Live pilot with integrated planning to start in early 2021

Rotterdam, 17 December 2020 – Portbase and Nextlogic are working together to achieve an optimal flow of container barges in the port of Rotterdam. In this Update, we will inform you about the current state of affairs regarding the path towards the implementation of the integrated planning.

Together with the participants, preparations are currently being made for the live pilot. This is scheduled to commence as soon as the recently added functionalities in the service Hinterland Container Notification (HCN) Barge are stable and the last chain tests have been successfully performed (see below for more information). The live pilot is expected to start in February 2021, when 28 participants – who represent approximately 60 percent of the total market volume – will test the integrated planning in practice for two periods of two weeks, with a short break for evaluation purposes. The aim of the live pilot is to demonstrate that the integrated planning of inland vessels at terminals actually works well and yields benefits.

The live pilot is the last step before the integrated planning is actually implemented. As soon as the proposed approach has been validated and all parties have agreed, the integrated planning can officially go live. All participants will be informed in good time about the exact moment that the pilot commences. We will also keep you informed through this newsletter.

HCN Barge expanded with input fields for integrated planning

All the day-to-day exchange of data by barge operators for the integrated planning will soon run through the Portbase service HCN Barge. The moment the live pilot for the integrated planning commences, various extra input fields will be added to HCN Barge for this. Pilot participants who work with an API link-up for HCN Barge can automatically complete the extra fields from their own system. Other participants do this via the HCN Barge web screens.

Want to already see how this works?
More information on the functioning of the extra fields and how planners can best use them for optimal integrated planning is available in the instruction video on Portbase Support and in the online training courses from Nextlogic, which are discussed in more detail below.

Instruction video integrated planning from Nextlogic via HCN Barge

Request access code for e-learning Nextlogic

New function: cut-off for unloading/loading list

In the lead-up to the moment the integrated planning goes live, it will become essential for barge operators to provide correct unloading/loading lists in a timely manner for each visit to a participating terminal. Only then can a proper planning be drawn up.

To make this possible, a new function was recently introduced in HCN Barge: the automatic cut-off of the unloading/loading list. A few hours prior to the scheduled arrival at a terminal, the status of a loading/unloading list thus becomes final. This means that in principle, it is no longer possible to make changes. With the correctly pre-notified (‘green’) containers on the final unloading/loading list, the terminal is next able to properly prepare for the visit of the inland vessel. At the same time, Nextlogic uses the final unloading/loading lists to further optimise the integrated planning.

A pilot with the automatic cut-off of the unloading/loading list is currently underway for calls to RWG and APMT MVII. The pilot with ECT Delta and ECT Euromax will soon be resumed. APMTR will follow shortly thereafter. Each terminal determines how many hours prior to the scheduled arrival of the inland vessel the cut-off will take place. Different cut-off times may apply for calls involving only empty containers. This is individually determined by every terminal as well.

Chain tests are nearing completion

Chain tests are used to extensively test all the steps in the information exchange that is required for the integrated planning. Between barge operator and Portbase, between Portbase and Nextlogic, between Portbase and terminal or depot, between Nextlogic and terminal or depot, between Nextlogic and barge operator… all systems must communicate optimally with each other and in conjunction with each other. Most chain tests have now been completed. In the coming weeks, work will be in full swing to further complete them.

Important role for barge skippers

Barge skippers play an important role in the implementation of the integrated planning. During every call to the port of Rotterdam on behalf of a participating barge operator, the skipper directly receives a sailing plan from Nextlogic. This is done via the internet on his/her PC, laptop or telephone. The integrated planning only works if every barge skipper exactly follows this plan and ensures that the AIS signal is always activated when visiting Rotterdam. Watch the video below for additional information.

Watch the Nextlogic video ‘Limiting delays with AIS’

More information for barge skippers is available on this page and in the frequently asked questions for barge skippers on the website ‘Portbase and Nextlogic connect’. In addition, a separate e-learning course from Nextlogic is available for barge skippers.

Do the Nextlogic e-learning!

Nextlogic has put together an extensive range of e-learning courses for making optimal use of the integrated planning and explaining all the changes in relation to the current practice. Separate modules are available for planners, barge skippers and terminal and depot operators. E-learning allows you to familiarise yourself with the new operational approach whenever and wherever you choose.

A code is required to access the e-learning. This is provided free of charge to each participant. Need more access codes? Operational managers of participants can request this from Nextlogic via this form.

More information
Do you have any questions about the solutions from Nextlogic and Portbase or how the collaboration will impact 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 (0)6 24 67 70 08, r.braat@portbase.com.