• The goods are ­transhipped from ship to rail in the PSA Genova Pra’ terminal.

23.06.2020 By: Marco Wölfli

Artikel Nummer: 32302

Interlinked railways

Circle’s software solutions are increasingly being used in the context of railfreight operations these days. The company has ascertained a particularly promising potential at the interface between the supply chain’s maritime and rail legs.



Rail’s share of the Italian goods transport market comes to approximately 14%, and there have been a number of initiatives in place for a while now to improve this figure. The Italian software developer Circle is also increasing its efforts to implement its digital solutions in the railfreight segment.



Greater security, less errors

Various players that operate in the Genova Pra’ intermodal terminal recently started using Circle’s digital platform to organise and process their goods transport services. Many goods that arrive in Genoa on containerships are transhipped to railfreight options in the port city for on-­forwarding to destinations in Italy as well as to regions further north. Circle’s logistics software is also used for the ‘Mittelmeerzug’ (MMZ, Mediterranean train), for example, which shuttles between Genoa and Basel. “­Every document needed for such a transport is fed into our system digitally,” Circle CEO and founder Luca Abatello told the ITJ recently. In the past these exchanges were frequently executed by e-mail or also by tele­phone, a process that was neither error-free nor secure enough.


E-bridge is another rail project that ­Circle is pushing ahead with in the ports of Genoa. Goods transport by rail became ever-more important in the gateway after the ­Morandi Bridge collapsed in ­August 2018. The e-bridge solution allows the port authority to simulate rail transport solutions. This makes the time and place of arrival of every train visible, as well as the cargo it is carrying. Together with ports of Genoa and Uirnet, Circle has been continuously deve­loping e-bridge since its introduction. Rail solutions have been much more necessary in Genoa since the bridge disaster almost two years ago, Abatello added.



Infrastructure operator on board

The software firm is intensifying the rail options it offers on Italy’s eastern coast too. In the port of Trieste, which handled around 10,000 trains last year, the Circle subsi­diary Info.Era provides operators with a ­dashboard that supplies comprehensive information on rail transport options. ­Trieste’s port community uses it to organise and manage train organisation and tracking; integration with the rail network firm RFI is ongoing. The port and the infra­structure manager use ­Circle’s tool to exchange timetables and operational information, amongst other things. Once the service has proven its worth Abatello hopes to help other ports as well as inland facilities in Italy to exploit the potential of the railways.