Canadian National Railway (CN) has turned to Google Cloud in an effort to offer customers and supply chain partners enhanced visibility into planning, shipping, tracking and payment.

The intention is to modernise its supply chain as part of digital scheduled railroading.

This seven-year alliance will focus on providing better client experiences and refining CN’s technology infrastructure in the Cloud.

Both firms will work on new services to improve the North American railway system, as well as establish a new standard for the railway system.

The strategic partnership will unite Google Cloud’s technology and innovation culture with CN’s knowledge in the transportation and logistics space.

CN will engineer an intuitive digital platform, which will be driven by Google Cloud’s artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities.

The combination of CN’s industry expertise with Google Cloud’s knowledge in data analytics, AI, and ML is expected to promote co-innovation initiatives.

Furthermore, CN will shift the bulk of its digital infrastructure, including SAP applications, from on-premises to Google Cloud’s global network.

This move will enable CN to streamline its IT estate, increase efficiencies, as well as lower product delivery lead times.

CN executive vice-president and chief information and technology officer Dominique Malenfant said: “Our partnership with Google Cloud is central to our strategic plan, and reinforces our commitment to digitalising scheduled railroading and building the premier railway of the 21st century by investing in technologies that deliver high-quality service to customers, improve safety, and create capacity.”

In July this year, Long Island Rail Road incorporated a car capacity feature to Google Maps to offer seating availability data in real-time.