API details


New version of Cargo Declaration Import available soon

Portbase will shortly be introducing an updated service Cargo Declaration Import. The existing service has been migrated and is therefore ready for the future. This meets a wish expressed by the Portbase customer panel of Shipping Companies & Shipbrokers. A pilot project with a number of container shipbrokers and bulk agents will now follow. If, after a month, everyone is satisfied with its operation, all the other shipbrokers and agents will also switch to the new service. You will be informed in good time when the pilot is over and we are ready to migrate you.

Key benefits of the updated service
• The service will be available as a separate tab next to the tabs for Vessel Notification and Notification Dangerous Goods. This means you will have a complete overview of your notifications for vessel and cargo on a single screen.
• You can easily search to see who notified what and when, and when the notifications were accepted by Customs. Access to the user history was a strongly expressed wish on the part of the customer panel.
• The service automatically determines whether an ENS and/or ATO needs to be notified to Customs. If an ENS is required first, once Customs has approved it, an ATO is also automatically sent to Customs.
• You can send Customs an update at any time. It is no longer necessary to wait until a previous notification has been approved.

The services Discharge Confirmation Report, Cargo Declaration Status Report and Discharge List were included in the update. The advantages of these services also work in combination with the updated Cargo Declaration Import.

If you notify import cargo using a system link,
you don’t need to change anything to the way the message (IFTMCS) is sent. The content of the message has not changed either. It is also possible to link via API, as an alternative to both the messages and the e-mail notifications.

Detailed user information will be made available via Portbase Support when the service goes live. There you will find a Quick Start Guide, answers to frequently asked questions and more.

Michiel de Ruiter

Shippers, shipbrokers & agents

Send an e-mail to Michiel de Ruiter

HCN Barge expanded with cut-off for unloading/loading list

Each unloading/loading list submitted by a barge operator will soon receive an automatic cut-off moment in the service Hinterland Container Notification (HCN) Barge. Following this, the status of this unloading/loading list is final and it is no longer possible to make any changes. Based on the containers that are correctly pre-notified (‘green’) at that time, the terminal is able to properly anticipate the call of the inland vessel. The introduction of the cut-off also constitutes the next step towards the go-live of the integrated planning by Nextlogic. By means of the final unloading/loading lists, they can further optimise these plannings.

The cut-off in HCN Barge will first be introduced as a pilot from the 3rd of November for all barge calls to RWG. The other deepsea terminals will follow. You will receive a separate notification should this result in any changes to their operational approach. Each terminal independently determines the cut-off moment that it wants to use in HCN Barge. These times may vary for loading empty, loading full, unloading empty and unloading full. For barges with a mixed cargo, the longest cut-off time serves as the determining factor in this respect.

Only ‘green’ containers on the unloading/loading list

After the cut-off in HCN Barge, ‘red’ containers are automatically removed (as usual). The result is a clean unloading/loading list with only ‘green’ containers. At this point, it is no longer possible to add or remove containers. However, the status of ‘green’ containers on a final unloading/loading list may still change to ‘red’, for example if a customs inspection is announced after a cargo cut-off.

Still reopen after cut-off?

If changes still need to be made to a final unloading/loading list for a barge operator, this can only be done by contacting the terminal directly. The terminal operator can then reopen the unloading/ loading list in HCN Barge. After this, the barge operator makes the changes and needs to close the unloading/loading list in HCN Barge.

Minimum call size

In HCN Barge, each terminal can specify a minimum call size per quay. If an unloading/loading list does not contain enough ‘green’ containers at the cut-off moment, it will remain open. HCN Barge continuously checks whether the minimum requirement is met. As soon as this is the case, the unloading/loading list is closed and passed on to the terminal operator.

More information

Do you have any questions? Ron Martens of Portbase is happy to tell you more. You can reach him via r.martens@portbase.com or +31 (0) 6 – 512 677 64.

What you can expect from Portbase this autumn

The port and logistics world continues to face major challenges. In today’s universally turbulent market conditions caused by Covid-19, Portbase continues to ensure that the Port Community System functions in a stable manner 24/7. With Get Ready for Brexit, we are also committed to a soft landing for the customs formalities that come into force for traffic with the United Kingdom on 1 January 2021. And it goes without saying that we are continuously working to further improve and expand all our other digital services. This Update tells you what you can expect from Portbase this autumn.

Collaboration with Port of Rotterdam, Portbase and Erasmus University for the port of the future

As the largest European port, Rotterdam is at the forefront of smarter, cleaner and more efficient production and organization of logistics. Information exchange and knowledge development are crucial. Existing economic sectors are under pressure from new economic activities and jobs are digitizing rapidly. New technologies and transitions in the field of energy supply and digitization offer unprecedented opportunities for economic activities in Rotterdam, the region and the hinterland. (International) students at Erasmus University Rotterdam are grasping the opportunity to prepare themselves for the port of future.

Port Management & Maritime Logistics

For several years now, the Port of Rotterdam Authority has been participating in the Minor Port Management & Maritime Logistics as a challenger and “client” for the integration assignment. In this way, international students are instructed to contribute to new digital and sustainable business models and value propositions. As of this year, Portbase has also joined the Minor program by making a few datasets available to students. Portbase has an enormous wealth of data and already offers a wide variety of intelligent digital services. In this academic year, Portbase has made a so-called Sandboxx available, where students will find three datasets that they can use for their assignment. To conclude the Minor, the students present their ideas to professionals from the Port Authority and Portbase.

New talent for the port of the future

With this collaboration, Portbase hopes to contribute to the development of new talent for the port of the future. On the one hand, Portbase wants to promote open innovation by sharing data and enabling other interested parties to build new propositions on the available data. Obviously with the permission of the data owners. On the other hand, Portbase wants to show students the interesting digital port world in the future after their time at Erasmus University. In this way, both the Port Authority and Portbase actively use their knowledge and network to ensure a better match between education and the business community, with more attention to IT jobs in the port.

Towards the renewed version of HCN Road: Pilots successfully underway

Soon, the updated version of Hinterland Container Notification (HCN) Road will become available to all road hauliers. Together with various other parties, we are currently conducting pilots, both for the use of HCN Road via the web and via the latest API link-ups. Immediately thereafter, we will also commence the pilot for customers with an existing system link-up such as EDI & API. Read more

rst noord

RST South is postponing the implementation of the new TOS

The news item below was published at the end of September. At the end of September you received the following notification. Unfortunately, RST South has to postpone the implementation of the new Terminal Operating System (TOS) to 7-8-9 November 2020. Read the full message here.

During the weekend of 17 and 18 October 2020, Rotterdam Short Sea Terminals South (RST South) is migrating to a new Terminal Operating System (TOS). As a result, operations at both RST South and RST North will be suspended for that weekend. You can read all the details here. After that weekend, RST South and RST North will serve you with a single joint TOS. Following the change, the use of several Portbase services will become mandatory (at least in part).

Hinterland Container Notification Barge (HCN Barge)
From 07:00 on 19 October 2020, you will now also be required to prenotify the containers of your inland vessels (as well as your visits) via HCN Barge. This applies to both RST South and RST North. This will further strengthen HCN Barge’s role as your central gateway to the entire port. Please note! RST does not yet allow you to make status requests for your containers or update your prenotifications.

Terminal code: NLRTM + RSTNO / NLRTM + RSTZU
EAN code: 8713755259860

Hinterland Container Notification Road (HCN Road)
From 07.00 on 19 October 2020, you will be able to prenotify your visits to RST South and RST North via HCN Road (and Road Planning EDI) under a single terminal with a single TOS. This prenotification is new for RST South. A driver who is properly prenotified via HCN Road (including customs documents) will complete his formalities at a self-service desk and will no longer have to queue up at the counter. As a result, his terminal visit will be 25% quicker.

In the course of 2021, RST will make the use of HCN Road mandatory. Even before that, RST will be introducing TAR codes. A properly prenotified driver with a TAR code will no longer have to leave his cabin upon arrival at the terminal. This will further reduce the turnaround time of his visit.

Please note! RST does not yet allow you to make status requests for your containers.

Terminal code: NLRTM + RST
EAN code: 8713755259860

Notification Import Documentation and Notification Export Documentation
For some time, you have had the option of prenotifying all your customs documents for both RST South and RST North via the Portbase services Notification Import Documentation and Notification Export Documentation. As of 1 January, 2021 RST is making prenotification of these documents mandatory for all shipments. From then on, you will only be able to collect and deliver your containers after the corresponding customs document has been digitally prenotified via Portbase. This applies to both Brexit and other containers. Not yet a participant? Go to www.portbase.com/brexit to find out how to sign up, also for the services Import Status and Track & Trace Export. Doing so will allow you to check the customs status of your containers with RST in advance, so preventing unnecessary journeys.

Further information
If you would like to know more about one or more of these Portbase services, check out Portbase Support for instruction videos, manuals and the answers to frequently asked questions.

Send an e-mail to Afdeling Sales

UWT will phase in implementation of Pre-notification via Portbase

Please note! The go-live date of Pre-notification via Portbase at UWT has been changed. You can visit UWT without prior notification until further notice. However, pre-notification is still required for night and weekend visits. This can be done using the known alternative methods. Please, read the updated information below.

The empty depots UWT Bunschotenweg and UWT Waalhaven will phase in the pre-notification via Portbase. The reason for this is to spread the pressure at the UWT desks. A pilot with four hauliers is currently running. Scaling up will gradually take place and more hauliers will be connected. After the pre-notification, you will automatically receive status information. For visits at night and in the weekend, pre-notification and the possession of a cargo card remain required for both UWT locations. This can be done via Portbase as well as via the known alternative methods.

The benefits
UWT Bunschotenweg and UWT Waalhaven are the first empty depots to start using the Portbase services Hinterland Container Notification (HCN) Road / Road Planning EDI. The benefits:
• You can optimally plan each visit to both empty depots
• Advance insight into the booking status and/or acceptance of an empty container
• Easy access to the depot via TAR code (Truck Appointment Reference)
• Smoother process at the service desk
• Faster trip across the depot
• One single portal for the entire port: pre-notification via Port Community System

TAR code and time slots
When pre-notifying, you also request a time slot from UWT. The TAR code that you receive via Portbase next offers your driver easy access to the depot. Please note! For the time being, only one container is linked to a TAR code.  UWT uses three time slots: one for during the day (6 am to 10 pm) one for at night (10 pm to 6 am) and one for the weekend (Saturday 6 am to 12 am).

Commercial Manager Willem Beskers of UWT: “Pre-notification and cargo card possession is mandatory for visiting our Bunschotenweg and Waalhaven facilities at night and during the weekend. For reasons of safety and efficiency, only drivers who have been pre-notified will be granted access at those times. In time, we will also make pre-notification mandatory during the daytime.”

Practical information
You will receive a separate message about when you can pre-notify your visit to both empty depots. Do you work from your own system via HCN Road API or Road Planning EDI? Then consult the table below for the necessary codes. We have also communicated these to your software supplier.

  EAN code Location code (edifact) Location code (XML/SMDG)
UWT Depot Bunschotenweg 8713755903541 NLRTM + UWT NLRTMUWT
UWT Depot Waalhaven 8713755047085 NLRTM + WHT NLRTMWHT

Do you have any questions? The Portbase Service Desk will gladly assist you. You can reach us at servicedesk@portbase.com and at +31 (0)88 625 25 25.

Deal or no deal: customs formalities are a fact

January 1 2021 is fast approaching! From that date on, customs formalities will be in effect for all cargo traffic with the United Kingdom. As a Portbase customer, you are already quite prepared for this. In the new Get Ready for Brexit newsletter, you can read what else you may need to or can do.

Portbase Support, for example, features useful tips for beginners in the Port Community System (PCS) and short instruction videos for using our services Notification Export Documentation, Notification Import Documentation, Track & Trace Export and Import Status. This allows you to familiarise yourself with these services in a timely manner so that you are fully ready on the 1st of January 2021!

Furthermore, we would like to draw your attention to the following:
• An additional overarching terminal contract is required for the use of Notification Import Documentation at the shortsea and ferry terminals. Have you already arranged this? If not, you can request this terminal contract from Portbase via sales@portbase.com and return it signed.
• If you work via a system link-up, it is essential that you use the most recent versions of Notification Import Documentation and Notification Export Documentation for the pre-notification of customs documents at shortsea and ferry terminals via Portbase. Verify this with your IT department or software supplier. You can find the relevant EDI specifications here.

We wish you the best of luck with your Brexit preparations. Together, we can prevent delays!

Real-time, around-the-clock insight into Port Community System availability

Portbase will introduce a separate status website on July 23, 2020. Via status.portbase.com, all parties will be able to easily check the real-time availability of the Port Community System (PCS) and all PCS services at any moment of the day or night. At the same time, Portbase is improving the information provision at the moment when an actual disruption occurs. In the near future, PCS users and other stakeholders will be able to receive notifications regarding such events via both email and the newly available options of SMS, RSS feed and webhook. Portbase strives to optimally inform the community at all times. 

Among the major points for improvement identified in Portbase’s most recent customer satisfaction survey was the provision of information regarding disruptions in the PCS. While the services have a high rate of availability (99.95%), every disruption is one too many. Portbase understands that, at such times, PCS users and other stakeholders want to be informed immediately. At the same time, the source of a disruption sometimes lies outside the PCS, blocking the delivery of digital messages. Such external issues might occur with the provider, in the systems of other links in the logistical chain, and so on.  

Real-time, around-the-clock insight  

Portbase strives to be fully open and transparent in its dealings with clients and other stakeholders. The introduction of a central status website represents a further step toward this objective. This website displays the current status of every Portbase service in real time. It will also inform users of scheduled maintenance. As a result, all parties will have access to the most up-to-date information regarding the availability of the PCS. 

Updates via other channels in addition to email 

In the event of scheduled maintenance or a disruption, Portbase is always pro-active in informing PCS users and other stakeholders by email. What’s more, it is now implementing a number of improvements: 

  • Instead of sending an automatic update every 45 minutes during a disruption, Portbase will send notifications only when there has been a status change. This will eliminate excessive emails to users and stakeholders. 
  • In addition to email, it is now possible to receive notifications via other channels as well. These channels include SMS, RSS feed and webhook (which makes it possible to display the information from the status website directly in the user’s own digital environment). All parties will be able to manage their own message preferences. 

Those who are not currently receiving disruption notifications will be able to register easily. When registering, users will be able to indicate the services on which they would like to receive information. Users will also be able to choose from various channels. The full communication protocol to be used in the event of PCS unavailability can be found here. 


Portbase is aware of its clients’ strong desire for a single source of insight into the availability of all systems connected to the PCS (Customs, container terminals, etc.). The new status website will serve as a foundation for taking further steps in this direction. 

Further information 

Any questions? Visit our support page or contact our Service Desk. They can be reached at +31 (0)88 625 25 25 or servicedesk@portbase.com. 

Heeft u vragen over de services of het Port Community System? Neem dan contact op met de Service Desk.

Send an e-mail to Service Desk