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.

Portbase and Nextlogic working together on faster handling of container barges in the port of Rotterdam

The optimal exchange of data about ship and cargo via Portbase will soon go hand in hand with the integrated planning of all container barge calls by Nextlogic. In this Update, we would like to inform you about our new joint website and the rollout en route to the implementation of the integrated planning.

Central website offers market all information

From now on, you will find all information relating to the collaboration between Portbase and Nextlogic for an efficient and reliable handling of container inland shipping in the port of Rotterdam at www.portbase-nextlogicverbinden.nl. The joint website shows how we connect the parties in the inland shipping chain via one gateway. You can also read which steps you need to follow to benefit from a faster and smoother visit to the port of Rotterdam. For barge operators, terminal operators and depot operators as well as software suppliers, the website shows how the collaboration works and which benefits it delivers. Each party can see which actions are required on their part to make the timely transition from Barge Planning to Hinterland Container Notification Barge and to connect with Nextlogic. The roadmap towards the actual market launch of the integrated planning is also described step by step. We will continuously update this schedule. Furthermore, the website among other things features an extensive frequently asked questions-section.

Path towards integrated planning known

Are you ready? In recent months, Portbase and Nextlogic have been working hard behind the scenes to prepare for better serving the container barge sector together. Now, the moment has arrived to start with the concrete market rollout:

Step 1: 18 November 2019

Start of pilot Hinterland Container Notification (HCN) Barge The new Portbase service for pre-notifying calls and containers to terminals and depots is now technically ready. Together with several barge operators and terminals, Portbase has initiated a chain-wide pilot (both via the web and API) for testing the operation of HCN Barge in practice. Gradually, more and more participants from the HCN Barge project group are being migrated to the new service p]. Portbase will soon inform you about the approach and the progression of this pilot.

Step 2: Mid-January 2020

HCN Barge live

In mid-January, Portbase will automatically migrate the other participants in the service Barge Planning to the new service HCN Barge. You do not need to do make any technical adjustments. Prior to this migration, Portbase will provide you with instructional materials to help you with the first use of the web screens.

Step 3: Mid-February 2020

Practical tests with integrated planning

With the real-time data from HCN Barge and the input related to the available capacity of the participating terminals and depots, Nextlogic will start with a shadow run of the integrated planning from mid-February. This is done in the background in order to further fine-tune the integrated planning based on practice-based findings. During this pilot period, all the parties in the inland shipping chain will simply continue to handle their day-to-day business and planning in the existing way via HCN Barge.

Step 4: Early April 2020

Commissioning integrated planning

The integrated planning will officially go live at the beginning of April. From then on, every call of a container barge to the port of Rotterdam is automatically planned for all participating barge operators, terminal operators and depot operators. For each ship, an optimal call sequence is presented. This is also visible in the service HCN Barge.

At the launch in the spring of 2020, all major deepsea terminals at the Maasvlakte will be ready for integrated planning. Together, we can make every barge call to the port of Rotterdam better!

Are you ready?

To make optimum use of HCN Barge, we request that barge operators switch their message exchange from EDI to API. Have you not started with this yet? Then contact your software supplier as soon as possible to initiate the necessary steps. To benefit from the integrated planning, you must also separately register as a participant with Nextlogic. For barge operators who are not able to make the required switch from EDI to API in time, Portbase will use an EDI converter. This converter automatically converts the container data supplied in EDI to the new HCN Barge format. This allows you to still make use of HCN Barge, but without all the advantages of a fully-fledged connection to the new service yet.

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.

What does the cooperation between Nextlogic and Portbase mean for you as a barge operator?

Nextlogic and Portbase are working together to ensure an efficient and reliable handling of container barges in the port of Rotterdam. Both organisations will each offer a new service that will be made available to the inland shipping sector via one single window. Soon, the optimal exchange of data about ship and cargo via Portbase will go hand in hand with an integrated planning for each barge call by Nextlogic. As a result, the flow of inland vessels in the port of Rotterdam will significantly improve. Deepsea terminals, depots and barge operators alike are able to operate more efficiently. Thus, inland navigation will become an even more attractive mode of transport for sustainable, reliable hinterland transport.

What does the collaboration mean in concrete terms?

As is currently the case, every barge operator will pre-notify both his cargo information and call and rotation data via Portbase in the future. This will commence via the new Portbase service Hinterland Container Notification Barge, which will replace the current service Barge Planning. Nextlogic will next automatically receive the required information from Hinterland Container Notification Barge to make an integrated planning for every visiting inland vessel. An optimised call sequence is created for all scheduled terminals and depots in Rotterdam (provided that these are participants in Nextlogic). Furthermore, Nextlogic constantly improves and updates the planning. To allow for integrated planning, barge operators consequently do not (as was originally intended) need to separately provide Nextlogic with data related to the call and cargo. Barge operators are however requested to directly notify Nextlogic of specific settings such as fixed windows, Sunday rest, etc. via the internet. Nextlogic and Portbase are still assessing how this functionality can be integrated in Hinterland Container Notification Barge after it has gone live. In addition, skippers are able to view the current sailing plan 24/7 in Nextlogic via separate skipper screens.

Collaboration Nextlogic and Portbase gives the barge operator one single window for day-to-day operations

What action do we require from you as a barge operator?

Towards Portbase: As a barge operator, you start preparing as soon as possible to (in consultation with your software supplier) switch from the current Portbase service Barge Planning to the new service Hinterland Container Notification Barge. This service requires a switch from EDI to API, the new standard in IT for data exchange. The sooner you connect, the sooner you will be able to optimally benefit. Establish a realistic timetable for this with your software supplier. In situations where it is not possible for barge operators to make the switch in time, Portbase will temporarily offer an API converter from the launch date of Hinterland Container Notification Barge. The use of this API converter is free of charge for the first year. Via the API converter, Portbase converts the cargo data supplied by you in EDI to API. As a result, as many parties as possible are able to use the integrated planning right from the start. Portbase will send you additional information on this via a separate mailing. The new web screens of Hinterland Container Notification Barge will automatically be available to everyone immediately from the launch date. No additional actions are required on your part for this. As is currently the case in Barge Planning, you can enter your call and rotation data in these web screens during the transition phase to your actual connection to Hinterland Container Notification Barge API. To ensure proper use of the web screens, you will receive the necessary instructional materials in due time.

Towards Nextlogic: To benefit from an integrated planning, you also need to register as a participant in Nextlogic in your capacity as a barge operator. By doing so, you grant Portbase permission to share the cargo information and call and rotation data that you provide with Nextlogic via Hinterland Container Notification Barge. Nextlogic uses this data to draw up the integrated planning. Nextlogic will pro-actively approach the barge operators for participation.

What should you do if you already have a connection via the Nextlogic information platform

A number of barge operators are acting as frontrunners and are currently already providing cargo information and call and rotation data to the Nextlogic information platform. This is essential input for being able to intensively test the integrated planning procedure in the coming period. At present, no action is required from these companies. Their connections will remain in place for the time being. In time, these parties will be ‘silently’ transferred from Nextlogic to the Portbase service Hinterland Container Notification Barge

What is the current situation?

Improving the flow of container barge shipping in the port of Rotterdam is a long-term task which comprises many different facets. The collaboration between Nextlogic and Portbase is a major step forward in this regard. In the coming months, we will regularly inform you via different channels about the progress. All parties will need to get used to integrated planning and this will improve step by step from the date of introduction. To a great extent, the success depends on the commitment of as many barge operators, deepsea terminals and depots as possible.

Which terminals and depots are participating?

Nextlogic and Portbase are working together to properly connect the deepsea terminals and depots that are currently already participating in Barge Planning/Hinterland Container Notification Barge and in Nextlogic in the new situation

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.

Nextlogic en Portbase cooperation

Nextlogic and Portbase will cooperate to improve the handling of container barges in the port of Rotterdam. This is announced by both parties today. The cooperation is aimed at increasing efficiency, lowering costs and improving service levels for all parties involved in the logistics process.

Strengthening of gateway position to Western Europe

The port of Rotterdam is a major hub for transport to and from the hinterland. This hinterland extends from the Netherlands beyond Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. However, the transport chain suffers from inefficiency and delays due to peak loads as a result of increased call sizes and a lack of insight because calls and unloading moments take place at multiple terminals. Portbase director Iwan van der Wolf: “Increased and improved insight into the transport from and to terminals and empty depots is an essential prerequisite for retaining our position of gateway to and from Western Europe in the future.” The cooperation between both organisations leads to an optimal coordination of new and existing services.

Ease of doing business

One single window and one single way of working are important for the position of inland shipping in hinterland transport. Emile Hoogsteden, Director Containers, Breakbulk & Logistics of the Port of Rotterdam Authority: “This is what the cooperation aims to achieve. It will benefit all parties involved in the process. In the long term, a uniform standard for inland shipping has to be achieved. Requirements in this respect are that costs savings must be realised and that the ‘ease of doing business’ in the port of Rotterdam increases.”

Working towards one standard

From the summer of 2019, Nextlogic will receive the required data directly or via the service Hinterland Container Notification (HCN) Barge from Portbase. Shortly thereafter, all data will be processed through Portbase. In this way, Portbase remains the central entry point for data exchange for terminals and barge operators. The national coverage and the existing connections of Portbase will then ensure maximum coverage for the service provision of Nextlogic. Wouter Groen, ultimately responsible at Nextlogic: “The integral planning of Nextlogic will commence in November 2019. From that moment on, we aim to direct 70% of the inland shipping volumes through Nextlogic.” Both organisations are drawing up a joint planning and will coordinate their data in the coming months so that a uniform message standard is created. Groen continues: “In the coming months, Nextlogic will continue to make preparations, including the testing of the integral planning with the forerunners. Portbase and Nextlogic will ensure a good and correct transition for these parties.”

Advantages

The cooperation between both organisations is a logical step and yields various advantages. For example, optimum use is made of the existing Portbase infrastructure, the business community has one central window for the automated exchange of data and the reuse of data for other notifications and declarations at subsequent stages in the logistics process is guaranteed. This is cost-effective for all parties; in this way, only one infrastructure needs to be managed and maintained. With this collaboration, Nextlogic and Portbase are taking the next step towards a future-proof solution for the inland shipping sector.