Safe port

Tighter security for import-container chain in Rotterdam

1 March 2024
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As of the 31st of March 2024, all import containers arriving in the port of Rotterdam from Latin America will only be securely and reliably released via the Secure Chain. The new operational approach creates a closed logistics chain that solely comprises familiar, authorised parties. The Secure Chain is part of a broader approach deployed by the public and private sectors to present a united front against drug crime in the port of Rotterdam.

Vrachtwagen komt aan bij terminal en wacht voor de slagboom

In the Secure Chain, companies digitally pass on the authorisation to collect a container from the terminal to one another. Only an inland operator that has been authorised through the Secure Chain can gain access to the terminal. The collection of containers using PIN codes, which are susceptible to potential abuse, will come to an end. “The time of widely shared PIN codes via email is over. In the Secure Chain, all the information that is required for the secure and reliable collection of a container is transferred digitally from one link to the next,” says the spokesperson for the Secure Chain.

Chain cooperation

The Secure Chain makes the Dutch port logistics chains more resilient to unwanted external influences. In order for the Secure Chain to work, action is required from all parties in the logistics chain. This starts with the shipping line/ship agent and continues via the shipper, forwarder and inland operator (truck, train, inland shipping) to the terminal. The Secure Chain entails a new operational approach for all these parties. The Port Authority helped facilitate this cooperation in the interest of a safe and resilient port.

CMA CGM, COSCO Shipping, Maersk, MSC, ONE OOCL and ZIM are the shipping lines/ship agents that serve Rotterdam from Latin America. They are currently in the process of connecting their customers in phases. HMM, Yang Ming and (soon) Evergreen are also already live with the Secure Chain. Following the import containers from Latin America, the shipping lines/ship agents will focus on the phased implementation of the Secure Chain for other incoming deepsea containers.

Secure Chain

The Secure Chain is a joint initiative by the business community and the authorities to boost the digital resilience of current port logistics processes. The secure and reliable release and collection of import containers in the Dutch ports is an important component of this.

The Secure Chain largely works via the Port Community System of Portbase, the neutral logistics platform for the Dutch ports. To accommodate the Secure Chain, Portbase has added an extra authorisation layer on top of several existing digital services. This makes it possible for different links to securely pass on the authorisation to collect a container. Furthermore, all parties are able to operate with greater efficiency. For example, participants benefit from the smart reuse of data and gain optimal insight into the status and planning of import containers throughout the chain. For more information about the Secure Chain, visit