Cargo Tracker


Track & trace for all your import cargo. A complete picture of the status of ships expected in the port, when your containers are unloaded and when they depart the sea terminal on a single screen. Cargo Tracker builds on the Port of Rotterdam’s Boxinsider solution.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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What are my monthly costs if I do not use Cargo Tracker?

If this is the case you only pay the monthly subscription costs.

Are the costs for an API link-up the same as for using the web screens?

Do you have commercial questions or do you want to change or order something?

The Portbase sales department is ready to answer your questions. Telephone number +31 (0)88 625 2534 or sales@portbase.com.

What is the advantage of an API link-up?

Who can I contact with user questions related to Cargo Tracker?

Where can I find the API specifications for Cargo Tracker?

These are available at: https://developer.portbase.com/services.

Where can I find all 43 services of Portbase?

For an up-to-date overview of all Portbase services, please visit our website: https://www.portbase.com/en/services/.

How do the monthly payments work?

Portbase uses monthly direct debit payments based on your actual usage. We will send you an invoice for your administration every month.

What is the minimum notice period?

The notice period for Cargo Tracker is 3 months.

How can I cancel?

You can cancel the service Cargo Tracker by sending an email to sales@portbase.com

Do I have to pay for every tracking & tracing request I submit?

We have implemented validations on a number of fields (such as number of characters). Does your input meet these validations, but have you for example made a typing error? Then you will be charged. This is because Portbase incurs costs for this ‘technically valid’ request.

Functionalities

I use the Cargo Tracker web screens. How can I arrange the API link-up at a later time?

Where can I find support materials such as a manual?

Manuals for Cargo Tracker and other support materials are available at https://support.portbase.com/en/services/cargo-tracker/

What are the technical requirements for using the Cargo Tracker web screens?

Cargo Tracker web is optimised for Chrome, but you can of course opt to use a browser of your own choosing. The use of Internet Explorer is not recommended. Do remember to use a recent version of your browser though.

What are the main advantages of Cargo Tracker?

The main advantage of Cargo Tracker is that you can easily track your import cargo and have insight into your ETA and ATA, discharge confirmation and gate-out in one single location.

Is there a backup procedure should a malfunction occur? Where can I find this?

If the Port Community System experiences a malfunction, a mechanism will automatically be activated to save all subscriptions and changes. As soon as the malfunction has been resolved, they will still be implemented.
If the party supplying the data (such as a terminal) experiences a disruption, we will still process the data the moment we receive it.
No further backup procedure is in effect for Cargo Tracker. If you encounter problems using the service Cargo Tracker, then please contact our Portbase Service Desk. You can reach them via +31 (0)88 - 625 25 25 or at servicedesk@portbase.com.

Is the overview in real time?

Within seconds after we have received the data, it will be visible in the Cargo Tracker web screens or pushed to your own in-house system via APIs. A slight delay may occur if the data owner (the terminal or agent, for example) forwards the data a little later. This can differ per organisation.

Can my partners in the logistics chain see the same data I can?

By setting up the notification function via e-mail, third parties can be informed of the relevant notifications.

Can I set up email notifications?

Yes, you can. It is possible to receive notifications for the following events:
- Container has not been collected
- Container has been unloaded
- ETA or ETD removed
- Gate out
- Ship has departed, container has not been unloaded
- Changes in the ETA of the ship
- Change of terminal

How has security been arranged?

Cargo Tracker meets the Portbase security standards that apply to the entire PCS. Read more here.

What is the target group of Cargo Tracker?

Shippers, freight forwarders, customs agents and transport companies.

Is there also an app?

No. For the most part, the web screens of Cargo Tracker can easily be accessed via your mobile phone.

Are the web screens available in my current PCS account?

No. You directly log in to Cargo Tracker, but you do need to do this through your PCS account though.

What is the ETA information based on?

The ETA is based on the information that Portbase receives from the agents.

Are inland terminals and empty depots also connected?

Currently not, but talks are ongoing with these parties to further expand the service with this data.

What is the coverage of the data?

At ship level (Vessel Visit):
Cargo Tracker is currently only available for all ships that call at the port of Rotterdam. Portbase receives the data from all agents.

At container level:

Terminal Type Discharge Confirmation Gate-Out Import Document
Hutchison Ports ECT Delta Deepsea Available Available (excl. Gate-Out Truck) Available: status Sent
Hutchison Ports ECT Euromax Deepsea Available Available (excl. Gate-Out Truck) Available: status Sent
Rotterdam World Gateway Deepsea Available Available Available: status Sent
APM terminals Rotterdam Deepsea Available Available Available: status Sent
APM Terminals Maasvlakte II Deepsea Available Available Available: status Sent
Rotterdam Short Sea Terminals Deepsea & Shortsea Available Available for North Side, South Side soon to follow Available: status Sent + Accepted / Rejected

Is Cargo Tracker also available via EDI?

No. For a system link-up, Cargo Tracker is only available via API.

Can I also commit to individual data elements?

You will soon also be able to commit to the individual elements in the form of Portbase Data Service. This comprises: Discharge Confirmation, Vessel Visit Status, Terminal Gate In/Gate Out and Terminal Container Status. For more information, please visit www.portbase.com/dataservices.

Which key do I need to receive the data (to subscribe)?

- Mandatory: B/L + container number
- Optional: Call Reference Number (CRN) / ship's name / IMO

How does Cargo Tracker work, how do I receive the data?

You can track cargo in the service Cargo Tracker by ‘subscribing’, quoting the B/L number, the container number and, optionally, the ship's name or the Call Reference Number. Next, you will see the information that is known at that time.

What is the difference between Cargo Tracker via the web and via API?

You can use the service Cargo Tracker via the internet (web screens) or via a direct link-up to your in-house system (via APIs). In both cases, you will have the same data at your disposal. The web screens offer you the opportunity to set up notifications for new status updates and to archive your requests. Of course, you can also set this up via the API. If you use a direct link-up via API, you will have access to the web screens free of charge.

Which data does Cargo Tracker contain?

At ship level:

  • CRN
  • Planned berth location
  • Berths ETA, ATA, ETD, ATD

At container level:

  • Discharge conformation, berth
  • Gate-out (temporarily included free of charge)
  • Import documentation: "unknown", "sent", "Accepted*" / "Rejected*" (* only for some terminals) 
  • Customs status: "unknown", "inspection notified" or "released"

I am already using Cargo Information. Can I switch to Cargo Tracker?

Yes, this is possible. However, keep in mind that the functionalities within Cargo Tracker are more limited.

I am already using Cargo Information. Can I also use Cargo Tracker?

Yes, this is possible.

What is the difference between Cargo Information and Cargo Tracker?

Cargo Information:

  • Also provides detailed information about the cargo and the container, such as goods description and type of container in addition to status information.
  • Makes it possible to reuse cargo data in the Portbase services Notification Local Clearance and Transit Declaration. This is not possible with Cargo Tracker.

Cargo Tracker:

  • Also provides the Gate-out status for many terminals.
  • Provides the option for various organisations to simultaneously register for the same cargo. Cargo Information is limited in that respect because only one organisation can be linked to the cargo at a time.

Click here for more information about the functionalities and the differences.

How does Cargo Tracker differ from Pronto?

Pronto offers shipping lines, agents, service providers and operators a joint platform for data exchange and improved planning surrounding port calls.

Cargo Tracker enables you to track & trace all your import cargo. Via one single screen, you have a full overview of the status of expected ships in the port, the time your container(s) are discharged and the moment of departure from the sea terminal.

How does Cargo Tracker differ from Boxinsider?

In terms of functionalities, Boxinsider and Cargo Tracker are largely the same.
An overview of the differences:

  • Boxinsider contained data from Pronto. As a result, details of the ship visit were known weeks to months in advance and a customer was able track the ship. It was not possible to verify whether the ship actually had the customer's cargo on board.
    Cargo Tracker reuses data from agents from the Port Community System (PCS). This allows you to monitor data pertaining to the ship’s visit in Cargo Tracker one to two weeks prior to the arrival. Is the cargo put aboard a different ship? Then Cargo Tracker will automatically follow the new ship.
  • Like Boxinsider, Cargo Tracker contains terminal Gate-out data. In Cargo Tracker, an additional rate per container may be applicable for some terminals in this respect.
  • Boxinsider contained data from inland terminals. This is not yet the case in Cargo Tracker. Portbase is currently conducting talks with the inland terminals to also connect them to Cargo Tracker.

What is the relationship between Cargo Tracker and Boxinsider?

The Portbase service Cargo Tracker is the continuation of Boxinsider of the Port of Rotterdam Authority.

The Dutch Port Community System (PCS) of Portbase allows companies and government bodies involved in (port)logistics chains to easily and efficiently exchange data. The PCS offers various smart IT solutions for your day-to-day operations. Tracking & tracing services are part of this.

Independently from one another, the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Portbase have data, knowledge and services at their disposal that can support tracking & tracing. By combining the tracking & tracing activities of both organisations, the service provision becomes more comprehensive and a clear proposition to the market is created. For this reason, Boxinsider will be incorporated in the new Portbase service Cargo Tracker as of the 1st of June 2020.

Process progress

What does the application process look like?

From the 1st of June 2020, you can easily apply for the service Cargo Tracker online at https://www.portbase.com/services/cargo-tracker/. Once your online application has been completed and you have paid the one-off costs online and have authorised the monthly payment, you will receive a login no later than 48 hours after your application so that you can get started.

If I do not receive anything, when will my tracking & tracing request expire?

It is possible that the container is not known to Portbase (for example due to an error in the request or a logistics exception). The request will be retained for a maximum period of 60 days and will then automatically expire. You will be notified of this.

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