Creating Transportation Plans


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Create and plan freight orders

Freight order creation and planning

Transportation Planning

Transportation planning consists of the creation of freight orders (scope items 4MO, 5OS, 5XD, 6W2) and freight bookings (scope items 64A, 64B, 64C, 6B2, 6B3, 6B4, 6W2) and the assignment of freight units to these freight orders / freight bookings. In the planning process additional information for the freight order is determined. This includes the scheduling (i.e. the determination of dates and times for pick-up and delivery), and the determination of the carrier for subcontracting.

Road and rail freight orders can be created either in the Transportation Cockpit app or in the Manage Freight Orders app. In both apps, you can also assign freight units to the freight orders. For the creation of air and ocean freight bookings you can also use either the Transportation Cockpit app or the Manage Air/Ocean Freight Bookings app.

The Transportation Cockpit App

Manual planning allows you to create or change a transportation plan. To create a transportation plan, you assign transportation requirements, that is, freight unit stages, to transportation capacities, which are e.g. truck types. The system creates capacity documents, which are called (road or rail) freight orders or (air or ocean) freight bookings. The transportation plan is created using the Transportation Cockpit app.

In the Transportation Cockpit app, you can do the following:

  • You can create freight orders or freight bookings as blank documents, that is, with no capacity or freight unit assigned to them.

  • You can create freight orders or freight bookings based on freight units.

  • You can create freight orders based on vehicle types, that is, with a vehicle type (e.g. truck type) assigned to them.

  • You can assign freight unit stages to freight orders or freight bookings using drag and drop or by selecting Assign Selected Items.

  • You can remove freight unit stages from freight orders or freight bookings.

  • You can assign a vehicle type to a freight order using drag and drop or by selecting Assign Selected Items.

  • You can remove a vehicle type from a freight order.

  • You can change certain attributes of the freight order or freight booking, such as the equipment type, dates and times, or the pick-up location and the port of loading in an ocean freight booking

  • You can display details of a freight order or freight booking, that is, the freight order hierarchy or freight booking hierarchy.

  • You can cancel freight orders or freight bookings.

Configuration of the Planning Process

The manual planning process is influenced by the planning profile. A default planning profile S1 is defined for reference. You can create, change, and display your own planning profiles with the Manage Planning Profile app.

In the planning profile you can define the planning horizon, scheduling settings, capacity availability settings, capacity document creation settings, and transportation cockpit settings. The planning horizon defines the horizon in which you can create transportation orders - that is, freight orders or freight bookings. It is calculated based on the current date and starts with an offset relative to the current date and ends with the planning horizon duration after its start.

The scheduling settings (default: S1) can be created, changed, or displayed in the Manage Scheduling Settings app. In the Manage Scheduling Settings app, you can define the loading and unloading duration for your freight orders. Loading and unloading duration can be defined depending on locations and vehicle types. The scheduling settings are assigned to the planning profile in the Manage Planning Profile app.

Whenever freight unit stages are assigned to freight orders, scheduling is performed automatically. Scheduling will determine the distances and durations as well as loading and unloading durations. Loading and unloading durations are retrieved based on your configuration of the scheduling settings in the Manage Scheduling Settings app. Distances and durations will be retrieved using SAP HANA spatial services. For this to happen, a prerequisite is that you have activated scope item 46P (Determination of Geocoordinates, Distances and Durations). Distances and durations are then retrieved automatically for freight units (when you create a sales order, purchase order or stock transport order relevant for manual transportation planning in SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition) or for freight orders (when you assign freight units to freight orders).

Based on this information scheduling determines start and end times for a set of events such as departure and arrival of a road freight order as well as the pickup and delivery of the assigned freight units. In scheduling, the system considers multiple constraints such as the pick-up windows and the delivery windows of the assigned freight units. Scheduling runs automatically after you perform a planning activity and is based on your settings in the planning profile.

The capacity availability settings allow you to define rules, when certain equipment is available. You can do this by assigning a factory calendar and time zone to each equipment type.

The capacity document creation settings are created, changed, or displayed in the Manage Capacity Document Creation Settings app. In this app you can assign requirement grouping profiles, which have been defined in the Manage Requirement Grouping Profiles app. A requirement grouping profile allows you to define criteria based on which you want to consolidate multiple freight units into a freight order. A predefined set of criteria from which you can choose is available including the material freight group, shipping condition, source location of a stage, destination location of a stage, transportation mode and others.

The Manage Transportation Cockpit Settings app allows you define units of measures for (a) pallet spaces and (b) loading meters for equipment types. Pallet spaces and loading meters can be used as a measure of a capacity, if they represent the capacity of equipment types more accurately then dimensions like weight or volume. You assign the transportation cockpit settings to the planning profile in the Manage Planning Profile app.

Manual Planning Process

To perform manual transportation planning you have to enter the transportation cockpit. When you enter the transportation cockpit, you have to select the elements, that you need for planning: freight unit stages, vehicle types, (existing) freight orders, but also configuration like the planning profile, that you want to use or the transportation cockpit layout. You have various options to select these elements - for example, you can select freight units by source location, destination location, freight unit number, requested pick-up date, requested delivery date, and others. You can save your selections and re-use them.

The transportation cockpit comes with four pre-defined layouts, that you can choose from on the entry screen of the app. The different layouts are dedicated to different modes of transport: Road, Rail, Ocean and Air. Based on your selection of a layout, different information is displayed in four screen areas. In the layout for planning road transportation the upper-left screen area shows the freight units stages, the lower left screen area shows the available truck types, and the upper-right area shows the existing / selected road freight orders or those that have been created in the planning process. The lower-right screen area shows details for road freight orders selected from the upper-right screen area, for example, the sequence of stops in a multi-drop tour. If you have selected the layout for rail transportation, trucks will be replaced by railcars and roads freight orders by rail freight orders. Similar, for the ocean layout, trucks will be replaced by containers and road freight orders by ocean freight bookings. Finally, for the air layout, there is no capacity equivalent for trucks. That means the lower left quadrant will not exist here.

Since the information required is not the same for each planning process, administrators can change what is displayed in the individual screen areas of the transportation cockpit. For this purpose, they can use the Define Field Catalogs for Transportation Cockpit app. Within this app, they can indicate whether a field is to be displayed by default or using personalization, specify the sequence in which the fields are to be displayed, specify the header labels for the fields, and specify tooltips for the fields. If fields are to be displayed using personalization, each user can decide for himself, whether to display this field/information or not.

In the transportation cockpit you can do all types of assignments, e.g. freight units to trucks to create road freight orders, trucks to existing road freight orders, freight units to existing road freight orders or remove any assignment. When you are done with planning you save your road freight orders.

Based on your assignment of capacity document creation settings in the planning profile, you can easily create multiple freight documents at once by selecting many freight units and the action to create capacity documents based on the grouping criteria defined there. In the transportation cockpit you can dynamically switch between different criteria using the Change Planning Settings function.

Simulation of the Planning Processes

Watch the simulation Perform Manual Transportation Planning (Outbound) to learn more about the system-related activities for outbound road planning.

Watch the simulation Perform Manual Transportation Planning (Inbound) to learn more about the system-related activities for inbound road planning.

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