HITACHI and Dutch supplier Intermodal Telematics (IMT) have agreed an exclusive long-term partnership that will add IMT’s monitoring sensors to Hitachi’s existing digital freight service portfolio.

The agreement between the two companies will allow Hitachi to offer rail freight operators a solution which provides real-time monitoring to improve efficiency and safety.

Hitachi says the European and North American markets are the initial focus for the partnership.

The sensors can be used on wagons and containers and verify the exact location of the wagons, the loading status, the open or closed condition of the doors and hatches, the temperature and pressure of the freight and the health condition of bogies and wheelsets. The data is then sent to the cloud via a solar powered GPS device, which enables real-time monitoring of the condition of the train and its freight as well as alerting operators to potential issues. Artificial Intelligence (AI) analytics are used to optimise the efficiency and safety of freight services.

Hitachi says that the use of telematics can provide operators with the information needed to control supply chains more efficiently and respond more quickly.

The partnership will complement Hitachi’s acquisition of British rail technology firm Perpetuum last year. Perpetuum provides digital solutions designed to improve train reliability and performance, including remote condition monitoring to detect emerging damage in bogies.

IMT will now exclusively offer the Perpetuum sensor solution in the freight market, which Hitachi says will further broaden IMT’s full portfolio in asset and freight monitoring for the international rail market.