Pacific National Rail introduces a new smartphone application and an enhanced online customer interface system to boost customer service across its freight business. Pacific National is a wholly owned subsidiary of Asciano Limited.
The custom-built app and online system will provide customers with access to real-time data on freight movement and delivery along with their service details, container location and freight terminal activity.
Catering to the specific needs of customers across Pacific National Rail’s freight business, the custom smartphone app allows customers to check bookings and access real time information on service details, train performance, container or bulk freight locations and truck turnaround at major freight terminals. The application will provide real time container location searches for all containers in the Pacific National network. Designed, built and tested in-house, the smartphone app is available for download through a number of online app stores.
Enhancements to FreightWeb, Pacific National Rail’s internet-based customer interface system include a new module called Freight Tracker that presents a real time display of customer freight-specific train performance or the current ground location of the freight on an interactive map of Australia. The map displays coloured icons showing train and freight locations.
Clicking on an icon for that train or location will allow the customer to access a full list of freight carried, along with details of each train’s on-time performance. Freight Tracker also provides bulk commodities customers with the functionality to ‘unload’ their wagons online after the train has arrived at its destination.
The new Freight Tracker function uses real train performance information gathered from GPS tracking of each locomotive. For a Pacific National train travelling from Melbourne to Perth, the information can update in excess of 100 times during the journey providing a status update at least every two hours.
Director of Pacific National Rail, Angus McKay explains that the new initiatives have resulted from feedback provided by customers in a recent satisfaction survey. A key finding was the need to maintain better communication with the customer about the status of freight and services. Customers also sought better interaction.
Pacific National Rail’s two new initiatives demonstrate their commitment to improving customer service across all operations while investing in new technology to position the business for the future.
Listing out the advantages of the new initiatives, Mr McKay said the tracking of freight movements through the new technology will improve their customers’ ability to interface with the company and enable them to accurately plan for the efficient movement of their freight across their supply chain. The initiatives also build on Pacific National Rail’s commitment to investing in new technology as a means to position rail as a preferred mode of transport within Australia’s overall intermodal freight mix.