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Frequently Asked Questions

API Service

What is the difference between Basic and Extended Tracking?

The main difference is based upon costs versus information. In the following situation you can still carry out the Secure Chain actions without our transaction costs (per B/L), but this is subject to conditions.


In the following two scenarios you can be assigned to a B/L that is not linked by yourself:

  1. A shipping company has sent a release for a B/L that was not yet followed by your organisation at that time. You will automatically receive the B/L in the overview in Cargo Controller, in the My Release tab. You can set up an email notification for this, you can read how to do this here.
  1. Another party has designated your organization as a chain party for a B/L that you were not yet following at that time. You will automatically receive the B/L in the general overview in Cargo Controller after you have been designated as the next chain party. You can also set up an email notification for this, you can read how to do this here.

NB! In our Cargo Controller API specifications there are additional details related to a system connection. You can read this here.

Basic tracking

If you link a B/L yourself (via Web or API), this is an indicator for Portbase that there is a need for additional data that we share with your organization. For that reason we charge a transaction per B/L, which we call 'Extended tracking'.

With the above two scenarios, you have not chosen to retrieve additional data for that B/L. For that situation, Portbase links a 'Basic Tracking', at which point you will see a very limited amount of data in the B/L. At that moment, this view is the same as what a customer sees in our 'Cargo Release Manager' service.

The actions within the Secure Chain can be performed in both forms of tracking.

Upgrade tracking - via Web

If you still want more information about the cargo, you can choose to convert 'Basic tracking' to 'Extended tracking'.

  1. Click on the for actions on B/L level
  2. Click on 'Access B/L'
    The data is now being updated. A transaction is now charged for 'Extended tracking'.

Upgrade tracking - via API

If you still want more information about the cargo, you can choose to convert 'Basic tracking' to 'Extended tracking'. You then submit a standard track request for this B/L via API, which we will answer with all available information. You can read more about that here. A transaction is charged for 'Extended tracking'.

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Can I control the Secure Chain via API?

Yes and no.

Yes, you can receive the release and authorize or nominate your chain partners with a Cargo Controller API subscription. Read more about this in our API specifications (in English) and in particular the Use Cases surrounding the Secure Chain.

No, you cannot manage adding and managing customer codes per shipping company and managing authorizations of chain partners via API. You will have to maintain this via the web screens.

Activation of Secure Chain

Within the Cargo Controller API you have direct access to the Chain of Trust and the information made available therein.

If you are an existing customer, you must first request rights for the web screens via your main user or user administrator to release these functionalities in the web screens. You can read more about that here.

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As the release-to-party or cargo director, why can I only nominate my haulier with an EAN code?

The EAN code is mandatory when submitting a prenotification in the service Hinterland Container Notification (HCN). This identifies a company.

Secure Chain

Terminals validate the EAN code and if the organisation of the driveris active within the Secure Chain. When there is a mis-match the driver will be denied to access the terminal.

Secure Logistics

The organisation Secure Logistics issues an EAN code to a company when it registers itself. They check various details of the company, such as the NIWO licence. To ensure digital security in other services that are part of the Portbase Secure Chain, it was decided to also include this in the service Cargo Controller.

To avoid having to manually enter the EAN code each time, we are developing an address book. This will (automatically) store the EAN codes of companies after an initial entry.

How can I the retrieve the EAN code of my inland operators?

Your inland operator can supply this information, but you can retrieve this manually via the nominate action in the web screens:

  1. Go to -button on container (or B/L) level and select 'Nominate Inland Operator'.
  2. In this screen you can enter the name of your inland operator. We automatically fill in the name:
  3. You will see both the location and the EAN code of the carrier in the results. You can take this over for your own administration.

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How can I configure a webhook API when using the Cargo Controller API?

When you integrate the Cargo Controller with our API-linkup, the webhook URL can be configured in Cargo Controller. The webhook URL is the 'mailbox' of your software that receives all updates from Cargo Controller. Your IT specialist or software supplier will provide an URL.

Interface Specialists

Your IT specialist or software supplier will be put in touch with our Interface Specialists. They provide the API keys and coordinate the webhook registration with each other. In this way you are assured that your connection has been successfully registered.

Multiple web hooks

Portbase currently supports a maximum of 2 deviating URLs. This is particularly efficient if you use several systems that both need to be updated at the same time. Both URLs will then receive the same B/L updates at the same time. The transaction costs will not double, transactions are registered based on B/Ls that you track, not on the number of updates you receive from us.

If you want to use this, you will have to request the second webhook as an additional service, you can do this at the Sales department. There are one-off connection costs associated with this.

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Is a system link available?

Can I use the system link and the web screens at the same time?