Freight units are created from preceding business documents such as sales orders, purchase orders or stock transport orders. Freight units define the set of materials in a sales order, which can and must be transported together. They are the smallest entity in the transportation process. Therefore, all materials (sales order items) that are merged into one freight unit are transported together from the source of the transport (e.g. shipping point) to its destination (e.g. customer).
Freight units are the basis for the subsequent planning process.
Whether the transportation management process is initiated with the creation of freight units or not depends on the transportation relevance of the sales order (purchase order, stock transport order, delivery). The transportation relevance of a sales order can be defined in a configuration activity. The transportation relevance of a sales order depends on the following criteria:
- Sales organization
- Distribution channel
- Sales document type
- Shipping condition
Shipping condition 05 is the shipping condition that is delivered as standard best practice customizing for use of transportation management. It is used for internal transportation planning as well as external transportation planning depending on which scope items you have activated in your tenant. In your project you have to define how you want to use a specific shipping condition as part of this configuration to define transportation relevance.
The transportation relevance of a purchase order or stock transport order depends on the following criteria:
- Purchasing organization
- Purchasing group
- Order type
The transportation relevance of a delivery document depends on the following criteria:
- Shipping point / receiving point
- Delivery type
- Shipping condition
Based on these criteria, a control key and logistics integration profile gets determined. Four different control keys exists. The control key 0052 defines that a sales order or sales scheduling agreement is transportation relevant as well as the outbound deliveries that get created with respect to this sales document. The control key 0055 defines the same for purchase orders and corresponding inbound deliveries, whereas the control key 0060 defines the same for stock transport orders and corresponding outbound deliveries. Finally, control key 0052 defines the same for outbound deliveries. The logistics integration profile is responsible for initiating the freight unit building process.
In the logistics integration profile the freight unit building rule, e.g. SFUBR1 is assigned. The following logistics integration profiles are pre-defined for different use cases:
- S001: External planning outbound
- S002: Internal planning outbound
- S003: Internal planning inbound
- S004: External planning inbound
- S005: External planning STO
- S006: Internal planning STO
How freight units are created, for example, if one freight unit is created for the complete sales order or whether one freight unit is created for each sales order item depends on a number of hard constraints and the freight unit building rule. Freight unit building rules can be defined in the Manage Freight Unit Building Rules app.
A hard constraint for the creation of separate freight units is the deviation of locations. Since freight units represent the smallest unit in the process, that is transported from the source to the destination of the transport together, two sales order items that have different shipping points, that is, different source locations of the transport, can not be transported together and therefore need to be assigned to different freight units. Another hard constraint would be deviating dates. If a customer asks for a delivery date (requested delivery date) of one sales order item next week and another sales order item the week after, the transportation of these two items should not happen together, but rather separately, again requiring the creation of separate freight units for each sales order item.
In addition to hard constraints, the creation of freight units can be enacted using freight unit building rules. A use case for a split quantity in a freight unit building rule is the following: Assume you have received an order for a large quantity, for example, 50 tons, which can not be transported in one go. The split quantity defines the size of the individual chunks that are being transported to fulfill the order, e.g. the truck size.
See the following video to learn more about the freight unit building rules.