Business Case

Next mode of transport

The Next Mode of Transport API allows forwarders, hinterland operators and beneficial cargo owners to submit information on the Next Mode of Transport of import containers. NxtPort passes that information along to the terminal, who can use it to optimize yard planning.

With the global average call size growing steadily, optimising yard planning is a key challenge for terminals. Having information available on the Next Mode of Transport of import containers - i.e. how will a container be picked up, and when - and in a timely fashion, can help terminals in achieving an optimal use of space, with a minimum of moves. This in turn can result in shorter turnaround times for the inland haulier picking up the container.

However, terminals often do not have information on the Next Mode of Transport, or NMoT for short. Especially in the case of merchant haulage, the landscape of parties is very diverse. The Next Mode of Transport API addresses that complexity by offering a single API connection where parties can submit NMoT information for any connected terminal operator. NxtPort passes the information on to the correct terminal, based on the location indicated in the NMoT information.

The NMoT data elements in scope are those identifying the container voyage, the NMoT (barge, truck or rail) and the receiving terminal, plus optional information like hinterland operator, pick-up timing, etc.

The NMoT data is informational and non-binding, but it is supposed to reflect the actual planning of the parties involved in the haulage of the container. When the planning changes, an update of the NMoT info is much appreciated.

The usability-deadline for submitting NMoT information depends on the terminal's operating systems and processes. In many cases, NMoT info is only useful if it is available 24 to 8 hours before start of the unloading of the vessel, though some terminal operating systems can dynamically change the planned location of a container even during operations. When a container has been already discharged, new NMoT info may have some value if the container needs to be relocated during a housekeeping move.


Within the Antwerp Port Community, Barge Operators, Terminals and Forwarders have agreed upon a better data sharing, coordinated by NxtPort and the Port of Antwerp. Interested companies can participate and find technical information on the Barge Container Project page.

Container Barge Project

Digitization stream 


NMoT Factsheet

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