ÖBB RCG and Bundesforste digitalise rail process for timber transport

Working together, ÖBB and Bundesforste have digitalised the rail process for timber transport, resulting in high efficiency and flexibility as well as better climate protection.

ÖBB RCG digitalisation

Credit: ÖBB RCG

The ÖBB Rail Cargo Group (ÖBB RCG) is investing in the futureproofing of rail freight transport, aiming is to fundamentally transform the rail system. The belief is that this will result in higher efficiency and flexibility, as well as simplified access to the rail system which should make it easily accessible for new groups of customers, all with climate protection at the forefront of thinking.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Österreichische Bundesforste (Austrian Federal Forests) for years of fair and respectful collaboration,” Clemens Först, CEO of ÖBB RCG, said. “We are proud to have designed and digitalised the railway logistics process together in a way that looks to the future.”

Together with the Austrian Federal Forests, the ÖBB RCG have digitalised the entire rail logistics process for timber transport, from electronic consignment notes and empty wagon orders to future transport status messages and ETA forecasts (information about the estimated time of arrival). Networked data transfer and the elimination of media discontinuities in rail logistics have sustainably optimised and simplified processes. Internal and external processes have been accelerated and at the same time rendered more effective and transparent. In Austria alone, around 1.1 million tonnes of CO2 and approximately 4.4 million truck journeys are avoided due to rail freight transport by the ÖBB RCG each year.

In the last few years, the Austrian Federal Forests have transported an average of around 300,000 cubic metres of harvested timber by rail, which corresponds to around a quarter of all timber transport of the company’s business. The long-term goal is to transfer timber transport from road to rail wherever sensible and possible. The loading of the timber took place primarily in the region of the Vienna Woods, in Styria and in central Salzkammergut. In 2021 alone, the Austrian Federal Forests were able to save 2,817 tonnes of CO2 (CO2 equivalents) through environmentally friendly transport by rail with the ÖBB RCG in comparison to truck transport. This corresponds to approximately 9,800 truck journeys avoided in just one year.

“The Austrian Federal Forests take on a lead role across Europe with the digital offensive as the whole process chain is now fully digitalised from operational planning to timber harvest through to logistics and billing,” Rudolf Freidhager, CEO of the Austrian Federal Forests, said. “With ÖBB RCG, we have a high-performance logistics partner on board who ensures environmentally friendly transport.”

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