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.

  • Q2 2021 - Start live pilot integrated planning

    In the live pilot, participants will actually start using the integrated planning in daily practice. From that moment on, all data about rotations, calls and containers will be reported to Nextlogic via HCN Barge. Participants will receive planning information and any warnings back from Nextlogic in the same way. Everyone adheres to the specified planning as per the rules and instructions of Nextlogic.

    In principle, the live pilot will run for six weeks, unless serious issues arise along the way. During these six weeks, the participants will adhere to the integrated planning for two periods of two weeks. In the intervening two weeks, the participants switch back to their ‘old’ operational approach of bilateral planning. Nextlogic uses this time to resolve any final issues.

  • Q3 2021 - Commissioning integrated planning and continuous further development

    As soon as the live pilot has been completed and all parties are in agreement, the test phase will automatically transition into the use phase. From that moment on, the integrated planning will be officially live. Every visit by a container barge to the port of Rotterdam will be automatically scheduled for all participating parties. Through HCN Barge, each ship is presented with an optimal call sequence. It goes without saying that after this, Portbase and Nextlogic will continue to further improve and expand their service provision.

    Participation integrated planning free of charge for the first 3 months

    Participation in the integrated planning is free of charge during the test phase and the subsequent trial period of three months. After this, you pay a fixed amount per month plus a fee per planned container. In the first three months of regular operation, there is a 50-percent discount on 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.