Path towards successful, integrated planning

Working together on an optimal service provision for inland container shipping

Nextlogic and Portbase are currently working hard to perfect their new services and to connect them with one another. Step by step, we are working towards the commissioning of the integrated planning:

  • February 2020 - HCN Barge live

    All barge operators and participating container terminals have been connected to the new Hinterland Container Notification (HCN) Barge by Portbase. For barge operators who have not yet been able to make the necessary switch from EDI to API, Portbase offers an EDI converter. This converter automatically converts container data supplied in EDI to the HCN Barge format. In this way, parties will still be able to make use of HCN Barge, but without all the advantages that a fully-fledged connection brings.

    Please note! Only after you have adjusted your system link to the new API specifications of HCN Barge will you also be able to automatically pre-notify data related to calls and rotations and thus make use of the neutral, integrated planning of Nextlogic without manual actions. Has your software not been adjusted in time for the switch to APIs? Read more here.

  • April 2020 – Practice-based trials integrated planning

    With the data from HCN Barge and the input on available capacity from terminals and depots, Nextlogic has carried out a shadow run of the integrated planning. 28 companies have cooperated. This phase involved static planning for specific scenarios. The main goal was to determine whether the presented planning schedules were actually feasible together with the participants.

    Once the shadow run had been completed, the next step comprised a 1st controlled pilot with dynamic planning. Participants have actually been able to adhere to these planning schedules in practice. Thus, Nextlogic gained even more insight into whether the presented planning schedules were feasible, whether the processes ran smoothly and whether any bugs were present.

    While the shadow run and the 1st controlled pilot were in progress, all the parties in the inland shipping chain simply continued to handle their day-to-day business and planning in the existing way via HCN Barge. Parallel to the shadow run and the 1st controlled pilot, extensive chain tests were also performed behind the scenes to ensure a good flow of data between Portbase, Nextlogic and operators of terminal and depots.

  • Q1 2021 - Start of commissioning of integrated planning

    From this phase on, the integrated planning will actually be determining for the participants. This starts with a live pilot to allow for final fine-tuning. If the Nextlogic approach has been validated and all parties agree, the integrated planning will officially go live after this. The free trial period will then start automatically for the pilot participants. From go live on, every call by a container barge to the port of Rotterdam will be automatically planned for all participating parties. Every ship is presented with an optimal call order. This is visible in the service HCN Barge.

  • 2021 - Continuous development

    The commissioning of the integrated planning is actually just the beginning. Portbase and Nextlogic will continuously further expand and improve their service provision.

    Participation in integrated planning free of charge for the first 3 months
    During the test phase and the subsequent trial period of three months, participation in the integrated planning is free of charge. After that, you pay a fixed amount per month plus a fee per planned container. For the first three regular months, a 50-percent discount is applicable to the fee per container.

Improving the flow of inland container shipping in the port of Rotterdam is a long-term, multi-faceted and complicated task. All parties will first need to get used to the integrated planning and this will gradually improve from the date of introduction. The success to a great degree depends on the commitment of as many barge operators, container terminals and depots as possible.