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Swifter wagon repairs

Customers can now report damaged wagons via a new app, getting wagons back into service more quickly and improving availability

When customers order an empty wagon at DB Cargo, they can usually count on it being in full working order. In rare cases, however, a wagon may be in need of repair: the bogie may be snagging, a hinge may be stuck or a door may be dented. In those cases the wagon will either have been damaged on its way to the customer or the damage would have been caused during loading or unloading at the customer’s site.

Schadwagen-app

In either case, the customer should report the damaged wagon as soon as possible. DB Cargo will provide a replacement wagon or send a mobile team to repair the wagon on site.

DB Cargo’s new “Damaged Wagon App” now makes this report process digital. “Our aim is to speed up this process and to make it more transparent for all involved,” explains Jürgen Bosse, Head of myRailportal, whose team developed the new app in cooperation with customers. In the past, the process of reporting damaged wagons was rather laborious: customers had to fill out an A4 form and fax it to the customer service department and the office.

Now, however, the new app provides a clear and intuitive menu, via which the customer can submit a damaged wagon report with just a few clicks through their user profile. “The customer can also attach photos, providing Production with a better idea of the extent of the damage,” says Jürgen Bosse. A technician then decides whether the customer should be provided with a new wagon, or whether the repairs can be carried out by a mobile team.

Experience shows that most cases of damage to wagons occur when loading heavy and large-volume scrap. DB Cargo is therefore currently piloting the app with two customers from the scrap metal industry. “The damaged wagon app will simplify our handling process significantly,” says Thomas Grötzinger, Head of Logistics at Scholz Recycling GmbH. “Our staff will use the app on their smartphones. Any damage identified is photographed immediately, and the photos are submitted digitally to DB Cargo – which really speeds up the decision over whether to provide a new wagon.”

Schadwagen-app

Digitisation also offers one further advantage: all damaged wagon reports arrive at myRailportal, DB Cargo’s digital customer service interface. In future, all information about reports, damage and billing will be accessible to DB Cargo and its customers in this system. The app is scheduled to become available to all customers by the end of 2018. (mh)