Digital CT booking portal Modility starts pilot operation

Modility starts operational service as a new booking site and marketplace for Combined Transport (CT). From now on, train operators can market their CT services via modility.com and freight forwarders can easily find and book them. The portal is the result of a cooperation between several market participants and aims at simplifying access to Combined Transport as a climate-friendly transport alternative.

The initial start of Modility is supported by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) in the context of their ‘Future Rail Freight Transport’ funding program.

For the first time, Modility enables users to find, plan and directly book free transport capacities from train operators through an open marketplace. “The idea is to provide a neutral solution throughout Europe,” says Ralf-Charley Schultze, President of the European CT industry association UIRR. “The Corona crisis shows us that the dynamics in Combined Transport are increasing and that the demand for short-term and flexible transport bookings is growing, especially for the first and last mile on the road”.

By providing easy access to intermodal transportation, Modility aims to contribute to the necessary modal shift and to strengthen CT as an efficient and eco-friendly transport system. Therefore, the project is funded by the BMVI. Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer: “We want to shift more freight transport from road to rail. With the federal program ‘Future Rail Freight Transport’ we support companies that want to invest in digitalization, automation and modern vehicle technology. Our program is a door opener for new services, new customers and new markets. An effective innovation and investment accelerator for environmentally friendly rail logistics”.

A solution by the market for the market

The initiator of the project is Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA), which founded Modility as a corporate spin-off in July 2020 and developed the project together with twelve cooperation partners from the transport and logistics sector. “Modility was developed by the market for the market,” emphasizes Lars Neumann, HHLA’s Director of Logistics, Strategy and Business Development, “The envolved partners represent a cross-functional set of CT companies in order to take the complex needs and challenges of the market into account right from the beginning”.

New business potential for operators and forwarders

Modility provides CT operators an additional online sales channel to market routes as well as remaining capacities with dynamic pricing and improve train capacity utilization. “We have supported Modility from the very beginning and in doing so, we are pleased to create a digital window through which we can offer our customers another innovative access to CT. This will enable us to reach new customer segments,” says Dirk Baerbock, Head of Multimodal Solutions Europe at Hellmann Worldwide Logistics. With just a few clicks the offers can be viewed and booked online. The operators cockpit gives full control over prices, capacities and bookings at all times.

Forwarders can use Modility to get information about CT routings, match their demands to current offers and book the right transport option in a streamlined process. The easy access to transport alternatives gives them the opportunity to react flexibly to changing freight volumes and short-term requests. The booking process is based on an intuitive user interface following known concepts from the B2C sector which also enables companies without CT experience to benefit from the system advantages of intermodal transports.

The functional scope of Modility will be continuously expanded over the next few months. Among other things, haulage companies will be able to offer pre- and on-carriages directly via Modility in the future, thus creating additional transport options on the first and last mile.

Modility will be further developed jointly in the future

With today’s start, users will already be able to book a large number of routes via the portal. Modility can be used free of charge and fees will only incur for successfully transacted transports. During the pilot phase, the solution will be further developed together with market players in line with the specific market requirements.

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