Hinterland Container Notification Barge

Prenotify barge visits and containers to terminals and depots via a single portal. Hinterland Container Notification – Barge (HCN Barge) also supplies the input for Nextlogic’s integral planning of every visit to the port.

Frequently Asked Questions


As a participant of Nextlogic, where can I find all information about the pilot?

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How do I log in to the Nextlogic platform?

Log in via this link.

No login details yet? Request this via your own (operational) manager.

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As a participant, what do I take into account for the correct functioning of the integrated planning of Nextlogic?

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What happens if I deviate from the sailing plan proposed in the integral planning?

The moment you deviate from the proposed sailing route, Nextlogic will consider the terminals you have skipped as completed. The barge operator must then re-enter these skipped call(s) in the rotation and Nextlogic will have to plan the calls again. This automatically results in delays, a less favourable planning and more work for the barge operator. To ensure a reliable integrated planning, it is therefore crucial that you always adhere to the sailing plan listed on the web screen as a skipper.

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Where can I find more information about Nextlogic and the collaboration between Portbase and Nextlogic?

With whom do I conclude the contract for the use of the integrated planning?

Each participant has an agreement with Portbase for Hinterland Container Notification (HCN) Barge and a contract with Nextlogic for the integrated planning. Portbase and Nextlogic also have a contract between themselves which sets out the service agreements. An important part of this is that ownership of the supplied data remains with the participants themselves at all times.

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Which terminals and depots are participating?

Nextlogic and Portbase are working together to properly connect the terminal operators and depot operators that are currently already participating in Hinterland Container Notification (HCN) Barge and in Nextlogic in the new situation. See here which terminals are connected to the Portbase service HCN Barge. See here which parties have registered for the 1st pilot of Nextlogic (only available in Dutch).

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Will I be able to do everything via my own system or do I also have to use web screens?

If you have API connections, then you will only have to make use of web screens in special cases. When you initially temporarily connect via EDI, you must use the web screens for providing additional information for each inland barge call. The aim is for every barge operator to switch to the HCN Barge API connection as soon as possible.

In the case of APIs, you use the web screens for:

  • requesting fixed windows details;
  • requesting rotation and call details, such as Planned Time Scope in, ATAT and ATDT;
  • viewing/entering call details, such as viewing the status of an agreement or manually finalising a loading/unloading list;
    input of master data;
  • requesting location details and locations with available capacity;
  • requesting list of hazardous substances (UN numbers);
  • entering (incidental) (un)available ship information.

In the case of EDI, you perform the following supplementary to the planning:

  • entering call details such as number of containers, size of containers;
  • linking containers to call;
  • entering rotation data, such as TEU on board and scope in/out location.

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Who do I contact as a barge operator in the case of a disruption, for example regarding the exchange of container information or the integrated planning?

To report malfunctions in the pre-notification and the integrated planning, please contact the Portbase Service Desk on +31 88 625 25 25 or servicedesk@portbase.com. Outside office hours you can call the emergency number +31 6 518 844 56. More information about the Portbase Service Desk can be found here.

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Can I also connect directly to Nextlogic?

No; all parties first connect with HCN Barge in order to subsequently use the integrated planning of Nextlogic. The front runners that are now connected to the Nextlogic data platform will also be transferred to HCN Barge in time.

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How can I use the integrated planning of Nextlogic?

Step 1 is for you to start working with the Portbase service Hinterland Container Notification (HCN) Barge via APIs as soon as possible. Check out the API specifications HCN Barge here. Are you not yet using Portbase? Then first register for the service HCN Barge. At the same time, register as a participant with Nextlogic. Via HCN Barge, you will then be able to make full use of the integrated planning

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As a barge operator, how can I use the integrated planning of Nextlogic?

Step 1 is for you to start working with the Portbase service Hinterland Container Notification (HCN) Barge via APIs as soon as possible. If you have not yet made this switch, then please immediately contact your software supplier. The sooner you switch to APIs, the sooner you will be able to reap the full benefits of HCN Barge. Until that time, an EDI converter offers you a temporary solution.

Not yet a participant in HCN Barge? Request the service here. At the same time, you must also register as a participant with Nextlogic. Via HCN Barge, you will then be able to make full use of the integrated planning.

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How can I train my current and future new employees in the use of HCN Barge and the integrated planning?

For MCA Barge, instructional videos, a quick-start guide and answers to frequently asked questions are available on the Portbase support page. To prepare you for the integrated planning, Nextlogic has developed a special e-learning course with a large number of different modules for barge operators. To access this, you will need a voucher which can be requested from Nextlogic.

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What has ECT communicated about the Export Customs document?

Subject: Export Customs document

Dear relation,

In the context of the new functionality for handling the Unloading/Loading list in Hinterland Container Notification (MCA), we would like to draw your attention to the following. There is no need to register an export customs document at ECT when the carrier delivers the container at the terminal. To our knowledge, this is different from APMT and RWG.

ECT will report a green status back to MCA for an export container, If everything is in order. Even in the case that there is no export customs document registered. A green status at ECT therefore does not say anything about the presence of this document. If you want to check the presence of the document, you can use the Portbase-MED screen. This information cannot be found via the MCA screen. We strongly recommend you to do this. To prevent that your container is not loaded on the deepsea vessel, because of the absence of an export document.

ECT is not liable for the proper transmission of this message.

No rights can be derived from the content of this message.

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Having trouble capturing screenshots with the mouseover popups or so called tool tips showing?

Use the free Gadwin Printscreen: http://www.gadwin.com/printscreen/

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The filter search field does not work. I cannot find visits or containers

The filter works in several ways. Always make sure you have selected the correct date range.
Do you use the search bar? Use at least 3 characters to find what you are looking for.

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Can the minimum call size be modified?

The minimum call size check in MCA Barge only applies to the arrangements agreed with ECT Delta/Euromax. The terminal can modify the minimum call size per visit; however, this will only be permitted in very exceptional circumstances.

Please contact the ECT CAL department to discuss this possibility.

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How can I move through the input fields quickly and effectively?

To quickly move through the date fields, fill in the first field (in full or in part) and then use tab to jump to the next field.

Date example: the system automatically grabs the complete date of the current month after you enter the day of the month (for example 15) and press tab on the keyboard.

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What do the words Detached, Expected, In Operation, Completed mean?

The dashboard offers real-time insight into your handlings in 4 boxes:

  • Detached: Contains status requests, or handlings (containers) that are not yet linked to a terminal visit.
  • Expected: Contains prenotifications, or handlings (containers) that are linked to a terminal visit. This does not mean that the appointment is already fully accepted. Keep a close eye on the statuses.
  • In Operation: This means that the scheduled truck is currently loading and/or discharging the containers at the terminal.
  • Completed: The containers have been delivered or collected. The prenotification is complete. You can find more information about gate-in and gate-out here.

Note: Not all terminals send gate-in/out information to MCA Road, in which case you can check the terminal's website for gate in/out information.

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Is it possible to cancel a status request?

You can cancel the status request in the MCA web screen. However, no cancellation will be forwarded to the terminal.

On the terminal side, the status request expires as soon as a new status request or prenotification is submitted. Or if the term of the status request expires.

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What seal number do you enter for a FLAT?

You may enter FLAT or TANK here.

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How many characters are permitted in the seal number?

The seal number you enter in your prenotification must always be between two and fifteen positions long. Entering a longer number or only a single full stop or a single space is not permitted.

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Where can I view the logbook?

Click on the rotation and then on the third tab, 'history'. Here you will find the logbook (see also the screenshot below). Here you can see all the events that took place during this rotation. Clicking on an event displays the rotation as it appeared at that moment in the past.

Note: you can search within the logbook by using the search function CTRL+F.

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Is it possible to view a rotation/visit after it has been cancelled?

Once you have cancelled a rotation or visit, it will no longer be displayed on the HCN Barge web page. The terminal will receive a “Cancellation Requested” status update in connection with the cancelled visit/rotation. As soon as the terminal accepts the cancellation, the visit or rotation will no longer be visible on the terminal web page in HCN Barge.

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How can I quickly find my prenotification/status request, visit or rotation?

There are search filters within the screens. By entering one or more search terms, you can create a list. Search terms can be combined by means of a space. A search is performed on the words you see in the list but also on words and fields in the entire prenotification/status request, visit or rotation.

Examples: Go to the list of 'Handlings' or the 'Handlings' tab in a visit.

Desired result: list of all handlings of containers Search terms
being loaded Loading
being discharged Discharge
with container number ABCD6170760 ABCD6170760
with booking number/clearance reference


being discharged with a rejected prenotification rejected discharge
that have been cancelled Cancelled
that are empty and have been discharged empty discharged
with shipping company 'Orient Overseas Container Line Ltd' OOCL
that are blocked BLC
for which the documents are not in order (Customs Documents Missing) CDM

Below is a summary of known codes which the terminal can communicate back to you via the handling status and which you can search on using the search filter.

Code Omschrijving
BCO Before cargo opening
BLA Blocked by shipping line
BLB Blocked by security
BLC Blocked due to customs
BLD Blocked by fire brigade
BLI Blocked by inspection
BLN Blocked due to difference in container number between delivery order and physical container
BLP Blocked by police
BLT Blocked by terminal/Not present
CDM Customs documents missing
COA Container not available
COK Container OK
COR Container not released/Booking status
COU Container unknown
CTV Cancel Terminal Visit
DUP Duplicate order
ORA Booking already in use
ORN Booking number unknown/Carrier or container lessor unknown
OTH Other
QQQ Conditionally accepted
RUB Message has error in specified EDIland category, ie. RUB76.1
BOF Booking status
BON Size/type
NNG Booking number unknown
VES Vessel unknown

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Can you use HCN Barge on your smartphone and tablet

Yes, you can.

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Which browsers are supported?

Common browsers including Microsoft Edge are generally supported. The preference for optimum use is Google Chrome. Internet Explorer, the Microsoft predecessor to Edge, is not supported (from October 31, 2021).

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How can I set up e-mail notifications for prenotifications and/or visits?

You can subscribe to e-mail notifications for prenotifications and/or visits via the 'Preferences' tab in HCN Road.

Please note: if you use a group e-mail address, make sure you only register one colleague for these e-mails in order to avoid multiple identical notifications being delivered.

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What do the figures displayed on the rotation and visit screen mean?

For example, if you see 5/50, this means: 5 handlings are linked to this rotation or visit and 50 containers are notified as the expected number to discharge. As a result, you can see that you can still link multiple handlings to this visit without exceeding the expected number to discharge.

/!\ Please note: as soon as the barge goes into operation, actual numbers are shown, for example: 2/40 = 2 containers actually loaded of a total of 40 containers prenotified for loading during this visit.

The numbers after the warning icon indicate how many containers there are issues with in the handling status.

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Can I still submit the connecting seagoing vessel at terminal visit level?

No, this information is not used by the terminals. This may change in the future.

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How do I add barge operators?

Go to the rotation and add one or more barge operators under the 'Cargo declarant' tab.

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If a prenotification is conditionally accepted by the terminal, what can I and can’t I do with this prenotification?

You can do everything with this prenotification; for example, you can modify or cancel it.

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Should the voyage number be unique or only in combination with the call ID?

There is no validation of whether the voyage number is unique.

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Is it possible to use Excel to upload handlings in HCN Barge?

Yes, it is possible to use Excel to upload handlings in HCN Barge.

Steps to upload Excel sheet in HCN Barge

  • Go to the service HCN Barge
  • Click on the ‘Rotations’ tab
  • Find the relevant barge and open the rotation
  • Search for the visit and open this by clicking
  • Within the visit, click through to the ‘Handlings’ tab
  • Click on ‘Download XLS template’
  • Enter the status requests/pre-notification information in the template (Excel sheet)
  • Click on 'Upload handlings'
  • Select whether you want to upload the information as a status request or as a pre-notification

Excel uploads are also possible for HCN Road and the Excel upload for HCN Rail is under development.

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If a terminal does not support editing of prenotifications, what can I do in our own planning system?

You must cancel the prenotification and then submit a new prenotification.

View the Functionality Matrix to see whether the terminal supports a modification message.

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If a terminal does not support cancellation of prenotifications, what can I do in our own planning system?

Submit a cancel. MCA Barge will process it so that it is visible as 'cancelled' in the MCA Barge web screen. Towards the terminal side, a manual action is required. Contact the relevant terminal. For details, see the “Functionality Matrix – Hinterland”

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How quickly are prenotifications/status requests processed?

The processing time varies depending on the terminal and the moment in time; it is partly dependent on the number of messages to be processed at any one time.

In addition, if you submit a modified prenotification or status request, it will not be forwarded to the terminal until the terminal has replied to the previous prenotification or status request. In short, by repeatedly submitting a status request/prenotification, you can create a queue for yourself.

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I have submitted a prenotification from our planning system. Can I then submit a new prenotification and/or status request?

If you submit a new prenotification with the same combination, the prenotification will be rejected.

A prenotification may occur only once with the combination of:

  1. Container number
  2. Direction (loading/discharging)
  3. Clearance reference/booking number
  4. Terminal
  5. Shipping company

A status request can be submitted multiple times; however, once is enough to receive ongoing changes to the handling status.

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Loading/Unloading list

How does the Loading / unloading list differ per terminal?

*Hours prior to PTA (Planned time of arrival of Barge)


Introduction Load/ Discharge ListCut off time*Minimum Call SizeWhen are pre-notifications sent to terminalWhen are red pre-notifications rejected
HPDII1 February 20214 hours
(1 hour for bringing empties only)
n.a.DirectlyAuto-rejected upon cut-off
APMII9 November 20202 Hoursn.a.Directly<1 Hour after cut off, manually by terminal
ECT Delta DDE16 March 20218 Hours15 ContainersAt Cut-off time or directly with button 'Send load/discharge list'. Only green pre-notifications are sent to the terminal.Auto-rejected upon cut-off
ECT Delta DDN16 March 20218 Hours10 ContainersAt Cut-off time or directly with button 'Send load/discharge list'. Only green pre-notifications are sent to the terminal.Auto-rejected upon cut-off
ECT Delta Euromax16 March 20218 Hours10 ContainersAt Cut-off time or directly with button 'Send load/discharge list'. Only green pre-notifications are sent to the terminal.Auto-rejected upon cut-off
RWG3 November 20202 Hoursn.a.Directly<1 Hour after cut off, manually by terminal

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What are the different statuses of the Load/Discharge List?

The Load/Discharge List has four statuses with a corresponding version of the icon.


Open before cut-off
Closed after cut-off moment
Reopened in consultation with terminal
Earlier submission (ECT only)
Unloading/loading list not sent at Cut-off

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How do I send my Load/Discharge List to ECT Delta/Euromax before the cargo cut-off?

Early submission of the Load/Discharge List only applies to the ECT Delta and Euromax terminals.

Green prenotifications are automatically sent to these terminals when the Load/Discharge List is closed (at ECT this is 8 hours before the start of the barge slot) or manually and prematurely at the cut-off.) This is done using the 'Send Load/Discharge List’ button, which you can find under the 'Visit’ tab.

By clicking the 'Send Load/Discharge List' button, the green prenotifications are forwarded to ECT Delta/Euromax.

NOTE: The Load/Discharge List must comply with the minimum call size set by ECT.

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What has terminal ECT communicated about the Loading / unloading functionality?

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Who can re-close the Load/Discharge List?

This can only be done by the barge operator, by clicking the "Finalize Load-Discharge list” button.

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Who can reopen the Load/Discharge List?

This can only be done by the data departments of the various terminals.

Please contact them directly.

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Which terminals work with the load/discharge list functionality?




ECT Delta
RST Noord & Zuid

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Why is there a cut-off time for a barge load-discharge list?

The introduction of the automatic cut-off, which creates a final load-discharge list, is necessary for Nextlogic’s integrated planning. Based on the data in the final load-discharge lists, Nextlogic can further optimise the integrated planning for Nextlogic participants.

To ensure a straightforward working method, the same principle has been applied to manual planning.

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What does the cut-off for the load-discharge list involve?

All the prenotifications submitted for a barge visit together make up the load-discharge list. The load-discharge list is automatically closed at the terminal a few hours before the barge arrives. This is the so-called cut-off time. After this, the load-discharge list status is final and no further changes are possible.

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What are the cut-off times?

Different times may apply per terminal and for loading empty containers, loading full containers, unloading empty containers and unloading full containers. For barges with a mixed cargo, the earliest cut-off time determines when the entire load-discharge list is closed for the visit.

Cut-off time in uren

cut-off time generalcutt-off time discharging empty
ECT Euromax8
ECT Delta8

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How can you tell when the cut-off has passed and the load-discharge list is final?

During a scheduled visit, a green dot with a white check mark is shown.

When an additional ‘padlock’ icon is shown, the load-discharge list has been finalised.

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Are all green and red prenotifications shown in the final load-discharge list?

No, only those prenotifications that are in order (or ‘green’) will be included in the final load-discharge list. The result is a load-discharge list containing only 'green' prenotifications.

All prenotifications found not be in order (‘red’ prenotifications) are rejected in MCA Barge.

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Where can I see the rejected prenotifications?

After the cut-off, the ‘red’ prenotifications are automatically rejected in MCA Barge. These remain visible to the barge operator under the handlings of the visit in question and are marked ‘rejected’.

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Can ‘green’ prenotifications on a final load-discharge list still turn ‘red’?

Yes, that can happen. For example, if a customs inspection or embargo is announced after the cut-off time. The prenotification will remain on the final load-discharge list for the time being; the container will not be loaded or unloaded by the terminal.

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How can I make a change after the cut-off?

If changes are required to a final load-discharge list (after the cut-off), this can only be done by contacting the terminal directly. The terminal operator can then reopen the load-discharge list in MCA Barge. After this, the barge operator makes the changes and must then again close the load-discharge list in MCA Barge itself. As soon as all changes have been made, the barge operator closes the load-discharge list by clicking on the "Finalize Load-Discharge list” button.

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How do I proceed if I notice that my vessel will be unable to meet the slot time at ECT as specified in HCN Barge?

As a barge operator, we expect you to adjust the ETA in HCN Barge in accordance with the expected delay in these kinds of situations.

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Once my vessel has been scheduled at ECT in HCN Barge, how can I still benefit from any capacity becoming available sooner?

If you want to take advantage of any capacity that becomes available at ECT sooner as a barge operator, you must specify the earliest time that your barge can be at the terminal via the ETA in HCN Barge. ECT takes these specified ETAs into account when replanning.

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Fixed Window

What is a BTM call (visit)?

Barge Transferium Maasvlakte (BTM) is a collaboration between Hutchison Ports ECT Rotterdam (ECT) and a consortium of inland terminals and barge operators.

As part of this collaboration, ECT makes a section of quay with a crane and crane team available to the consortium on set days and times at a fixed rate.

The barge operators themselves are responsible for the planning and in mutual consultation, the participating parties determine when and how often they want to moor alongside the quay.

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How can I add my fixed window to HCN Barge?

The terminal with which you have arranged the fixed window will record this agreement in HCN Barge.

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How do I select a fixed window in HCN Barge?

First of all, you must have a fixed window agreement with one or more terminals.

Furthermore, the terminal must have added the fixed window to the service HCN Barge.

Is this the case for both? Then you are able to select your fixed window in the ‘Fixed window’ field when creating a barge visit.

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Process progress

Why does it sometimes take so long before I get a response to my prenotification(s) from a terminal?

The speed with which status requests and prenotifications are answered depends on several factors. The sending and processing of status requests and prenotifications involves a series of actions by different parties. Things can sometimes go wrong at various points in that chain. The aim is to keep problems to a minimum.

Port Community System (PCS)

Most prenotifications and status requests from carriers/operators are processed via the Portbase platform and sent to the terminal within seconds.

Nevertheless, sometimes malfunctions do occur, or there may be maintenance to the services. In that case, Portbase will get to work to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. At status.portbase.com you can see the status of the various Portbase services. On that page you can also subscribe to notifications, so that you are always kept up to date. It is reassuring to know that the Portbase (PCS) system has an uptime of 99.8%.

Terminal Operating Systems (TOS)

Most terminals use an EDI connection. After EDI messages are received from Portbase, they must be read out processed in the terminal system, and finally a response message needs to be returned to Portbase. Delays may occur in all these steps – especially when demands on processing capacity are at their highest, for example on Friday afternoons. At peak times like this, large volumes of EDI messages are sent and delays can occur.

API links are the future and may represent an improvement in this regard. The first terminals are now working with API links.

Terminals can also unexpectedly run into malfunctions or require maintenance of their systems. In such cases, terminals will work to solve the issue as quickly as possible and will inform their customers and users themselves.

Transport Management Systems (TMS)

Hauliers can make use of a system link between their planning system (TMS) and the Portbase (PCS) system; delays or malfunctions can also occur in these systems.

System links via EDI will eventually be phased out. API is the future and offers much faster information transfer. Ask your software vendor about the options for working with API.

As we have seen, delays can occur at different times and in different steps in the process. Please contact the Portbase Service Desk if you have reason to believe you are experiencing an unusually long delay during prenotification. You can do so by calling +31 (0)88 625 25 25 or by e-mailing servicedesk@portbase.com

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Can I still add my container to the Barge when the status is in operation?

Unfortunately it is no longer possible to add containers when the barge is under the crane / status in operation.

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Why doesn’t the visit status change to “in operation” at the right time?

It is possible for the status of a visit to change to “in operation” well after the loading/discharging activities of that visit have begun or ended. The underlying signal for the status change in HCN Barge is the first gate-in/gate-out notification the terminal sends to Portbase for the barge visit in question. When the gate-in/gate-out confirmation is sent or processed at a later time, it gives a skewed impression of the actual operation's progress.

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Why does my barge visit still show the status “in operation”?

The terminal confirms each visit as “completed” once handling has been finished. The terminal operator must do this manually. If the terminal has not (yet) confirmed completion, the visit will continue to display the status “in operation”. For the time being, this does not present a problem. When we begin supporting integral planning by Nextlogic, however, this issue will become important.

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If I delete a prenotification of the visit in my own planning system, what happens?

MCA Barge sends a cancellation of the prenotification to the terminal. A status request is then sent to the terminal. It can be found as a separate status request in the web screen under the Handlings -> "Detached handlings" tab.

If you link the prenotification to another visit, MCA Barge will send a cancellation of the prenotification to the terminal. A new prenotification will then be sent to the terminal of the new visit. It will be available under "Handlings" of the new visit.

You will continue to receive updates of the handling status, if the terminal supports them. For details, see the “Functionality Matrix – Hinterland”.

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