Over the last decade, the railroad industry has been revolutionized by the growing power of technology. With sensor technology and mobile apps, shipments can be precisely estimated, which is beneficial to the efficiency of the rail freight. As the railroad industry adjusts to its digitization, the entire supply chain will reap benefits.
By integrating technology into this sector of the supply chain, railroad safety has significantly improved. According to Supply & Demand Chain, the rail industry has invested $100 billion into infrastructure within the last four years. In the past year alone, the mainline train accident rate fell 32 percent, becoming the safest year on record despite an 84 percent increase in rail traffic since 1981. This is significant considering that trains are moving double the amount of freight as they were nearly 30 years ago. Improvement in sensor technology is a large contributor to improved safety. By predicting and detecting equipment failure, sensor technology keeps railroad employees out of harm’s way.
Since shipments have become more efficient due to advancements in technology, fuel efficiency has also seen an increase. According to the Association of American Railroads (AAR), new diesel locomotives are equipped with devices that can assess and improve the engine performance. Ultimately, new locomotive technology has been responsible for reducing particulate emissions by 90 percent, and nitrogen oxide emissions have reduced 80 percent.
The use of technology such as sensors, mobile apps and predictive analytics within the railroad industry has created a domino effect for the entire supply chain. By improving efficiency and safety for this sector, the shipping industry has noticed improved fuel emissions and can sufficiently collect data that helps predict equipment failure.
SmartWay Transportation is a third party logistics provider based in Kansas City metropolitan area. To learn more about our services, visit our website.