May 17, 2020

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise selected to provide communications for world's longest railway tunnel

rail freight
European logistics
3 min
Different sections of the track surrounding the Gotthard Base Tunnel, Switzerland
Follow @SamJermy and @SupplyChainD on Twitter.Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise switching technology has been chosen for the 57 kilometres long Gotthard Base Tu...

Follow @SamJermy and @SupplyChainD on Twitter.



Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise switching technology has been chosen for the 57 kilometres long Gotthard Base Tunnel construction project in the Swiss Alps.

Its industrial-grade switches are being used to equip the tunnel with a fixed, converged voice and data communications network to serve as the basis for vital logistics, monitoring, telephony and personnel management during the construction phase of the project (LP 23) and for the tunnel accomplishment (LP 61).

As part of the New Rail Link through the Alps, the Gotthard axis is Switzerland’s biggest construction project to date and the Base Tunnel is due for completion in December 2016. The new north-south transalpine rail project is the first flat route through the Alps and aims to increase total freight capacity to meet growing demand and move freight volume from road to rail.

It will also create a high speed passenger link across the Alps which is set to benefit national and international travellers in the area between southern Germany and North Italy.

Bruno Kolmann,Channel Sales Manager at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Switzerland, said: “The new tunnel is already the longest railway tunnel in the world at 57km, but for Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, the total tunnel system length is actually 152km when you include things such as access tunnels and cross passages.

“It is really a fantastic challenge to cover such an area with a fixed network. For this project we have managed to create a state of the art network which has both the robustness to withstand the environmental and physical demands, and is flexible enough to be adapted and extended to fulfil present and future needs.”

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise's close-cased OmniSwitch 6855-14 was selected for use in the tunnel after rigorous testing proved it fulfilled the strict reliability and security criteria for the project. The switches were found capable of withstanding the levels of dust, temperature and humidity found in the tunnel.

More than 500 Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise switches and 620 telephones enabled with visual signalling are being installed in the Base Tunnel and surface buildings to form the basis of the network that remotely controls and monitors tunnel systems.

These include ventilation, drainage and lighting, as well as supporting location based personnel systems for use during maintenance work or incident management. The installation of the network was undertaken by Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise's business partner ALPIQ-InTec.

Thomas Schwab,Network Engineer at Alpiq InTec Ost AG, said: “Working on such a large and complex infrastructure project such as the Gotthard Tunnel, where safety and security are paramount, requires absolute confidence in both the equipment used and the design of the network.

“This installation has a level of network redundancy that ensures minimal risk of failure, and resilience of components to create a unique network solution that meets the exceptionally high standards that this project has set.”

Business Partner ALPIQ-Intec is actively engaged in the energy services sector and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alpiq Holding with 80 locations spread throughout the country. Overall, Alpiq InTec covers the full range of services, with expert solutions in every discipline. All services in the fields of building technology and facility management are amalgamated under one roof to form Alpiq InTec Ost AG.

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Jun 8, 2021

DHL Claim Multi-Sector Collaboration Key to Fighting COVID

3 min
Global logistics leader DHL’s new white paper highlights what supply chain professionals have learned one year into the pandemic

Since January, global logistics leader DHL has distributed more than 200 million doses of the COVID vaccine to 120+ countries around the globe. While the US and UK recently rolled out immunisation plans to most citizens, countries with less developed infrastructure still desperately need more doses. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which currently has one of the highest per-capita immunisation rates, the government set up storage facilities to cover domestic and international demand. But storage, as we’ve learned, is little help if you can’t transport the goods.


This is where logistics leaders such as DHL make their impact. The company built over 50 new partnerships, bilateral and multilateral, to collaborate with pharmaceutical and private sector firms. With more than 350 DHL centres pressed into service, the group operated 9,000+ flights to ship the vaccine where it needed to go. 


Public-Private Partnerships

With new pandemic knowledge, DHL just released its “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” white paper, which examined the role of logistics and supply chain companies in handling COVID-19. As Thomas Ellman, Head of Clinical Trials Logistics at DHL, said: “The past one year has highlighted the importance of logistics and supply chain management to manage the pandemic, ensure business continuity and protect public health. It has also shown us that together we are stronger”. 


Multisector partnerships, DHL said, enabled rapid, effective vaccine distribution. While international scientists developed a vaccine in record time—five times faster than any other vaccine in history—manufacturers ramped up production and logistics teams rolled out distribution three times faster than expected. When commercial routes faced backups, logistics operators worked with military officers to transport vaccines via helicopters and boats. 


In the UAE, the public-private HOPE Consortium distributed billions of COVID-19 doses to its civilians as well as other countries in need by partnering with commercial organisations such as DHL. For the first time, apropo for an unprecedented pandemic, logistics companies made strong connections with public health and government.


“While the race against the virus continues, leveraging the power of such collaborations and data analytics will be key”, said Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “We need to remain prepared for high patient and vaccine volumes, maintain logistics infrastructure and capacity, while planning for seasonal fluctuations by providing a stable and well-equipped platform for the years to come”. 


How Do We Sustain Immunisation? 

By the end of 2021, experts estimate that we need approximately 10 billion doses of vaccines—many of which will be shipped to areas of the world, such as India, South Africa, and Brazil, that lack significant infrastructure. This is perhaps the greatest divide between countries that have rolled out successful immunisation programmes and those that have not. As Busch noted, “the UAE’s significant investments in creating robust air, sea, and land infrastructure facilitated logistics and vaccine distribution, helping us keep supply chains resilient”. 


Neither is the novel coronavirus a one-time affair. If predictions hold, COVID will be similar to seasonal colds or the flu: here to stay. When fall comes around each year, governments will need to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible to ensure long-term immunisation against the virus. This time, logistics companies must be better prepared. 

Yet global immunisation, year after year, is no small order. To keep reinfection rates low and slow the spread of COVID, governments will likely need 7-9 billion annual doses of the vaccine to meet that mark. And if DHL’s white paper is any judge of success, multi-sector supply chain partnerships will set the gold standard.

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