Portbase will be developing the application in the coming months in collaboration with the market. The expectation is that companies will be able to use Portbase by the end of this year to monitor all import movements and they will be notified automatically about any delays.

Cargo Tracker is the successor to Boxinsider, an app developed by the Port of Rotterdam Authority in 2019. The tool met the demand for chain visibility and led to standardisation. The transparency meant that everyone in the chain knew exactly what was going on and the standardisation ensured that data could be exchanged smoothly and reliably.

Supplying the tool through Portbase will allow it to grow, says Donald Baan, a former employee of the Port Authority who helped with the predecessor, Boxinsider, and who now works as Portbase's business development manager.

We're now working with the new name, Cargo Tracker. I think it's a hugely valuable product for shippers. You don't want to spend all day making phone calls and entering codes on different sites to know where a container is. We now have all that information in Cargo Tracker

In addition to reliable forecasts, Cargo Tracker has more to offer. If there is a delay, the companies further down the line are informed immediately. This gives the shipper, for example, the opportunity to make arrangements for hinterland transport.

The pilot project conducted thorough research to determine which data are relevant and what can be left out. Data from ship owners and terminals were already available in the Port Community System, but that was not the case for data from inland terminals, for example. And until now, shippers are still phoning these companies every day to ask where their container has got to.

This tool will allow shippers to see a container on the screen and the inland terminals will be able to focus on their business operations again

said Mr. Baan.

The service is currently available for imports but it will soon extend to exports. Due to all the data at disposal, the tool can forecast arrival dates more accurately.

Cargo Tracker is still limited by the fact that the first data become available only when the ship owner enters the ship and the cargo in the Port Community System.

It would certainly be wonderful if the container could be tracked in the same way as an order on the Internet. However, delivery for consumers is usually organised by a single party or through sub-contractors,

highlights Van Doorn, Matthijs van Doorn, Director of Logistics.

He adds that n the case of a container, it is commin to have eight organisations who all work in their own different ways. So particularly in the early stages, it was extremely difficult to coordinate everything, he says.

However, once the information has been combined, there is a consistent picture and that is useful for shippers.

They get a picture of the entire chain. So if they see, for example, that containers are getting held up at the terminal for a very long time, they can raise that issue. In that way, the chain acquires the potential to improve itself