New phase in path towards integrated planning

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.

Practice-based trials with integrated planning underway

On the 14th of April, Nextlogic started with concrete, practice-based trials with the integrated planning. These go from small to large and the number of participants is gradually increased. Data related to ship and cargo from the Portbase service Hinterland Container Notification (HCN) Barge and the input about the available capacity of terminals and depots form the basis for this. 27 barge operators, deepsea terminals and empty depots have pledged their cooperation. The practice-based trials successively entail:

  • Six-week shadow run with the integrated planning
    During the period in which the shadow run takes place, the participants are presented with static schedules for specific scenarios by Nextlogic. The main goal of this is to ascertain together with said participants whether the presented static planning is actually feasible in practice.
  • 1st controlled pilot with dynamic planning
    This controlled pilot allows participants to experiment with dynamic planning in practice for the first time. This gives Nextlogic and the participating companies even more insight into whether the planning is feasible, whether the processes run smoothly and whether any bugs might be present.

No change in daily operational approach yet
During the shadow run and the first controlled pilot, all participants will continue to handle their daily operations in the current manner via HCN Barge. The primary aim of the practice-based trials is to offer the parties involved more insight into the manner in which integrated planning functions. During this period, extensive behind-the-scenes chain trials are conducted in parallel to ensure that the exchange of data between Portbase, Nextlogic, terminal and depot operators, barge operators and software suppliers runs smoothly. As soon as the aforementioned steps have been completed, the actual commissioning of the integral planning will commence in daily practice.

API link-up creates optimal benefit

Until now, barge operators have been accustomed to communicating with Portbase via EDI. However, the new Portbase service HCN Barge works via APIs. The same applies to the integrated planning of Nextlogic. The API specifications are now available to everyone. Portbase therefore asks barge operators to contact their software supplier to plan the switch to an API connection.

An API link-up is essential for optimally benefiting from HCN Barge; it allows the barge operator to also directly pre-notify the rotation and call data from their own system. Currently, this still needs to done separately via web screens. These are unnecessary extra actions.

EDI converter offers interim solution
For the actual use of HCN Barge, Portbase provides a temporary solution in the form of an EDI converter. This converter automatically converts data supplied in EDI into API without requiring any action on the part of the barge operator. However, participants do not yet fully benefit from all the advantages of 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. Each time they call at the port of Rotterdam, Nextlogic will directly presents them with a sailing plan. The integrated planning will only work if every barge captain strictly adheres to this plan. Therefore, a separate page for skippers is now available on the website ‘Portbase and Nextlogic connect’. In a brief and concise manner, this page explains the role they have to play in the integrated planning. In addition, reference is made to an e-learning course available to skippers from Nextlogic.

More information

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, w.groen@nextlogic.nl. At Portbase, please contact Remmert Braat, +31 (06) 24 67 70 08, r.braat@portbase.com.