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Lineas, Europe’s largest private rail freight operator, has launched a huge digital transformation aimed at providing a fluid customer experience for its pan-European rail freight services. For this complex project, it engaged the services of VINCI Energies.

With slow-to-evolve infrastructure, heavy engineering, and particularly stringent regulations, especially in terms of safety, the rail sector suffers from significant levels of inertia. But this is a situation that Lineas fully intends to defy.

Europe’s largest private rail freight operator (Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy) has undertaken an ambitious digital transformation to support the Modal Shift. The aim is to provide fluid customer experiences for its pan-European door-to-door freight services in order to encourage more customers to modal shift from road to rail. Lineas is an heavy supporter of European Union’s climate neutrality targets, reducing road traffic congestion, improving air quality, health and safety.

To that end, in 2021, the operator engaged the services of Truewind, the low-code* business and a leading digital transformation provider acquired by VINCI Energies in Portugal in June 2023 and incorporated into its ICT brand, Axians.

Employing 200 people in Portugal, the United States, the United Kingdom, Benelux and Brazil, the company has long experience in applications development. A key partner in OutSystems** technology, Truewind (now Axians) worked on the development of a composable strategy*** designed to overcome the numerous computing barriers that often detract from a fluid customer experience.

The Control Towers

“Lineas was struggling to provide its customers with information such as precise planning data, current workload, estimated time of arrival and justifications for delays in a timely manner,” explains João César, Customer Manager at Truewind.

“The entire planning process through to execution was previously done using a combination of manual systems based on email and Excel spreadsheets, which were not scalable as the volume and complexity of services provided and the number of long-term contracts increased.”

Lineas has transformed its order planning and fulfilment into a competitive advantage.

Truewind enabled Lineas to achieve its objectives, which were to create a trio of Control Towers that ensure true end-to-end visibility and control of the supply chain and offer a tool for information sharing and collaboration between departments and partners, and to provide confidence and convenience for customers.

Lineas is now capable of a better collaboration and communication with suppliers through the Product and Network control tower, where solutions are designed based on the customer contract leading to optimized performance and cost-effectiveness, and by deploying these solutions through the End-to-End control tower where their efficient planning and execution takes place.

The self-service platform called MyLineas allows partners to have a centralized view of expected orders, a dashboard for scheduling and workflow management, and a real-time track and trace feature for real time information up to train, wagon and load level.

The platform allows for deviation management, real-time follow-up on train and delivery status, and provides insight into what is in execution and what may be delayed due to infrastructure works. It improves efficiency, reduces delays and exceptions, and increases transparency in the supply chain for all parties involved.

Optimised resource utilisation

“The Control Towers enabled Lineas to ensure fully transparent on shipping, discrepancy management, full track-and-trace and proactive notifications,” says João César. “And now they have end-to-end control over deliveries across their entire ecosystem of partners. The reliable data delivered by Lineas Digital Twin and managed in real time with the new system helps Lineas optimise its use of resources, including trains, wagons, external suppliers and personnel. Their customer satisfaction score has risen from 2.5 to 4.1 in just three months following the launch.”

With the Control Towers Lineas is now transforming its order execution into a competitive advantage by offering real-time end-to-end visibility of orders, improved collaboration with suppliers and customers, and more on-time deliveries. This performance owes a great deal to the “Agile Methodology” **** implemented by Truewind’s team, now integrated to Axians.


* Low-code is a method for developing software and applications that allows more people to contribute to development using a graphical interface and drag-and-drop functionality that require little or no coding experience.

** OutSystems is a low-code platform that provides tools to help businesses develop, deploy and manage multichannel business applications.

*** Composable strategy is a dynamic approach that focuses on assembling and rearranging various business capabilities to respond quickly to market changes, seize new opportunities, and optimize performance.

**** Agile Methodology is a collaborative process in which the development team and project stakeholders define the goals and the work to be done in a given “sprint” – a small block of planned work that generally takes between two and four weeks.