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

Portbase will introduce a separate status website on July 23, 2020. Via, 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 

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

First barge operators successfully go live with HCN Barge API

HTS Intermodaal and neska Container Line are the first barge operators to be connected via APIs to the Portbase service Hinterland Container Notification (HCN) Barge by their software suppliers Modality and Yellowstar. Both barge operators now automatically and quickly submit their pre-notifications from their own systems. Modality / HTS Intermodaal and Yellowstar / neska Container Line share their experiences.

Modality and HTS Intermodaal

‘The main advantage of the API technology is speed’
“Generally speaking, we are highly satisfied with the use of APIs,” says Evert van Hoven, Managing Director of Modality. “We have already been applying them in the interfaces between different customers for years. The main advantage of the API technology is speed. One click of the mouse and the information is immediately available in the system on the other side. With EDI, there is quite a time lag.”

Intensive cooperation
Barge operator HTS is one of Modality’s customers that has already been working with APIs for a longer period of time. Their registration as a pilot customer for HCN Barge API was very welcome. “HTS Intermodaal was keen to cooperate,” says Van Hoven. “They are investing a lot of time, experience and energy into helping us and Portbase from their daily practice.” Within a few months, a stable HCN Barge API was thus realised for HTS Intermodaal. “When determining the API specifications, Portbase also requested input from us and from HTS Intermodaal. We went back and forth. In this way, the final API specifications were established.”

All advance information directly from the own system
As a first step, HTS Intermodaal is now fully submitting the pre-notifications for the large deepsea terminals in the port of Rotterdam via HCN Barge API. All information about ship and cargo is directly communicated from HTS Intermodaal’s own system to Portbase via APIs. It is no longer necessary to use the web screens of HCN Barge to report ship rotations and to pre-notify ship visits. Van Hoven: “In the meantime, we have started initiating phase 2 for HTS Intermodaal, in which we are building additional fields so that the required information from HCN Barge API is automatically sent to Nextlogic for their integrated planning of all container barge visits to the port of Rotterdam. Step by step, we are working towards the end result.”

Connecting other barge operators next
“The cooperation between Portbase and us is good,” concludes Van Hoven. “There is daily contact and each week we have a progress meeting. As soon as phase 2 works flawlessly, we are planning to also offer the other barge operators who are our customers the option to switch to HCN Barge API.”

The main advantage of the API technology is speed. One click of the mouse and the information is immediately available in the system on the other side. With EDI, there is quite a time lag.

Evert van Hoven, Managing Director of Modality

Yellowstar and neska Container Line

‘We now receive much better information at much faster speeds’
“Recently, our IT systems were made suitable for the automatic processing of all the data that we receive from others and send out ourselves,” says Hans Buytendijk, Managing Director of neska Container Line. “HCN Barge API plays an important role in this. Therefore, it is imperative to make sure to be properly connected to this.”
Together with software supplier Yellowstar, the company has been a frontrunner in the realisation of a fully-fledged API connection. Buytendijk: “As a frontrunner, you are directly involved in the processes that are to be developed. After all, there is often a discrepancy between daily practice and the plans that are devised at the drawing board. In dialogue with all the parties involved, you are able to actually participate and thus achieve the correct implementation.”

Pre-notification without manual actions
neska Container Line now uses HCN Barge API to pre-notify at all the major deepsea terminals at the Maasvlakte. Yellowstar’s Chief Commercial Officer, Rianne Groffen: “neska Container Line no longer needs to perform any manual actions for pre-notification. This saves time and prevents errors. All necessary data about travel, visits and containers is sent to the terminals via HCN Barge API and is also sent back to neska Container Line in the same manner.”

Time for the customer
“In concrete terms, this means we receive much better information at much faster speeds; next, we can automatically process this,” explains Buytendijk the advantages. “Ultimately, this takes us to a higher level as a company. Our staff no longer need to spend their time on repetitive manual activities. Instead, they can focus on the customer and on coming up with creative solutions to relevant transport questions.”

Ready for Nextlogic
As soon as they receive the go-ahead, Yellowstar will also connect neska Container Line to Nextlogic via HCN Barge API. Groffen: “We are happy with the Portbase – Nextlogic collaboration and the choice of the latest API technology. Now, all we need to do for the upcoming integrated planning of all container barge calls to the port of Rotterdam is link neska Container Line with Portbase. That provides clarity and makes things easier for all parties involved.”

HCN Barge API ensures that we receive much better information at much faster speeds; next, we can automatically process this. Ultimately, this takes us to a higher level as a company. Our staff no longer need to spend their time on repetitive manual activities. Instead, they can focus on the customer and on coming up with creative solutions to relevant transport questions.

Hans Buytendijk, Managing Director of neska Container Line

Brexit: no extension of transition period; consequences in Dutch ports immediately after 31 December 2020

The UK formally left the EU on the 31st of January 2020. Since that date, a transition period has been in effect which will come to an end on the 31st of December 2020. During this period, all EU rules and laws continue to be applicable to the UK; virtually nothing will change for citizens and companies in the EU and the UK. They have time to prepare for the new agreements that the EU and the UK will establish regarding their future relationship after the 31st of December 2020.

Transition period

The transition period could have been extended had both parties agreed to do so prior to the 1st of July 2020. However, the British have indicated that they do not want to do this. Now that the deadline of the 1st of July has expired, it is no longer possible to extend the transition period under the Withdrawal Agreement.

New relationship

This means that the UK and the EU have until this autumn to reach consensus on the new relationship between both parties. The new agreements must come into effect after the transition period expires on the 31st of December 2020. They will first need to be ratified by the EU countries, the British Parliament and the European Parliament. If an agreement on a new trade relationship cannot be reached, then both parties will revert to the rules of the World Trade Organisation (including higher import duties and rules for product acceptance, for example) at the end of the transition period. Negotiations are currently in a difficult phase and the EU and the UK still substantially disagree on important issues. Both parties have committed to start negotiating more intensively.

Customs formalities a fact as of 1 January 2021

Irrespective of what the outcome of the negotiations may be, companies will always have to deal with customs formalities. Even if both parties do reach consensus on a trade relationship. Take countries such as Norway and Switzerland, for example. Extensive trade relationships exist with these countries and they are also subject to customs formalities such as declarations. Once the current transition period comes to an end on the 1st of January 2021, the free movement of goods to and from the United Kingdom will no longer be possible. This applies to both shortsea traffic and ferry traffic. Companies need to prepare for this new reality.

For more information, please visit

Easier reporting through Notification Dangerous Goods 2.0

On June 17, we will automatically transfer all customers who use the web screens to report dangerous goods aboard visiting ships to Notification Dangerous Goods 2.0. This new version has been fully designed with the new European laws and regulations that came into effect in 2018 in mind. EDI customers will be migrated at a later time.

Notification Dangerous Goods 2.0 was developed in consultation with a project group from the business community. As a result, it is optimally geared to daily practice. Submitting the required data for the Harbour Master becomes even more convenient.

Main changes
Notification Dangerous Goods 2.0 offers a number of major changes:

  • The new version of Notification Dangerous Goods uses a separate tab within Vessel Notification. You no longer need to switch between two services on your screen;
  • You start reporting the dangerous goods on board upon arrival of the ship. You specify the hazardous substance for each tank or hold. You also need to specify the condition of the relevant tanks or holds as well as any tanks or holds that are empty. As a result, the status of the entire ship is clear for the inspection. For the remainder of the call, it is only possible to perform actions on tanks and holds that have been reported upon arrival. For containers, you need to specify which hazardous substance they hold;
  • Reporting the status of the dangerous goods upon arrival of the ship is also possible by uploading an Excel form. In this case, you must ask the captain to complete the form;
  • For each berth, you next report the activities that take place: loading, blending, unloading, cleaning, inerting, ventilating or restowing;
  • Based on these reported activities per berth, the cargo on board and the condition of the tanks or holds are always automatically recalculated for each trip. This is important in relation to inspections, for example.

In Notification Dangerous Goods 2.0, it will no longer be possible to copy dangerous substances from the Portbase service Cargo Declaration Import. In the new service, you register the dangerous substances via the web screen (including Excel upload) or by means of your system link-up (IFTDGN).

Connecting for web customers
If you report the dangerous goods via the web screens, you will be transferred to the new service as of June 17. This means that for any ship calls that are created from that date onwards, you must use the new service to report dangerous goods. For these visits, a new ‘Dangerous Goods’ tab is available in the service Vessel Notification. For calls created prior to the transition date, you must report the dangerous goods through the current service. Further instructions are available on the Portbase Support Page.

Connecting for participants via EDI
If you report the dangerous goods via the system link-up, you will be migrated to the new service at a later time. Until that time, notifications are still submitted using the current service. You will be notified of the transition date in due course.

More information
Should you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to contact our Service Desk. You can reach them at +31 (0)88 625 25 25 or

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

Cargo Tracker offers real-time insight into import flows

2 June 2020 – Cargo Tracker, the Portbase Track & Trace service, is now available following a successful pilot project. Cargo Tracker provides shippers and forwarding companies with real-time status information about the containers they import via the port of Rotterdam. Cargo Tracker is ideal for parties who outsource their logistics and reporting obligations but still want insight into the cargo flow in order to adjust their own processes and planning accordingly.

Cargo Tracker is an extension of the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s Boxinsider product. Combining the Track & Trace activities of the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Portbase creates a more complete service and a clear proposition towards the market. Following the transfer to Portbase in April, a successful pilot phase was held with Boxinsider’s customers. As of today, the service has been converted into a paid Portbase service. Cargo Tracker is available via the web and as an API. With an API, you can build Cargo Tracker into your own software system in accordance with your own wishes.

“Cargo Tracker will save you time. A single screen gives you real-time insight into the status of ships expected in port, the time when your container(s) are unloaded and departure from most sea terminals. And if something changes during transport, you will receive a push notification so that you are always proactively informed. Which means you no longer have to keep an eye on all the terminal and shipping company sites.” (Peter Vink, Sales Manager)

A wider range of services for forwarders and shippers
Portbase already offers Track & Trace and goods information in the shape of Cargo Information 2.0, but this service is particularly suitable if you also fulfil other reporting obligations via Portbase. A limitation of Cargo Information 2.0 is that only one party can view the cargo data. Cargo Tracker offers a Track & Trace experience for anyone who wants to follow their container in the port of Rotterdam, even if your freight forwarder handles your reporting obligations for you via Portbase.

In the time to come, Portbase will continue to add additional functionality to Cargo Tracker, such as information about ship rotations, the presence of a follow-up declaration and possible inspection and release. Cargo Tracker will also be suitable for trailer tracking this year. From next year, more sea and inland terminals will also be connected.

Are you interested to know what Cargo Tracker can do for you? Read more here or contact us.

Tel. 0031 88 – 6252534


How is the port faring in this stormy Corona period?

In these uncertain times, Portbase wishes to offer insight into trends and developments in connection with the goings-on in and around the Port of Rotterdam. Through this insight, we hope to help businesses shed light on the current situation for those within their own organisations. The dashboard will be updated with new information from the Port Community System (PCS) every week.

Portbase en Nextlogic: New phase in path towards integrated planning

Portbase and Nextlogic are working together to achieve an optimal flow of container barges in the port of Rotterdam. In this joint Update, we will inform you about the current state of affairs regarding the path towards the implementation of the integrated planning.

In February, Portbase successfully migrated all barge operators that were connected to Barge Planning to the new service Hinterland Container Notification (HCN) Barge. Using the data from HCN Barge, the next phase has now been initiated. In this phase, Nextlogic is working together with the participating companies to conduct the first practice-based trials with integrated planning.

In this respect, we realise that the coronavirus has made current market conditions quite challenging. Less capacity is available at companies. In consultation with all participants, we are looking for the best solutions. The commissioning of the integrated planning has therewith been postponed for three months to September 2020. You can always consult the joint website Portbase and Nextlogic connect for the current planning.

In this Update:

Practice-based trials with integrated planning underway
On the 14th of April, Nextlogic started with concrete, practice-based trials with the integrated planning. 27 barge operators, deepsea terminals and empty depots have pledged their cooperation.

API link-up creates optimal benefit
An API link-up is essential for optimally benefiting from HCN Barge. Therefore, consult with your software supplier to make the switch as soon as possible!

Important role for skippers
Skippers have an important role to play in the implementation of the integrated planning. A separate page for skippers is now available on the website ‘Portbase and Nextlogic connect’.

Do you have any questions about the solutions of Nextlogic and Portbase or about what the collaboration means for you? At Nextlogic, you can contact Wouter Groen, +31 (0)6 53 91 44 53, At Portbase, please contact Remmert Braat, +31 (06) 24 67 70 08,

Would you like to read more? Read the full Update or subscribe to receive the next update directly by mail.

APMT MVII connected to backup service for road hauliers

Portbase makes every effort to ensure a reliable exchange of data 24/7. For this reason, APM Terminals Maasvlakte ll (APMT MVll) has now also been connected to the backup service for road hauliers. This means you can continue pre-notifying and working as normal should the Portbase services HCN Road or Road Planning EDI experience an unexpected disruption. Use of the backup service was previously already available for Rotterdam World Gateway (RWG), Hutchison Ports ECT Delta and Hutchison Ports ECT Euromax.

Request your password straight away
Click here to go to the backup service for road hauliers. You can directly request a password for access here. We recommend that you do this straight away. If necessary, you will then be able to use the backup service immediately. Do you want to know how the backup service for road hauliers works? Click here.

We will inform you by email as soon as the backup service becomes available to you. Generally, this is one hour after the regular service provision of HCN Road or Road Planning EDI has become unavailable.

How it works
You only use the backup service for road hauliers to submit pre-notifications that cannot wait until later. Similar to HCN Road / Road Planning EDI, you submit all the information necessary for pre-notifying your visit and container(s) to the backup service. Next, you will receive the details for delivery and/or collection by e-mail. Pre-notifications that you submit via the backup service are not visible in the Port Community System.

Request your password for the backup service today! This way, you are optimally prepared.

More information
If you have any questions, our Service Desk will be pleased to help. You can reach them on 0031 88-625 25 25 or


Impact of Covid-19 and continuity of service

The Dutch ports are now facing the start of the fifth week since the coronavirus measures issued by the Dutch government went into effect. The extension of the current measures means we will all need to cooperate remotely for an additional period and ensure that continuity of our service is maintained.

In recent weeks, the Port Community System has maintained operational stability and Portbase has been in contact with many different stakeholders to gain their perspectives on scheduled releases and upcoming implementations. Portbase intends to share the results of these talks and how they will affect players in the logistical chain in the near future. In the meantime, one reassuring sign is that the vast majority of organisations contacted by Portbase see no reason to drastically alter the planned dates for release and implementation. Last week, and following consultation with the clients involved, Portbase therefore launched the pilot phase of Cargo Tracker, a new service that offers insight into Track & Trace information.

Portbase is exploring available capacity and the feasibility of scheduled timelines within its own organisation as well. Depending on further measures, only certain specific timelines are expected to encounter delay. Parties will, for instance, be moving ahead with the implementation of IAMconnected, a new login method. After consulting various sector organisations, however, it has been decided that the roll-out will occur between now and the summer in order to give clients time to prepare. A complete overview of all projects and the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic will be provided soon.

In the coming period, Portbase will continue to dedicate itself to ensuring stability so that the digital infrastructure of the Dutch ports can continue to function as smoothly as possible. Portbase, along with its Service Desk and staff, naturally remain available to clients by phone and e-mail.

Logging into the Port Community System is changing

Security and convenience go hand in hand with IAMconnected
Logging into the Port Community System (PCS) is changing. In the future, everyone will be logging in with IAMconnected, a new service from Portbase that combines greater convenience with increased security. Portbase is aware that everyone is facing additional challenges right now in connection with the coronavirus pandemic. That being said, switching to the new login is extremely easy, we offer comprehensive guidance throughout the process and doing so will offer you concrete advantages.IAMconnected is the DigiD for port and logistics. In future, it will be possible to access multiple digital services with a single login. It will no longer be necessary to remember separate login details for each service. Logging in once with IAMconnected will be enough. The Port of Rotterdam (for My Port) and Customs are already working with IAMconnected. Portbase will shortly begin transitioning users of the PCS.What is happening?
In the near future, Portbase will be asking all PCS users to create a personal account on IAMconnected. It will take only a few minutes of your time. The new login procedure for the PCS is both easier and more secure. All you need to do is enter a username and personal password which you have chosen yourself. And if an employee changes jobs, the personal IAMconnected account is simply taken to the new employer.Step-by-step approach
An essential condition for the secure use of the PCS is that company and user data are up to date. As set out in the Portbase terms & conditions, customers themselves have an important responsibility in this regard. Portbase will support PCS users in:

  • carefully checking the company and user data in the PCS before the switch to IAMconnected;
  • making the switch to IAMconnected for the organisation and for the users.

This will take place in three steps:

  1. All primary contact persons at participating companies will receive a request to check the company data registered with Portbase and check them if necessary.
  2. Portbase will then ask the administrator of the PCS account (the so-called organisation administrator) within a company:
    • to check the registered users and update them if necessary;
    • to create an IAMconnected account for themselves first;
    • to submit their company as a participant in IAMconnected.
  3. Finally, Portbase will ask all users:
    • to create their own personal accounts in IAMconnected;
    • to link those accounts to the companies they work for.

The new secure and easy login procedure will then be complete. Portbase is offering a lengthy transition period. All participating companies and users will be given sufficient time to make the switch.

More information
For more information about IAMconnected, please visit our special support page. If you have any questions, our Service Desk will be pleased to help. You can reach them on 0031 88-625 25 25 or

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