Connecting Vlissingen and Terneuzen enables reuse of data for entire port community


Portbase is connecting a new port authority, North Sea Port. And that means national coverage for all Dutch seaports; all community members can now reuse data via the Portbase Port Community System (PCS). With this step, North Sea Port is simplifying the reporting process for its customers, speeding up the logistics process thanks to reuse of data and anticipating future European regulations such as the European Maritime Single Window (EMSWe).

North Sea Port is the unified Dutch-Belgian port created by the merger of the ports of Vlissingen, Terneuzen and Ghent on 1 January 2018.  Portbase and North Sea Port have maintained close contacts for many years.  As part of North Sea Port’s new digital strategy, the organisation has now decided to connect the Zeelandic ports of Vlissingen and Terneuzen.

Peter Van Parys, COO of North Sea Port: “By connecting to Portbase’s Port Community System, North Sea Port has become part of the digital port community for all ports in the Netherlands. This is in line with our ambition of further expanding our digital services.  Moreover, this partnership offers our customers, shipping lines and shipping agents, the great benefit of simplicity.  As a port created from a merger, we are very aware that this represents real added value.”

Smartest port community

The move also responds to the wishes of customers, who now have straightforward access to a one-stop shop for all ports in the Netherlands. In Vlissingen and Terneuzen, the Zeelandic community was already using PCS processes such as customs prenotifications. These are declarations to Customs for bringing in goods. But harbourmaster notifications are now also being routed via Portbase’s PCS. A successful pilot has been completed with Vesel Notification, the first service North Sea Port will be connecting to. Iwan van der Wolf, CEO Portbase: “We are pleased and proud that North Sea Port has joined our community in the shape of the ports of Vlissingen and Terneuzen.  With this partnership, we are strengthening the position of the Netherlands as a central logistics hub for north-western Europe. Together, we are building the smartest port communities.”


In the next phase, the link-up will be extended to include other harbourmaster services. As a result, the notification process for agents, shipbrokers, shipping lines, etc. will become uniform for the whole of the Netherlands. They will also benefit from data reuse and links to Customs processes.

The move will also allow Portbase to extend other relevant projects to Vlissingen and Terneuzen, beyond harbourmaster services. For example, it can inform the Zeelandic part of the port community about major projects such as Import Control System 2 (ICS2), the new EU cargo information system that will facilitate the free flow of trade through optimised and data-driven customs security processes.

The cooperation agreement was signed on Tuesday 25 June.

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