Speed, accuracy and enhanced security are important reasons for European seaports and the deepsea terminals that operate there to strongly focus on automation and digitisation. The exchange of data through Electronic Data Exchange (EDI) plays a central role in automation and digitisation. Initially starting out with the establishment of bilateral EDI connections, the largest European seaports have over time started to pursue more modern initiatives. Through close cooperation with terminals and the community systems of port authorities and an active involvement in the development of all EDI projects in the various ports, Modality connects its customers with the major seaports in Northern Europe.

Data exchange through EDI messages
Originally, barge operators, among others, had to exchange paper lists in order to be able to load or unload containers in the seaports. Nowadays, data such as PIN codes and booking numbers are exchanged by means of EDI messages. The deepsea terminals in the seaport have drawn up mandatory EDI guidelines for this.
However, the various terminals have implemented these guidelines in different ways. Modality closely monitors the developments within the various ports. Below, you will find an overview of operational EDI interfaces and current developments for the ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg and Bremerhaven.

Data exchange in Rotterdam
Modality at one time set up the first bilateral EDI connection together with ECT, but nowadays almost all communication pertaining to the pick-up and delivery of containers at the sea terminals by inland shipping, rail and truck runs through Portbase. With this, the port of Rotterdam has centralised the exchange of messages. Within the EDI connections, we make a distinction between the traditional EDI interface (Edifact COPINO scenario Barge/Rail/Truck) and the more modern Hinterland Container Notification (HCN) variant (API interface). This API connection provides a greater increase in handling speed and enrichment of the existing container data, such as cargo opening and cargo closing times. Eventually, the traditional COPINO scenarios for truck and rail will switch to the HCN variant as well.

Data exchange in Antwerp
Logistics parties in Antwerp must also pre-notify via EDI messages for the pick-up or delivery of containers. Two parties play an important role in this; PSA and DP World. The exchange of EDI messages has been set up in a decentral manner in Antwerp.

PSA & DP World
The current, traditional model at the PSA terminals, including MSC PSA European Terminal (MPET), consists of an Edifact COPINO scenario for barge and rail activities and an XML interface for trucks that pick up or deliver containers. In the current model, DP World uses a traditional Edifact COPINO scenario for barge and rail and an XML interface for trucks as well. Both systems work through one-to-one connections.

Certified Pick-up
In the second half of this year, the so-called ‘Certified Pick-up (CPU)’ process will be implemented for the pick-up of full import containers in the port of Antwerp. By means of the CPU, the port of Antwerp is adding additional security regarding the request of PIN codes. Modality is currently specifying and developing a number of modules which allow customers to integrate the CPU process within their existing Modality system if desired.

Data exchange in Hamburg and Bremerhaven
Modality is also familiar with the required EDI scenarios for the ports of Hamburg (with deepsea terminals HHLA, Eurogate and Unikai) and Bremerhaven (Eurogate, NTB) and is able to integrate them into the existing Modality system.

Do you want to anticipate these developments and also integrate one or more EDI link-ups into your system? Contact us and we will be happy to discuss the options!

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