Norfolk Southern selects INFORM to deliver stack and crane management for two US terminals

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INFORM has been selected to deliver their proven solution for yard management and optimization as well as their crane optimizer at Norfolk Southern’s Rossville and Austell terminals.

Norfolk Southern Austell Facility

Image Source: Norfolk Southern

In addition to delivering INFORM’s Yard Optimizer and Crane Optimizer add-on modules integrated into Norfolk Southern’s TOS, INFORM will also provide several modules from their purpose built Intermodal TOS to add several elements to enhance the stacked operations at both facilities forming what INFORM has called it’s “Optimization Plus” solution. The software will combine INFORM’s industry proven Syncrotess optimizers leveraging state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence and optimization techniques and INFORM’s 50-plus years of optimization experience.

Dr. Eva Savelsberg, SVP of INFORM’s Logistic Division said, “Expanding our US footprint with an innovative rail operator like Norfolk Southern shows both our commitment to strengthening and growing our US operations but as well our commitment to enabling our customers to leverage the best experiences from around the globe to drive their innovation.”

The software solution will be delivered to Norfolk Southern’s Rossville, TN and Austell, GA terminals. Both terminals are operating unique stacked yard configurations and different crane hardware proving that one size does not fit all. The Optimization Plus solution will be custom configured for both sites to enable each site to reach their unique operational and optimization goals.

Dr. Savelsberg added, “Our intermodal solutions have been used in Germany going on two decades and we’re very excited to be able to bring our stacked yard optimization and crane optimization experience to the North American market.”

INFORM’s Yard Optimizer provides the TOS with an optimizer allocation for each container to be positioned into the stacked yard in real-time. Working with cutting edge AI and Operations Research (OR) based algorithms, the configurable add-on module will assist the operational teams in decreasing unproductive container moves during peak operations as well as recommending proactive housekeeping moves during off-peak operations.

INFORM’s Crane Optimizer provides the TOS with an optimized allocation of transport jobs to each available crane operating within the stacked yard operations via an in-cab hardware device that’s purpose designed to streamline the crane operator’s workflows while decreasing stress and working to ensure that the optimized results of the Yard Optimizer are implemented efficiently.

INFORM specializes in AI and optimization software to improve operational decision making. Based in Aachen, Germany, the company has been in the optimization business for 50 years and serves a wide span of logistics industries including ports, maritime, and intermodal terminals. With a broad range of standalone and add-on software modules, INFORM’s unique blend of algorithmic based software expertise, rich industry experience, and big world thinking delivers huge value for their customers.

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