Tips for optimal Road Planning usage

For the pre-notification of containers at the new terminals at Maasvlakte 2 (APM Terminals Maasvlakte II, RWG), the service Road Planning offers a number of additional options. Proper usage makes pre-notification and handling at the terminals even easier.

Easily make changes and cancellations
A pre-notification for the new container terminals at Maasvlakte 2 can be easily altered if necessary and then re-submitted in Road Planning. This applies to both the online version and the system interface. It is therefore unnecessary to create an entirely new pre-notification. In the event a visit will not be taking place, it is possible to cancel the pre-notification as well.

Proper usage of TAR codes
With each pre-notification for the new container terminals at Maasvlakte 2, you will also need to reserve a time slot. Through Road Planning the terminals will issue you a Truck Appointment Reference (TAR) for this slot. This is your reference number that will allow access to the terminal within a certain period of time. Multiple containers can be linked to a single TAR. This is done by entering the TAR you received for pre-notification of the 1st container when submitting the pre-notification for the 2nd (or 3rd, etc.) container you intend to pick up or drop off within the previously reserved time slot.

Do you have two existing pre-notifications with two different TARs (and thus two time slots) that you wish to combine in a single visit? If so, edit the TAR of one pre-notification to match the TAR of the other pre-notification. By doing so, you link the two pre-notifications to a single TAR and a single time slot.

Still prefer to use multiple TARs? In that case your driver will need to exit and re-enter the gate at the terminal for each new TAR.

Introduction of improved procedure for complaints

Every day, we aspire to serve you well and to continue to improve our services. Although we do our best, sometimes things can go wrong. This is not something we are pleased with, but it’s not something we are willing to ignore either. On the contrary: we would appreciate your feedback. Do you have a complaint concerning one of our Portbase services, our customer service in general, or about one of our employees? Please let us know. That way, we really can do things better!

Complaint form on our website
Registering a complaint through our website is simple. Under the menu heading ‘Contact’ you will find a complaint form. This form can be completed and submitted to us. You will receive our response within five workdays, even if we have not found the definitive answer or solution to your problem within that time frame.

‘Use of Portbase provides assurance about shipping’

Since the beginning of 2013, German forwarder Leschaco has been a satisfied customer of Portbase services such as the service Notification Export Documentation. The globally operating company has headquarters in Bremen and operates in all branches of logistics services. “We also use the Port of Rotterdam, of course. That applies to chemical cargoes in particular,” explains Susanne Lotz, Team Manager for EDI/ Development. “For the transportation that we do for customers in the South-west and west of Germany, Rotterdam’s easy accessibility by water is an advantage. For shipping companies, it is often the last loading port in north-west Europe too. And it goes without saying that Rotterdam is our first choice for Dutch import and export.”

Obvious benefits
In the two years plus that Leschaco has been using the service Notification Export Documentation, the benefits have become more than obvious. Suzanne Lotz explains: “It assures us that containers are always being shipped properly. It also saves us time, as we no longer need to send any documents with shipments. The status information that Portbase sends back to us also enables us to monitor the course of the transport.”

Choice of system interface
Leschaco uses the service Notification Export Documentation through a system interface. Suzanne Lotz explains: “By communicating directly with Portbase from our own ERP system, there’s no need for our staff to manually retype any data. The status information that we get back from Portbase about the cargo is visible to our staff straight away in our own ERP system, making it very easy to use. And should there be an issue, the Portbase Service Desk will always be at our side quickly and in an expert manner.”

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Towards a flexible, smart port

“Everyone in de logistics chain must be able to get an answer to their questions at any time. Where is my cargo? Are my declarations in order? Where can I find transport capacity? Who can I cooperate with? And so on… With this ambition, we have drawn up the 2015 – 2019 Business Plan and entitled it ‘Together with the community innovate towards integral planning’,” says Manager Strategy & Innovation, Marten van der Velde. “Our ambition for the coming years is to link together as many parties and as much information as possible and to intelligently integrate data.” The new business plan has been approved by the Supervisory Board and the shareholders, the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the Port of Amsterdam. Portbase will now contact the sector organisations and the customers to present the plan.

Towards a flexible, smart port
“In the past years, of course a good foundation has been laid for the further expansion of the Portbase service,” Van der Velde continues. “The services within the Port Community System and the community involved form a solid foundation for port-wide information exchange. Moreover, the infrastructure of our new, open platform enables links to be easily made to external parties.” Far more than is currently the case, in the coming period, Portbase wants to facilitate the exchange of dynamic real-time data, linked to planning and notifications. Van der Velde sees it as a clear trend. “Think about yourself as a consumer. Knowing that your package will be delivered tomorrow is no longer enough. You would prefer to know when it will be delivered to the nearest half hour. The future is a flexible, smart port. Current projects in the port, including Nextlogic and Pronto, are already anticipating the fact. To achieve this, you must have a complete picture of the chain and know what is happening now, at this particular moment.”

“The future is a flexible, smart port. Current projects in the port, including Nextlogic and Pronto, are already anticipating the fact”

Challenge parties
Considering the 2015 – 2019 Business Plan, Van der Velde makes some important remarks. “With everything we are going to do, aspects including agreements about data security and what information is available to which people are of crucial importance. The same applies to the neutral position we take. Portbase is a facilitator. We certainly do not want to develop everything ourselves. Other parties can do this just as well, of course linked to the Port Community System. What we will do in the coming years is to challenge the parties involved. Come up with those innovations, participate. Together we are on the way to our final goal.”

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Cargill wins 5th Port Community Award

Cargill has won the 5th Port Community Award. The Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, presented the award. According to an expert jury, the agro-industrial group from Amsterdam is absolutely the Golden Link when it comes to data exchange in the Dutch ports.

Cargill also won a Silver Link in the category for shipping companies/shipbrokers/agents during the festive awards ceremony. Other Silver Link winners were Ritra Cargo Holland (category forwarders/exporters/importers), APM Terminals Maasvlakte II and RWG (category terminals/hinterland terminals) and the German company Frankenbach (category hinterland transporters).

The Port Community Award honours the business that most distinguishes itself in the successful exchange of information via the Port Community System of the Dutch ports. The exchange of information is increasingly vital to the port business community and to the ports themselves. It is the ideal way to streamline logistical chains and so gain a lead in the international competition.

The Port Community Award is an initiative of Portbase, the organisation responsible for the Port Community System. Over 3,600 businesses are connected to this system to date, including approximately 1,000 participants from neighbouring countries. Each year, they exchange over 65 million electronic messages with one another and with the (port) authorities.

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Customers rate Portbase a 7.8

Customers rate the services offered by Portbase as a 7.8. This was the result of an extensive survey by Integron into customer satisfaction among businesses concerning their experiences with information exchange via the port-transcending Port Community System. Nearly 1,000 individuals with backgrounds in Dutch and German logistical operations participated in the survey.

Survey participants emphasized their satisfaction, saying: “Absolutely indispensable. It saves us time and therefore money.” And also: “In recent years, Portbase has succeeded in tailoring its reliability and functionality to the needs of the user.”

“Quantifying customer satisfaction is therefore crucial for us. Based on the survey results, we can take the following steps to improve our services to the logistical chain.”

But in addition to their appreciation, businesses also indicated some areas for improvement. Portbase will now be taking concrete action to address these issues. In particular, the communication surrounding maintenance and malfunctions, usability and functionality of certain services, follow-up from the Service Desk and the handling of customer complaints offer opportunities for improvement.

From all stages in the logistical chain
In the customer satisfaction survey, conducted in November of last year, all customer groups from the logistical chain were represented: forwarders, importers and exporters, shipping companies, shipbrokers and agents, hinterland transporters, both sea and inland terminals and empty depot managers. 792 of these businesses are based in the Netherlands and 150 in Germany.

Portbase organises a comparable customer satisfaction survey every two years. In previous editions, the overall rating was a 7.7 (in 2013) and a 7.6 (2011).

Iwan van der Wolf, Managing Director at Portbase: “The exchange of information via the Port Community System can be reckoned a success or a failure according to the satisfaction of the participants. Quantifying customer satisfaction is therefore crucial for us. Based on the survey results, we can take the following steps to improve our services to the logistical chain.”

First new style seaport statistics

The Seaport statistics service is actually live. The first statistics on sea voyages and incoming cargo were made available at the beginning of the year to the commissioning parties for this enabled-by service: Port of Rotterdam Authority, Port of Amsterdam and Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

More than half of all the shipping companies, shipbrokers and agents in Rotterdam have agreed to the reuse of their data in the Port Community System for this purpose. The ambition is that in the short term, more parties will follow. The agents in Amsterdam will also be asked for their agreement in the near future. The larger the number of sources, the more reliable and valuable the statistics.

Moreover, shipping companies, shipbrokers and agents that give their approval will receive every quarter a data file that they can use as management information. The first of these files will be available on 1 April 2015.

‘Transport Order saves time and allows faster operation’

Companies in the container sector can now, via a single point of entry, electronically exchange transport orders with all their business relations. To do this, Portbase offers them the new Transport Order service. It is no longer necessary to copy data by hand and to then fax or email it. The logistics chain is becoming faster and more reliable.

“You run less of a risk that a driver is not allowed to take a container from a terminal in the middle of the night.”

Forwarder Neele-Vat Logistics and road transporter G. v.d. Heijden & Zn participated in a pilot. They are enthusiastic. Miriam Winkel from Neele-Vat Logistics: “The service saves us time and allows us to work faster. It is also more reliable; by reusing data we reduce the chance of error. You run less of a risk that a driver is not allowed to take a container from a terminal in the middle of the night.” As a transporter, Bert van der Heijden from G. v.d. Heijden & Zn also sees advantages for his business: “Orders are input directly into our planning system. From here we can use the information to make bookings, create routes, submit pre-arrival declarations, etc.”

Now in Rail Planning service: more information about loading and unloading

The Rail Planning service now offers you more extensive information about your container loading and unloading. You can monitor the processing of your train closely via your web screens or in-house computer system.

The expansion particularly concerns confirmations of loading/unloading. Rail Planning now provides additional data alerts for the date and time of loading/unloading, document numbers and wagon numbers. On loading empty containers on guideline, the container numbers will also be entered for you, if these are known at the terminal.

Of course, it is always the case that data availability depends on the information released by the terminal. Rail Planning can be used for the ECT on Maasvlakte and Rail Service Center Rotterdam rail terminals and will also soon be available for the Rotterdam World Gateway and APM Terminals Maasvlakte II rail terminals.

More information
If you have questions about the Rail Planning service, please do not hesitate to contact Jeroen Schouteren, Sales Manager van Portbase. You can reach him on T 088 625 2515 or E j.schouteren@portbase.com

Safe access to the Port Community System

There has been a lot of communication concerning the security leak in Microsoft Internet Explorer over the past few days. Various stories about the leak have been featured in the media. Portbase adheres to the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) guidelines.

The NCSC advises you to be careful when visiting websites which are new to you or which you do not trust. They advise the same when clicking on hyper links in e-mails. This means you can continue to use Internet Explorer as long as you only visit trusted websites.

Portbase’s Port Community System (PCS) has been optimised for use with Internet Explorer. It is safe to visit the Port Community System using Explorer as long as you take the recommended safety precautions (like installing a firewall and anti-virus software).

Please note that if you continue to use Internet Explorer as your standard browser, we cannot guarantee that all of PCS’s services will operate fully in Internet Explorer’s safe mode.

We recommend that you use another browser, like Chrome or Firefox, to visit other (new) websites.

Questions?
You can reach the Service Desk by phone or by e-mail if you have any questions (servicedesk@portbase.com or +31 (0)88 – 625 25 25).