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Customers will soon be able to share their Portbase data with third parties

Medical Transport & Logistics General


In the run-up to the summer, Portbase is launching a number of key services based on the iSHARE standard for the secure and controlled exchange of data. These new services are a perfect fit with Portbase’s ambition of further improving the digital safety of Dutch ports.

In the Netherlands, there is a very high degree of collaboration between nautical services, harbour masters and other stakeholders, and Dutch ports are known for their progressive approach to safety. But being a safe port of the future calls for more than just physical safety; digital safety is increasingly important for ports too. “Data relating to all port-related activities will be fundamental to the future of Dutch ports, and safeguarding the security of that data is definitely the number-one priority,” says Donald Baan, manager of business development at Portbase.

Portbase has set itself the goal of being a digital cornerstone for Dutch ports and ensuring a safe, trust-based environment for the exchange of logistics data. “Portbase is keen to become the gatekeeper for safe data sharing for Dutch ports, whether with respect to the authorised exchange of data, the issuing of identities or the monitoring of the various access levels,” he adds.

IAMconnected: combining safe logins with data-sharing authorisations

Since the end of last year, Portbase customers have been able to use IAMconnected, the new digital identity that provides access to multiple digital services related to ports and logistics. Over the next few months, Portbase is taking the necessary steps to bring those identities in line with the requirements of the iSHARE scheme.

Baan: “The IAMconnected identities will soon be fully iSHARE-compliant. In other words, they will meet the strictest criteria for secure and controlled data sharing. Customers can use those identities to not only log in to the Portbase port community system, but also – and equally importantly – to authorise Portbase to share their data with third parties. That will be possible in an ‘Authorisation Registry’, which is likewise iSHARE-compliant.”

“The big advantage for customers is that they can use a single secure identity, plus that identity will additionally enable them to share data that is already stored on our platform with other parties – thus saving a huge amount of time and money.”

The identity can also be used to make safe and efficient use of other applications that accept IAMconnected as a login method.

Real-life use case: CBS accesses data from Portbase with data owner’s approval

The way in which Statistics Netherlands (CBS) makes use of the iSHARE scheme’s possibilities is a good example of how this works in practice.

CBS needs transport and logistics data, such as about the truck numbers, trip details and so on, in order to fulfil its role. In the past, terminals, shippers, freight forwarders and carriers had to spend a considerable amount of time on providing CBS with such data – even though the organisations had already submitted that data to the Portbase community platform for various reasons. 

“iSHARE now plays a crucial role in this process. If a terminal, shipper, carrier or freight forwarder listed in our iSHARE-compliant Authorisation Registry has given explicit permission for their data to be shared with CBS, then CBS is able to directly access the existing data from our platform. Thanks to such iSHARE authorisations, CBS no longer needs to approach all the individual parties separately for the data, so it saves a tremendous amount of time”, states Baan.

Real-life use case: Inland terminal in Tilburg accesses load data from Portbase with stakeholders’ approval

In a pilot setting, organisations such as BTT Multimodal Container Solutions are working with shippers and forwarders to investigate how they can reduce the barriers to accessing one another’s data. Moreover, the pilot is not only about BTT being able to access load data from freight forwarders, but also about shippers and forwarders accessing the container status and track & trace information directly from Portbase, for example. As an added advantage, all it BTT requires is the set-up of an API connection. Plus it is much easier to scale up whenever new customers authorise them to access their data through the iSHARE scheme.

“Once again, all parties in the chain stand to benefit from this. The fact that data which is already available on our platform can be made available to third parties – under strict conditions, of course – saves everyone lots of valuable time,” continues Baan.

Secure and controlled data sharing

Security is the top priority in the case of both the IAMconnected identity and the possibility to authorise third parties to access data. Baan: “That’s why we meet the strict security requirements of the iSHARE scheme and why our customers maintain full control over their data at all times. They themselves determine who may access their data and under what conditions.”

Besides launching these new data services, Portbase is currently expanding its role as an iSHARE satellite for the community so that organisations who wish to join iSHARE can do so via Portbase. “We already have a community of organisations that we know well, so we can help them to take that step. Then you make things even easier for users,” explains Baan.