iSHARE: Data sharing in the Dutch transport and logistics sector 

"Data sharing is essentially about trust."

Gerard van der Hoeven - Executive Director at iSHARE Foundation

This article is a follow-up on the practice example on iSHARE: Sharing Dutch transport and logistics data.

The iSHARE Foundation is an independent, transparent and non-profit body that is focused on enforcing agreements, managing the processes that are associated with joining the network and facilitating changes in the scheme. The iSHARE scheme includes identification, authentication and authorisation for the transport and logistics sector in the Netherlands. This set of agreements enables stakeholders to share logistics data with other parties, including with new and previously unknown partners. It is simple and controlled, because the owner of the data always retains the final decision about who has access to which data and how. The number of iSHARE participants in the logistics sector has been growing steadily ever since the launch in 2018.

The SCDS team interviewed Gerard van der Hoeven, the executive director of iSHARE Foundation, for more information about his strategy for the future of iSHARE.

Use case example: Hutchison Ports ECT Rotterdam

One of the new companies joining the growing network of iSHARE is Hutchison Ports ECT Rotterdam (ECT). ECT joins the iSHARE network after a successful pilot which launched in 2019. During the pilot, ECT shared data with the third parties, the (Dutch) fruit and vegetable supply companies Nature’s Pride and Total Produce. ECT decided to join the iSHARE network after the pilot was a success in April 2020.

ECT and its customers can securely share container data in logistics chains under ECT’s control with the iSHARE data sharing scheme as of May 2020. The iSHARE data sharing scheme is used for data sharing between parties that are not directly related to each other. ECT shares information about container activities at its ECT Delta and ECT Euromax terminals with numerous third parties every day, often at the request of a customer.

Shippers benefit from the accurate and timely information on the status of their container(s) during the unloading process in the terminal(s). The container’s actual unloading time is particularly important, as it enables shippers to further optimise their own planning and processes. In the case of fresh food shipments from companies such as Nature’s Pride and Total Produce, the container’s status even determines the timing of the goods’ release into the market.

Currently, shippers or forwarders enter various data, including a PIN code, in order to obtain information from a terminal on a specific container. This information is not automatically available to them or the other parties involved, because the information sharing rights between the various parties are not known at the outset. Not only does this process generate manual work, but there are often delays in issuing PIN codes to the various parties.

Through the iSHARE data sharing scheme, organisations can share data with parties such as Nature’s Pride and Total Produce at an earlier stage using data from Portbase’s Port Community System. With the owner’s consent, Portbase shares information on the container (i.e. location and time of arrival) with the terminal. That information is then automatically made available to authorised users through ECT’s new "MyTerminal portal". ECT and Portbase have aligned their messaging with iSHARE’s agreements system for this purpose.

Before providing controlled access to the requested data, ECT wants to be sure that the information will be received by the right person within the right company for the right purpose. By joining the iSHARE scheme, ECT can use the identities from iSHARE Identity Provider Secure Logistics to gain the necessary technical and legal certainty for itself and its customers. One of the applications of iSHARE is a single sign-on on the ECT app.

Companies in the logistics and transport sector, such as ECT can join iSHARE in the Netherlands. The executive director of the iSHARE Foundation plans to expand to more countries in Europe as well because the trading routes between European countries, especially in the Schengen area countries, are interwoven.

Practical guide to start with data sharing

The use case of ECT shows that data sharing can help several companies in the logistics and transport sector to work more efficiently. However, data sharing might not be beneficial for all companies and different rules and regulations apply for different types of data. Therefore, before starting to share data with third parties, iSHARE recommends following a five-step plan:

  1. Businesses should consider making the supply chain more efficient in terms of costs and time. Also, security and safety of the data needs to be taken into consideration when drafting a data sharing strategy.

  1. The next step is to identify the role of the organisation in data sharing, different types of data sharing and partners. For example, data can be shared from machine-to-machine or from human-to-machine.

  1. Business professionals need to think about compliance with the rules and regulations of data sharing and include their IT director and legal advisors in this process. For example, in order to comply with the iSHARE scheme, professionals need to adhere to the technical, functional, operational and legal agreements. Compliance with technical agreements possibly includes (new) digital certificates. As for the operational agreements, technical tests of the systems and updates are likely to be necessary. The legal advisors can check for compliance with data sharing legal agreements.

  1. Start the implementation of data sharing through a scheme, such as iSHARE, by registering your company and contact details.

  1. Start with data sharing once the scheme has approved your registration.

It is advised that everyone who starts data sharing in Europe should draft a plan and take into consideration the rules and regulations for data sharing of the European Union, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and EU competition law. In this way, stakeholders such as business officials and government bodies in the logistics and transport sector, for example, can get the most out of sharing data.

Overall, the benefit of data sharing in the transport and logistics sector is greater insight into the supply chain, enabling you to work faster, more efficiently and more cost-effectively.




Transport and logistics sector


European Union


The Netherlands


2017 - ongoing


Business model



More than 20 logistics organisations, including Dutch Customs, Portbase, Secure Logistics, and Hutchinson Ports ECT Rotterdam (ECT).

Type of organisation


Data sharing model(s)


Core impact

Establishing a trust framework for organisations within the Dutch transport and logistics sector that enables participants to determine who their data is shared with, under what conditions and for what purpose.


iSHARE is a trust framework for stakeholders in the Dutch transport and logistics sector. The initiative promotes efficiency gains along the supply chain in the sector.

iSHARE interview
Image credit:
(C) 2020 iSHARE Foundation

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