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  May 14th, 2024 | Written by

Advancements in Technology Revolutionize Global Freight Movement

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FreightWeekSTL 2024, an annual event hosted by the St. Louis Regional Freightway, highlighted cutting-edge technologies transforming the global movement of freight via rail and waterways. During Innovation Day, prominent speakers included Dr. Noel Hacegaba, Chief Operating Officer of Port of Long Beach; Jason Carter, CEO of UNCOMN; Corey Vasel, CTO of Intramotev; and Uri Yoselevich, CEO of DockTech.

Read also: FreightWeekSTL 2024: Unveiling Innovations and Trends Shaping Global Supply Chains

Supply Chain Information Highway: Enhancing Visibility and Efficiency

Jason Carter and Dr. Noel Hacegaba discussed the collaboration between UNCOMN and the Port of Long Beach, the nation’s second busiest container seaport, to develop the Supply Chain Information Highway. This initiative, started in 2021, aims to provide beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) with comprehensive data access to enhance visibility and streamline the movement of freight. The project includes a BCO Command Center for container tracking, a public track and trace capability, and a port operations dashboard. Integration with the Department of Transportation’s Flow Initiative is also part of the plan, ensuring better capacity understanding of national infrastructure.

Significant progress has been made, with partnerships extending to other port authorities and stakeholders. California recently awarded the Port of Long Beach nearly $8 million to support these advancements, aiming to address supply chain gaps, optimize operations, and reduce costs.

Autonomous Rail Cars: Intramotev’s TugVolt and ReVolt

Corey Vasel of Intramotev presented updates on TugVolt and ReVolt, battery electric rail platforms designed to enhance rail freight’s competitiveness against trucking. TugVolt, a self-propelled rail car, offers the flexibility of trucking with reduced capital and operational expenses. An example cited was a river port operator reducing trips from 35 truck round trips to seven TugVolt trips daily, saving significantly on costs.

ReVolt, a modified rail car assisting locomotives, stores and utilizes kinetic energy to aid in propulsion, reducing diesel consumption and emissions. The first ReVolt was successfully deployed at Iron Synergy’s Cumberland Mine in Pennsylvania, showcasing its potential to improve efficiency and sustainability.

Digital Twin Technology: DockTech’s Virtual Seabed Mapping

Uri Yoselevich of DockTech discussed their AI-driven Digital Twin technology, which creates real-time virtual representations of seabeds to aid ports and shippers. Initially launched during FreightWeekSTL 2023, this technology now supports numerous global ports, including a project with the USACE on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to enhance navigational safety.

DockTech’s innovations include solutions to prevent tugboat grounding and new market expansions in Ecuador, Peru, and Germany. Future goals include establishing a global partner base, developing regulations for crowdsourced bathymetry, and introducing air and water quality monitoring.


Moderated by Mary Lamie, Executive Vice President of Multimodal Enterprises for Bi-State Development, the “Innovations Gain Momentum” panel underscored the transformative potential of these technologies. They promise to make freight movement more efficient and environmentally friendly, benefiting regions like St. Louis and beyond.

Link to Session

FreightWeekSTL 2024 continues through May 17, featuring sessions with industry experts. For more information or to register, visit FreightWeekSTL.