E.) will contain parts and ideas of already existing systems and in addition it will fulfil new requests, for example: involving ports for overseas transportation or door to door service. 2. R & D prototypes 2.1. BRAVO: A project like AlpFRail In our research Evaluation of existing Systems we found the project BRAVO. This project is financed from the EU as well as AlpFRail and discusses similar topics. The idea of BRAVO (Brenner Rail Freight Action Strategy Aimed At Achieving A Sustainable Increase Of Intermodal Transport Volume By Enhancing Quality, Efficiency And System Technologies) is nearly the same like in AlpFRail, achieving a significant and sustainable increase in intermodal volume. BRAVO treats especially the Brenner corridor and AlpFRail has a network vision including harbours. Objectives copied from the BRAVO homepage (http://www.bravoproject.com): Development and demonstration of following components for conventional rail freight and intermodal services on the Brenner Corridor Coherent and open corridor management scheme Interoperable rail traction involving multicurrent locomotives and including train path rescheduling to gain more capacity EDP supported quality management system Advanced customer information system generating estimatedtimeofavailability information Mediumterm extension plan on intermodal services
13 Application of SAIL wagon technology aiming at capturing the fast growing market of MEGA semi trailers Demonstration of innovative technology to capture conventional semi trailers for unaccompanied intermodal transport The work breakdown structure in the following figure shows an overview about BRAVO (with 7 research activities RA in total): Figure: Structure of BRAVO RA 1 Sustainable and open corridor management system (CMS) RA 2 Train path availability and allocation process RA 3 Interoperable rail traction scheme RA 4 Quality management system (QMS) RA 5 Advanced customer information system (CIS)
14 RA 6 Development schedule for unaccompanied combined transport (CT) services RA 7 Design and development of new concepts We were very interested in RA 1, RA 4 and RA 5 among other things because that are similar requests in our projects. Even the Brenner corridor is only one track in our routes there are many interesting aspects we could use for AlpFRail. The QMS (Quality Management System), CIS (Customer Information System) and the KPI (Key Performance Indicators Tracking Tool) is based on two databases how to see at the following picture. Figure: Data architecture of BRAVO In RA 1 the sustainable and open corridor management system (CMS) is based on an open platform. Therefore all stakeholders are connected and able to help each other. This is a good way to see in real time results of other workpackages without having meetings.
15 Figure: CMS in BRAVO This following figure shows the interactions between the RAs and represents the Quality Management System. Figure: RA interactions
16 Because of the affinity we made a contact to the project leader (Mr. Mertel from Combi Consult GmbH) and asked a few questions about the interfaces to other systems, the algorithm for the estimated time of arrival and what technology they use for tracking and tracing. The answer wasn t really meaningful in matters of interfaces and tracking and tracing. The algorithm for the estimated time of arrival was not allowed to make it public at this state of the project CroBIT CroBIT (www.crobit.org or means Cross Border Information Technology and is a European Commission project in the field of the specific program for RTD and demonstration on "Competitive and Sustainable Growth." The objective of this project is to develop, test and evaluate solutions for Improved service reliability and data exchange Cross border freight trains Corridor for the Trans European Rail Freight Network Using advanced IT Technologies.
17 Figure: CroBIT architecture The new aspect to be realised in the CroBIT platform is the central and parallel availability of relevant data to all train operating companies (TOCs) and infrastructure managers (IMs) as soon as one of them has put in his information. This results in much shorter lead times. Furthermore CroBIT wants to improve the communication between IMs and TOCs e.g. on train delays, train composition, rerouting, rescheduling, Therefore it is necessary to collect a lot of information. The data exchange between TOC and IM should be realized by a central service platform. It has to be ensured, that the stakeholders are connected to the platform via converters. The reason is that these converters will enable the railways to further use their inhouse systems, which have been expensive and offer their specific advantages. The converters shall be built for the demonstration of the concept by partners in the project, because this is not the preferred business of railways. For a demonstration of a bordercrossing, converters for two TOCs and two IMs will be needed. They can also be used in the next phase, when the final service platform is built up with the additional integration of customers and authorities. The second step towards the final servicesystem deals to a great extent with confidential commercial data being interchanged between TOCs, customers and authorities. Therefore in this step a concept has to be introduced for secure data transmission between players, for the granting of specific access rights, i.e. in addition to mere data conversion between different standards also data filtering and confidentiality aspects must be worked on. This situation is indicated in the figure above.
18 Figure: CroBIT Demonstrator The way CroBIT tries to reach the aims is to connect the final customer by a web interface and an event driven borderless ramp respectively ramp monitoring with query capabilities. At the back office the railway companies can create and use the data by platforms with a centralized database and internet access and automatised data initiation at fixed checkpoints. CroBIT has, as an evaluation result, a new conceptual architecture. But to verify the real functionality of the system, it is necessary to get an account from the provider Portal C Portal C (http://www.portalc.info/) is a portal for several functions for the combined traffic. Some of these are similar used in the AlpFRail prototype. The Portal C functions are: Time table: An information desk for schedules
19 Figure: Time table Search for good stations: A search for good stations in Europe and a distance search between these stations
20 Figure: Search for good stations Combined traffic portal: Information portal for the combined traffic Figure: Combined traffic information portal
21 Combined traffic search: Schedule for the combined traffic including a terminal search and surrounding maps Figure: Combined traffic search Search by rail tracks: A search portal for rail tracks
22 Figure 5: Search by rail tracks Rail track initiative: An internet portal for the initiative to support the combined traffic
23 Figure: Rail track initiative ecotransit: An information portal for environmental management in companies and a calculator for determine ecology costs for a transport
24 Figure: ecotransit
25 Figure: Ecology costs for a transport Portal C has, as an evaluation result, a lot of functions for the combined traffic especially in Germany. But there are only single internet portals instead of one integrated system. To use the existing functions for the AlpFRail prototype they first have to be integrated. Furthermore there need to be an interface developed by the Portal C providers.
26 3. Evaluation of further software systems 3.1. DISMOD The IOWI was asked by the AlpFRail project management team to evaluate in general view also the software system DISMOD (http://www.dismod.de) because it might contain part of the functionality needed for the AlpFRail WP 10 Quality and Information System. DISMOD is the abbreviation for Distribution Planning for Multimodal Transports. The pilot software system got developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics. Main application functionality and purposes are: Analysis of existing distribution data (related with customer specification, transport methods and modes, item groups) Strategic distribution planning for delivery of goods Benchmarking of planning data Impact of distribution relocation Analysis of distribution costs before and after relocation Graphical simulation of results Iterative optimization of distribution structure (customer per store location, store location per production location)
27 Figure: DISMOD server selection DISMOD is working in clientserver architecture. This architecture allows efficient handling of big amount of data and complex analysis methods. Data are stored in a (distributed) database system. DISMOD is a Java based application with independency of specific operating systems. Figure: User login screen Customer data and related information getting processed in DISMOD are confidential. So users as part of DISMOD projects are handled in an access concept.
28 Available access roles are denied, reader, user, owner. Figure: Screen after server selection and login
29 Figure: Results of fundamental analyses Analyses of actual data about customers in relation to store locations, transport networks, distribution appearance and service level are examples of available evaluations. These are the basis for subsequent optimization processes. Figure: Routing parameters for German waterway transport DISMOD enables the user to use transport by lorry, train or ship (trimodal routing). However the user himself must select the favoured transport mode. After entering start and destination data, DISMOD computes the fastest as well as the shortest route. Further results are graphical route display and a summary of main important transport data.
30 Figure: Route result for transport by German waterway
31 Figure: Information summary for route result Netplan is an integrated part of DISMOD and supplies optimizing of big transport networks. It is a software tool also developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics. Unfortunately, no public additional information about Netplan is available.
32 Figure: Netplan planning region
33 Figure: Netplan s results As a general evaluation result: The trimodal routing functionality included in DISMOD perhaps could be used as a component of the AlpFRail Quality and Information System. However up to now it seems that DISMOD is specialized only for German regional data. So additional detailed evaluation is necessary, clarifying questions like What is the full scale routing functionality of DISMOD? What part of the routing functionality is provided by Netplan application? Can trimodal routing also be done international over the whole AlpFRail transport network? Is DISMOD routing functionality available as a stand alone component? Will there be a data application interface for the routing component? What all must get installed if DISMOD components would be part of the AlpFRail Quality and Information System? According to determining factors and after clearance with the overall AlpFRail project management no further effort for detailed evaluation of DISMOD was invested at that point of time PTV intermodal guide The PTV intermodal guide is a routing system for Europe. It offers the user the functionality to find a route by the following criteria: Transport mode Origin country and terminal Destination country and terminal Intermediate stations Start time Routing criterion (time or cost optimized) The next figure contains the input mask for the routing.
34 Figure: Input mask The result is a shown in a map. It contains the visualized route for the selection and the start and end terminal. The determined route can use motorways, other roads, railways, or waterways. The next figure presents a sample route.
35 Figure: Sample result map Furthermore the intermodal guide presents the data as a list with all relevant information about the routing results (see next figure).
36 Figure: Routing results As a final evaluation result it can be stated that is very expensive in time and money to develop a routing system. To save these costs it is reasonable to extend an existing system by using its interfaces. The PTV intermodal guide implements already several needed functionalities: Search criteria: cost and time optimised Different transport modes A lot of countries Intermediate stations Detailed map Some functionality has to be expanded respectively improved:
37 A system for realistic cost Enhance search criteria by reliability and environment Define a interface for using the intermodal guide Generate alternative routes
38 C. Evaluation of customer needs 1. Demand for evaluating customer needs Beside the evaluation of existing systems for the prototype it was necessary to ask carriers why they use or don t use intermodal transport in the daily business. Moreover it is an aspect what a good information system should include so that carriers work at least for some relations with intermodal transport. A carriers workshop held by the IOWI at the LKZ in Prien helped to get information about reasons keeping off carriers from working in combined transport (This workshop took place at 05/05/23 with a small number of participants, selected by the LKZ). Mentioned reasons were e.g. lack of information in general, missing contact persons, high costs or missing flexibility in the booking chain. Due to the workshop the core functionalities of the prototype have been recognized. Additionally to gain representative results a survey should approve the achievement and define the functionality for a quality and information system for the AlpFRail area. 2. Activities for conducting the survey All survey questions and the form s target group got defined in cooperation with the LKZ in Prien and Mr. Maywald, consultant of the AlpFRail project. The questionnaire was developed as an internet form to be answered within about 10 minutes. For gaining a significant number of participants in the survey leading to representative results, it was intended to involve managing directors of several logistics or intermodal transport associations based in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. Some of them already ensured to recommend their members taking part in the poll. Target group for the survey were forwarding agencies, transport companies and loaders, whereas some of them focusing on transalpine transport.
39 Below an example of the German cover letter version for the transport association managers is included. (Translation to Italian was planned to be done by support of AlpFRail partner Provincia di Brescia). Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, Anhand eines Gesprächs mit Ihrem Herrn bei der Internationalen Transportmesse in München nehmen wir heute Kontakt mit Ihrem Verband auf. Unser Institut für Organisation und Wirtschaftsinformatik (IOWI) an der Fachhochschule Rosenheim bearbeitet im Rahmen des EU Projekts AlpFRail (Alpine Freight Railway) den Teilbereich Qualitätsund Informationssystem. Ziel des gesamten Projekts ist es, die Organisation des Güterverkehrs auf der Schiene transalpin länderübergreifend zu verbessern und einen attraktiven Beitrag der Verlagerung von Gütertransporten auf die Schiene zu leisten. Dabei sollen die Schienenwege im Alpenraum unter dem Netzwerkgedanken stärker miteinander verzahnt werden, sodass ein verbesserter Gütertransport angeboten werden kann. Zusätzlich sind die (nördlichen) italienischen Mittelmeerhäfen in das Netzwerk aufgenommen, um die zunehmenden Transportflüsse mit z. B. Fernost zu unterstützen. Die Aufgabe des IOWI ist es, eine Internet basierende InformationspilotPlattform für das AlpFRail Netzwerk aufzubauen, welche folgende Optionen bietet: Berechnung des optimalen Wegs vom Ursprung der Fracht bis zum Ziel Preisinformationen für den gesamten Transport Transparenz über die aktuelle Position der Fracht Informationen im Fall unvorhergesehener Ereignisse Um diese Optionen möglichst praxisnah umsetzen zu können, werden Anforderungen und Informationen von potentiellen Kunden benötigt. Dafür wurde seitens des IOWI ein InternetFragebogen entwickelt (www.fhrosenheim.de/iowi/evaluation), welcher von möglichst vielen Verbandsmitgliedern bzw. Transportinteressierten ausgefüllt werden sollte. Je höher die Teilnahme, desto repräsentativer ist das Ergebnis im AlpFRail Projekt anwendbar. Unsere Bitte ist es nun, mit Hilfe Ihres Verbands unseren InternetFragebogen zu propagieren, indem Sie Ihre Mitglieder auf unser Projekt hinweisen und die FragebogenBeantwortung empfehlen. Dies könnte z. B. im Rahmen Ihrer regelmäßigen Publikationen oder durch einen Link zu unserem Fragebogen auf Ihrer Homepage realisiert werden. Gerne unterstützen wir Sie mit weiteren Informationen zu unserem AlpFRail Projekt, um den Aufwand Ihrerseits so gering wie möglich zu halten. Selbstverständlich sind wir für Vorschläge von Ihrer Seite offen. Wir hoffen auf Ihre Unterstützung und würden uns über eine positive Antwort von Ihnen sehr freuen. Mit freundlichen Grüßen
40 By support of the AlpFRail project management and AlpFRail consultant Dr. Maywald first telephone or contacts to transport association managers took place. General publishing support was ensured. However due to budget changes further survey activities were cancelled after clearance with the AlpFRail project management. But nevertheless the questionnaire is shown in the following chapter. 3. Questionnaire Screenshots For evaluating customer needs a web form was developed including the relevant questions for the survey. Advantages of this survey method are: Easy handling for respondents No additional paper work Immediate results Easy results analysis In a next step the evaluation was planned being presented also in Italian language. The questionnaire is mainly divided into three possible types of answers: Yes and no answers Range from completely correct to not correct Range from very important to not important Below the screenshots of the web based questionnaire are displayed (this web solution was already executable):
41 Figure: Start web based interview Figure: Page 1 of web based interview
42 Figure: Page 2 of web based interview
43 Figure: Page 3 of web based interview Figure: Page 4 of web based interview
44 Figure: Page 5 of web based interview Figure: Page 6 of web based interview
45 Figure: Page 7 of web based interview Figure: Page 8 of web based interview
46 Figure: Page 9 of web based interview Figure: Ending of web based interview 4. Planned next steps The web based questionnaire has to be extended before it could be used for the survey. As a next step it was planned to store the results in a relational database. The main table contains the answers. Each answer represents a row in the table. Before the answers could be analyzed the data first have to be exported. This can be done by implementing an export interface. It was planned to export the data via the browser.
47 D. General concept for the AlpFRail Information and Quality Management System 1. Introduction The overall objective of the Alpine Freight Railway project is to improve organisation and real goods transportation of intermodal unaccompanied traffic within the international Alpine region. Therefore transport shall be conceptual designed in a transport network giving companies within the logistic chain wider options and flexibility for future intermodal operations, including connections to Mediterranean harbours. Trains shall be able to transport different types of unaccompanied transportation vessels at the same time, e.g. semitrailers, swap trailers, containers (also for overseas) and silo trailers. Transportation of goods in sight of AlpFRail should happen as processes within one Alpine global area regarding and integrating specific local structures of Alpine countries or regions. 2. Objectives of the AlpFRail Information and Quality Management System Objectives and constraints described above provide the basis for the AlpFRail Information and Quality System. The overall objective of this system is to create transparency of freight flow for the customer in order to obtain a customerfriendly system containing features listed below: Get an optimised route from start to destination point Get price information for the complete carriage Get transparency for the actual position of specified goods Get information in case of exceptions 3. Conceptual Functionality of the AlpFRail Information and Quality Management System After evaluating existing systems with similar functionality and evaluation of customer needs (already described in chapters ahead), details about the conceptual functionality and general layout of the complete system can be characterised. The