Samskip: Setting the New Standard for Intermodal Terminal Operations

Success Story

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Upgrading to a new TOS is a major project and an ambitious undertaking for any terminal operator. After all requirements were specified, a roadmap was outlined that ensured a smooth Transition from the old to the new system. In March 2018, the go-live was successfully completed. What Samskip got was not only a full-blown, state-of-the-art TOS, but a TOS with optimization modules powered by algorithms.

A humble beginning

In 1990, when the World Wide Web was launched, Samskip was founded in Iceland. What started as a local shipping company quickly turned into a global logistics company, offering transport and related services by land, sea, rail, and air with a particular focus on cost-efficient, reliable, and environmentally friendly transport. Quite recently, their multimodal division set the new standard when it comes to high-efficient, intermodal terminal operations..

Part of the world’s largest inland port

Samskip van Dieren Multimodal operates its own intermodal terminal in the Port of Duisburg, Germany. The Port of Duisburg is the world’s largest inland port and located in the heart of Europe's largest consumer market, with more than 30 million people over a radius of 150 km (93 mi).

Samskip’s 140,000 sq. m (1.5 million sq. ft) facility is equipped with nine tracks, each 750 m (2,460 ft) in length, two gantry cranes spanning six tracks each, three reach stackers, and two terminal tractors capable of pulling various trailers. Eighty-one trains are handled per week. The annual volume is currently at 110,000 units with plans to expand this to 200,000 within the next two to three years. Approximately 60% of the business is serving Samskip’s own network; the remaining 40% includes other big intermodal players.


Samskip was challenged to manage their terminal operations by means of software that on paper was labeled a “TOS” but in reality, it was more a Transport Management System with some built-in TOS functionalities. These functionalities were limited and, what’s more, the system was only a manual support tool for the planners and dispatchers. The manual train load planning process, in particular, proved to be a significant bottleneck to further growth.

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