Hinterland Container Notification Rail

Via the Portbase Secure Chain, you can securely prenotify rail containers and train visits to sea and rail terminals, and if necessary nominate another haulier. With Hinterland Container Notification Rail, you can see which rail containers have been assigned to you to prenotify and collect, and if necessary outsource those tasks to subcontractors.

Hinterland Container Notification (HCN) and the Portbase Secure Chain

With the advent of the Portbase Secure Chain, your cargo’s data is accessible only to parties who are actually authorised to view and use that information, by means of nomination and registration. You specify which partners you make responsible for the prenotification and collection of your cargo in HCN. You can also transfer this responsibility by nominating another haulier in the newly developed Shipments dashboard. As such, the service is part of the Portbase Secure Chain, an updated working method for sharing data with each other safely and securely in the Dutch ports. More information about the Portbase Secure Chain can be found here.

Who is it for?

Hinterland Container Notification is used by hauliers.

What type of cargo is it for?

For container, trailer and bulk cargo.

How can I use HCN?

The services Notification Container Hinterland are available via web and API.

Frequently Asked Questions


Where can I retrieve my billing statement?

Follow the steps below to retrieve your billing statement:

  1. In the HCN web screens, click on the dropdown menu at the top right of the screen and then on 'Billable transactions'.
  2. Select the period for which you want to request billing statements.
  3. Click 'Download' to retrieve the billing statement for the selected period.

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Is it possible to only see my Loading or my Discharge containers?

By clicking on 'Loading' or 'Discharge' or the 'Visit voyage ID' (on the right of the screen, see screenshot) you have the possibility to see handlings for loading or discharging only. The filter is activated when the word ‘Loading’ or ‘Discharge’ is highlighted in orange. This filter is will stay activated when navigating through visits and also across sessions. So, if you don't see a container make sure you have selected the right filter.

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What does the ‘blue orb’ means in the rotation overview?

This means that the terminal has changed something during a visit. For example, that the visit has been accepted.

The blue orb for a visit disappears (for everyone) when someone presses the ‘Acknowledge update’ button.

For the rotation and visits when viewing a rotation:

When all changed visits are acknowledged, the blue orb for the rotation will also disappear automatically.

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What are time table slots?

These are slots in the railway timetable, whereby it is determined in advance at which times of the week a particular rail operator will visit which terminal. These are put in HNC by the terminal and used by the rail operator when they request a visit in HNC.

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Which terminal supports which HCN functionality?

View the support per modality below.

HCN Road

What options do you have as a carrier?

TerminalAddressZip codeEAN codeLocation codeStatus requestStatus requests: Continuous updatesPre-notificationUpdate pre-notificationCancel pre-notificationPre-notification: Continuous updatesGate-in Gate-outEmpty pre-notification: with booking nr. onlyTAR codeRemote Check-InRemain on TruckCommercial window informationCargo opening & closing information
APM Terminals Maasvlakte II B.VEuropaweg 9103199 LC8713755272258NLRTMNLMVII1
Broekman DistriportMannheimweg 33197 LR8713755502218NLRTMBDP
DCS | Kramer GroupMissouriweg 303199 LB 8713755948719NLRTMOQEP1
Depot Pier 7Zaltbommelstraat 103089 JK8713755956844NLRTMUWTP7
Euromax Terminal B.V.Maasvlakteweg 9513199 LZ8713755502201NLRTMEMX
Hutchison Ports Delta II B.V.Coloradoweg 503199 LA8713755000394NLRTMHPD21
Hutchison Ports ECT Delta Terminal B.V.Europaweg 8753199 LD8713755000059NLRTMDCD
Matrans Rotterdam TerminalReeweg 253089 KM8713755234607NLRTMMATR
R.B.C./CetemWestgeulstraat 6 3197 LD8713755299484NLRTMCETA
RCT | Kramer GroupMissouriweg 173199 LB 8713755955137NLRTMKRM1
RSCReeweg 353089 KM8713755000158NLRTMRSC
RSTReeweg 353089 KM8713755259860NLRTMRST
RWGAmoerweg 503199 KD8713755270896NLRTMRWG1
UWT Depot FrisohavenBunschotenweg 1603089 KC8713755903541NLRTMUWT1
UWT Depot WaalhavenWaalhaven West Zijde 603089 KR8713755047085NLRTMWHT1
  • ECT + Euromax: Once all statuses are OK, there will be no further updates if any changes occur.
  • HPD2: 24/7 with TAR timeslot. For more information, check the terminals company website.
  • APMII: half-hour TAR timeslots. For more information, check the terminals company website.
  • RWG: 1-hour TAR timeslot. For more information, check the terminals company website.
  • RCT & DCS: 1-hour TAR timeslot. For more information, check the terminals company website

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I can’t find what I am looking for with the search bar.

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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Where can I find the history (log) of my rotation?

You can view the history within the service. Click on the rotation and then on the ‘history’ tab.

There you will find the event history (a log) like the printscreen below. This shows you all the events that took place on that rotation. By clicking on an event, the rotation is shown as it appeared at that moment in the past.

Note: you can search within the history 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 and HCN Rail 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 of HCN Barge / HCN Rail.

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Can you use HCN Rail 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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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 within the handling status.

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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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Processing the commercial release

As the haulier, can I nominate another haulier before the commercial release is issued?

Yes, you can track the container(s) in HCN well before the ship's ETA. You can then also inform the subcontractor by linking them to your shipment. The chain will not become active until the commercial release is issued.

The prenotification can also be made before the commercial release, but there is an exception for ECT's terminal, because it cannot process updates.

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I am the haulier for one or more containers. How can I nominate another haulier?

Select the container(s) you want to assign to another haulier by checking the box to the left of the container line. The Forward button then appears at the bottom of the page. By clicking on it, you can choose which organisation you want to prenotify and transport the selected container(s).

Important! You can select multiple containers at once, but you can only nominate one haulier per forward.

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I am the nominated haulier for my container but I am not able to select another haulier to nominate them.

If your haulier is not known in HCN, you cannot select them to nominate them for the Inland operator role. The haulier must first register with Portbase and then choose (one of) the services HCN Road, Rail or Barge. This is how you step into the Portbase Secure Chain.

Should this block further processing of the current container, you have two options:

  • Use another haulier that is known to Portbase, or
  • the PIN code will be shared with your customer by the shipping company in the usual way.

Important! At most terminals, prenotification by your haulier is mandatory. In time, the option of collecting a container with a PIN code will be withdrawn due to its susceptibility to fraud.

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Do I also need to give the other nominated haulier a transport order for this shipment?

Yes; in this phase, the Portbase Secure Chain is only concerned with collecting containers without a PIN code. Other information required for transport must be shared with the haulier outside the PCS. When downloading container information, you can see what information is available within the PCS and HCN.

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Revoking a commercial release

How can I revoke the nomination for a container?

The party that made the nomination can also revoke the nomination. They can do so for one or more containers. To do this, click on the selection box(es) for the appropriate container(s) and click the Cancel shipment button. The nomination has now been revoked for the selected container(s) and there is no longer an active haulier. You can now nominate another haulier.

Important! If you revoke the nomination of a subcontractor, it is important to revoke the transport order first to avoid unnecessary charges.

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I see that I am no longer the nominated haulier for a container; how is this possible?

Your customer has revoked your nomination and chosen another haulier for the container(s). You can tell that this is the case because the container is visible in the Handlings dashboard but is no longer visible in Shipments.

If a transport order exists in your own TMS but there is no registration in the PCS, it is no longer valid.

The customer should always inform the haulier of the cancellation or removal of a container in order to avoid a cargo mismatch, because the haulier may have already initiated transport to collect the container.

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I see that the validity of the commercial release has expired, now what?

Contact the carrier, or your client, for a new commercial release or renewal. The client can also see in his own overview that the commercial release is no longer active or has been given a red status.

Your chain may have already been fully prepared, and this chain is still active at this point. Only without the commercial release your inland operator cannot remove the container. If the carrier resend the commercial exemption, this automatically restores your already prepared chain and your inland operator can submit the pre-notification.

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I have been nominated as the haulier and I can see the container under the Shipments tab and under Handling. What should I do?

All containers are listed under the Handlings tab. Under the Shipments tab, you see only the containers assigned to you via the Portbase Secure Chain by means of nomination. What you do next depends on your situation:

  • If you are performing the prenotification and transport of the container(s) yourself, or outsourcing transport, there is no change to your current workflow. If another party is performing the transport for you, please read the instructions for ECT Remote Check-in.
  • New! If you outsource both the prenotification and collection of the container(s), an additional step will be added to your workflow. You need to nominate and register another haulier for your container(s) in the Shipments dashboard, under Shipments, by clicking the Forward button.

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I am the nominated haulier and I want to register a subcontractor for the prenotification and collection of the container(s). What should I do?

You now have two options, depending on your situation:

  1. If you perform the prenotification yourself and outsource the collection of the container, you can arrange this via Handlings. There is no change to your current workflow. If another party is performing the transport for you, please read the instructions for ECT Remote Check-in.
  2. If you wish to nominate another haulier for both prenotification and collection of the container, please arrange this via Shipments. You need to nominate and register another haulier for your container(s) in the Shipments dashboard, under Shipments, by clicking the Forward button.

By means of these actions, your haulier is added to the Portbase Secure Chain and all CargoCards linked to this organisation will be recognised. Failure to do this will result in the haulier being denied access to the terminal. If the commercial release has been issued, you can submit the prenotification.

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I am the nominated haulier, but no commercial release is available in the status request yet. Why is that?

This means that the commercial release has not yet been issued. The status of a container can be requested even if the commercial release has not been issued yet.

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My prenotification has been accepted but circumstances prevent me from picking up the container myself. Can someone else take over my prenotification?

Yes, they can. Depending on the terminal, you will need to update the prenotification or cancel it completely and resubmit it. When updating or cancelling, you can nominate the appropriate haulier for prenotification and transport.

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Portbase Secure Chain

Can I also process my export flow via the Portbase Secure Chain?

No, in the current phase, the Portbase Secure Chain is only in place for the import flow of containers.

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Can I also see empty returns via the Portbase Secure Chain?

No, this data is not available in the Portbase Secure Chain in the current phase. This will follow in a later phase.

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Which shipping companies are registered in HCN Road?

For a list of all shipping companies that are registered in the service HCN Road, including the SCAC and SMDG codes, click on the icon of the small figure at the top right of the dashboard. Then click on 'Reference data'. A new page now opens; you can download the list of shipping companies by clicking on 'Shipping companies'.

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What has ECT communicated about the Export Customs document?

As of April 17 2023, ECT Delta and ECT Euromax terminals require an export document before the arrival of a container at the terminal. More information about this change at ECT Terminals can be found by clicking on this link.

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Having trouble capturing screenshots with the mouse-over popups or so called tool tips showing?

Use the free tool Gadwin Printscreen.

It is also possible to directly e-mail statuses of selected handlings to an e-mail address.

View the Quick Start Guide under the ‘E-mail Notifications’ tab to see how this works.

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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 involve 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 and 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.

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 emailing our Customer Service.

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