New solution to optimise SBB Cargo vehicle and personnel deployment

IVU.rail optimisation solutions SBB Cargo has been using IVU.rail optimisation solutions since the beginning of 2021 which also include the newly developed algorithms for short-notice optimisation of run and vehicle working schedules. Fewer non-revenue trips, optimal vehicle schedules and standardised personnel rostering allow the company to respond to order amendments and transport volume changes, which are particularly common in the volatile freight transport sector.

The Swiss rail operator uses IVU.rail’s integrated planning products for some years now, allowing it to successfully maintain high levels of flexibility and efficiency under the notoriously hard–to–predict planning conditions in the freight transport sector. Now, optimisation algorithms that were jointly developed with mathematicians at LBW Optimization GmbH are also helping the company to run its operations.

SBB Cargo makes use of the full range of available optimisation support, from run and vehicle working scheduling and duty optimisation all the way through to automatic personnel dispatch. This gives planners at SBB Cargo all the benefits of semi–automated run and vehicle working scheduling, for example, allowing them to respond to deviations from annual planning caused by issues such as diversions, works or interim timetable adjustments.

In addition to conventional optimisation targets such as the reduction of non-revenue kilometres travelled, the intelligent algorithms now also enable existing schedules to be adapted flexibly in the volatile short-notice business. This allows SBB Cargo to take action such as adding additional runs to the scheduling even right before the day of production and fulfilling spontaneous transport requests that would have previously had to be delivered by road instead.

IVU.rail optimisation solutions enable SBB Cargo to simulate “different schedule variants and make data–based decisions to manage production resource. This solution, combined with duty schedule optimisation and automatic personnel dispatch, has significantly increased our degree of automation, and we are able to deploy our locomotives and staff even more efficiently. State-of-the-art algorithms assist planning experts with their work, which provides for even better solutions,” said Michel Thüring, Solution Engineer & Member of Executive Leadership Team IT at SBB Cargo.

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