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The test run has demonstrated the feasibility of SIMPLE, a tech platform that will be available to all participants in the logistics chain from January 2024.

The Altia Control Tower® solution, integrated with SIMPLE, has tracked goods from Algeciras to the Zaragoza Plaza freight terminal, owned by Adif. It has also provided data that adds value to the transport chain.

In collaboration with Adif, we have successfully completed a pilot project that has confirmed the effectiveness of the SIMPLE tech platform to track goods on rail journeys.

This initiative is the first step towards implementing rail freight tracking systems, which will be a major boost to rail as the most sustainable option to transport containers.

Iago Rodríguez-Quintana

“Until now, there was no rail freight movement traceability for participants in the chain, so this project with Adif and its SIMPLE platform is a very significant milestone, which is also aligned with the European sustainability strategy that seeks to boost rail transport in logistics.”

Iago Rodríguez-Quintana · Altia Control Tower Manager® 

“This service will make it easier for customers to know where their goods are at all times, to know when they arrive and can be picked up, and it will help freight terminals to better plan and organise their resources. Ultimately, it will bring greater efficiency to the multimodal transport chain.” 

Javier García Fortea · Deputy Commercial Director for Logistics Services at Adif

Javier García Fortea

Traceability from Algeciras to Zaragoza

The pilot project was carried out on a route from the port of Algeciras in the south of Spain to the Zaragoza Plaza freight terminal in the north, owned by Adif. The Altia Control Tower® solution, in collaboration with SIMPLE, has tracked the journey from the time the owner of the goods placed the rail transport order to its arrival at the destination, providing data that adds value to the transport chain.

Altia Control Tower® records complete and detailed information on every single transport event along the route, as well as the time taken. The system tracks arrival, passage and departure at the different intermediate stations and at the origin and destination terminals, as well as intermediate events related to how the container is handled at each station (train changes, track movements, etc.).

Among the tracking data recorded by SIMPLE, it shows when the goods leave the terminal, the shipping route, when they arrive at their destination, when they are unloaded and when they are received.

The project lasted seven months and also involved the collaboration of Marcotran, as the train contractor, and Transfesa Logistics, as the railway operator. SICSA, CSZP and Alsa also participated as service providers at the Zaragoza Plaza terminal, Terminal Intermodal Centro, Fesava and the Port Authority of Algeciras. The joint collaboration of all these companies has made it possible to fully monitor the goods from origin to destination.

This initiative is aligned with the Spanish sustainability strategy Mercancías al Tren (“Goods by Rail”), which encourages large shippers to use rail for their logistics as a more sustainable option.

SIMPLE, available for the entire logistics chain by 2024

The results of this pilot project have demonstrated the feasibility of the SIMPLE platform, which will become operational in January 2024 for all supply chain participants.

SIMPLE (Simplification of Processes for a Logistic Enhancement) is promoted by Adif, Puertos del Estado (the Spanish company that manages state-owned ports) and the Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (also known as Mitma). It is a pioneering initiative that aims to achieve a comprehensive exchange of digital documents, data and information flows between all participants in the supply chain.

This technological platform will ensure interoperability between the different modes of freight transport and nodes, as well as improve the management of goods and competitiveness in logistics. It will reduce stocks, optimise routes, improve processes, reduce costs, and enhance efficiency and safety.

The platform is a strategic project that aims to place Spain at the forefront of technology in Europe. The aim is to take advantage of the possibilities offered by digitalisation to improve the efficiency and sustainability of freight transport, as promoted by the European Commission in the framework of the Digital Transport & Logistics Forum (DTLF).

Furthermore, this project is fully aligned with the Mitma’s Safe, Sustainable and Connected Mobility 2030 strategy, Axis 6 in particular, and will contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), supporting decarbonisation and the development of sustainable and environmentally friendly multimodal logistics chains.