Portbase sets sails to the cloud

Port Community System (PCS) runs completely in AWS public cloud

The system with which logistics parties in the Dutch ports share information has been running entirely in the cloud since mid-September. Owner Portbase moved his Port Community System (PCS) to the AWS public cloud on 22 September. Peter de Graaf of Portbase. “This way, we can guarantee reliability to our 4,000 thousand customers in the long run.”

Via the PCS, Portbase facilitates efficient data sharing between logistics companies and information exchange with port authorities. The system’s data is available through various services. The information varies from waste reports and cargo data to transport orders and customs declarations. The system has around 15,000 users.

Ready for the future

“In their own words, Portbase is one of the first companies in the port logistics industry to run their service entirely in the cloud. Going to the cloud ensures a future-proof system, according to De Graaf. He states that it delivers high reliability, accelerates releases to production, provides real-time in-depth insights into the functioning of services and makes innovation easier.”

From 2012 on until mid-September 2018, PCS was running in a traditionally hosted data centre environment. In order to make the migration as smooth as possible, De Graaf’s team ensured that all components at the hosting party were up-to-date and ready for migration. (…)


In the course of the migration to AWS the Portbase’s IT team worked together with Xebia and other consultancy partners. The whole project took about a year, according to the director. This period included convincing the Supervisory Board and shareholders. The actual migration took place on Saturday, September 22nd, following detailed scenarios. De Graaf made agreements with customers about the estimated downtime. On Sunday, the last remaining points were solved.

The choice for AWS was based on De Graaf's previous experience and on the advice of the external service providers (Xebia). "AWS was the most suitable for our type of company and our specific wishes. We looked at other options, including Dutch suppliers, but they eventually stepped out of the negotiations. For example, they could not provide the flexibility we wanted."


Most Portbase employees have both knowledge of port logistics and the corresponding systems. Portbase invested in the training of their own cloud team who will manage and further develop the PCS in the cloud. Xebia played an essential part in the training of the cloud team as well as the further development of Portbase’s cloud environment and continues to do so.