Transportation planning in WM&D

Process definition

Efficient transportation planning, execution and billing pose a daily challenge for distribution companies. With To-Increase Warehouse Management and Distribution, companies can increase customer satisfaction and tap new cost-saving potentials.

Transportation planning module is a front-end module to plan the transportation requirements. Some customer will use transportation planning, while others will not use transportation planning.

In the process from orders to shipment an intermediate step can be created, that controls how the transportation should be. The transportation planning is not a mandatory step, and the use of transportation planning should be controlled in the delivery rule setup of WM&D. The transportation planning handles multisite distribution and shipments. Meaning that the transportations/trucks can have multiple pickup addresses and multiple delivery addresses. The loading sequences are very important, because the trucks must be loaded and unloaded in the right sequences.

Explanation of definitions

Definition

Explanation

Transport route line

A transportation route line is the actual route that the transportation needs to go. It can be several pickup addresses and several delivery addresses on a truck route, and each of this combination will have a transport route line.

Each transportation route line will have properties like estimated weight, volume and body length/width. A sequence of transport route lines is the destination addresses.

Transport route

A transport route is in this document defined as a planned transportation. The transportation is most often related to a “mode of delivery”. The transport route has some physical limitations like max payload weight, max volume, max cargo body length/width. The transport route is the “header” of a set of transportation route lines, and is most often represented as a truck or container.

Outbound cargo

The outbound cargo is the unit that is combined under a Serialized Shipping Container Code (SSCC). Most often it will be a pallet that consists of a set of items. The buildup of an outbound cargo is done when picking the goods, or at the staging area at the outbound cargo build, or at a packing station, depending on how the logistic process model is defined.

Sales orders

Sales order is normal Dynamics AX sales order, and represents what is sold to the customer.

Transfer orders

Transfer orders are internal transfers between two warehouses in the same company. There are no invoicing related, but the process will follow the same processes as sales orders.

Inventory/output orders

If a sales order or a transfer order has been created and you want to inform the warehouse that the items are to be picked and shipped to the customer, you can use a picking list or an output order. An output order is an advanced picking function and is the basis of a shipment. From the shipment you can activate a pallet transport, a picking route, or both.

Shipments

A shipment is a collection of items that are packed in the same container for transport by, for example, ship, rail, truck, or plane. A shipment includes an entire order, a part of an order, or a consolidation of multiple orders.

Based on the contents of the shipment, one or more picking routes, one or more internal transports, or both are created.

Output order is a request for picking requirements and is the basis of a shipment. From the shipment you can activate an internal transport, a picking route, or both. The shipment status is based on the lowest denominator of the shipment lines status.

Inventory order transaction

The inventory order transaction is the actual lines that are to be picked. The inventory order transactions are not created before an inventory order has been connected to a picking route.

Picking route

The picking route is the picking lists that a warehouse operator will pick from an area, warehouse or/and according to a defined sequence.

ETD

Estimated Time of Departure – local time

RTD

Real Time of Departure – local time

ETA

Estimated Time of Arrival – local time

RTA

Real Time of Arrival – local time

Key scenarios

Ted

Transportation coordinator

Logistics

Ted tracks shipments and advises on customs regulations and shipping documentation. Ted is knowledgeable about shipping, the freight forwarding industry, and international trade issues. He has key relationships across these areas.

Sammy

Shipping and receiving

Logistics

Sammy manages shipping and also receives goods and verifies them against purchase orders. He also supervises the other warehouse employees.

John

Warehouse worker

Logistics

John puts received items away and picks items that need shipping. John waits for Sammy to tell him what to do.

In this section we will describe some of the key scenario’s to create a transportation plan:

Scenario name

Create transportation route

Problem statement

Ted has the responsibility to order and plan transportation to a set of customers. Ted wants to order trucks to transport the goods to the end customer.

User situation

Ted will have an overview of orders that are now ready to be released for picking and shipping. It is the responsibility of the order management to release orders for shipping, and to create the Inventory Orders. The Inventory orders are the main source of information for Ted.

User goals

After the transportation planning is done, Ted has scheduled one or more trucks to arrive at the distribution centers. The date and pickup time is planned. Ted also creates the shipments, but does not activate the shipments. He informs Sammy, that the shipments are now ready, and that we have planned transportations to the set of shipments.

Persona(s)

Ted – Transportation coordinator – Logistics

Scenario steps

  1. Ted opens the transportation create screen to see what inventory orders is now available for shipping. Ted filters the available inventory orders according to a shipping template, and other criteria’s.
  2. Ted marks the Inventory orders he would like to create transportation for, and create transportation route lines. A transportation route line is a transportation task from a pickup address to a delivery address.
  3. Ted has integration to the freight forwarder, so he can send all transportation route lines to the freight forwarder, and the freight forwarder will then plan the number of trucks needed and the loading sequence for each truck.
  4. Based on the input from the freight forwarder, trucks will be built up. Truck building means, that transportation route lines will be assigned to transportation routes. This can be done based on the results from the integration, or manually when moving transportation route lines.
  5. When Ted is pleased with the transportation plan, Ted creates the needed shipments. The shipments are then the main source for the rest of the process of picking, packing and shipping. Sammy and John will take over the process and execute.

Transportation planning in relation to multi-warehouse picking.

In a multi warehouse/site scenario the transportation planning must include the ability to have multiple pickup addresses. To handle this, a Transportation route type algorithm is implemented. This algorithm can be schematically described like this.

 

Transportation route types

Description

Central distribution    

All goods will be shipped from the central distribution center. If internal replenishment is required, the replenishment system (Wave planning) will handle this.

Decentralized distribution

All goods will be distributed from another warehouse than a central distribution warehouse. This is typical for full trucks going directly to customer from a production finished goods warehouse.

External Terminal

All goods will be picked from different warehouses. The carrier will consolidate, sort and ship the goods from the carrier’s terminal. In this scenario a multi warehouse pickup is possible, but all goods (transport route lines) will have the address of the carrier’s terminal. The cargos will be marked with the final delivery address.

Multi warehouse distribution

In this scenario the freight forwarder will pick up the goods from several warehouses. The load sequence is important here. In this scenario, the transport route lines can have different types.

 

 

Transportation route line types

Description

Internal replenishment

This type is used for moving goods from one warehouse to another. This type can only be used on transportation route lines. This type is also used for filling up the distribution center when required.

Collection

This type is used for picking up goods at warehouses. This type can only be used on transportation route lines. A transportation line of the type collection means that this pickup is in a sequence of pickups. The final pickup place will have the type “final loading“.

Final loading

This type is used for picking up goods at warehouses. This type can only be used on transportation route lines. A transportation line of the type final loading means that this is the last pickup place. At this place the necessary form letters needs to be printed (CMR, Bill-of-lading, packing slip, proforma-/invoice etc)

 

Example scenarios that is supported

Multi warehouse shipments with internal replenishment

2 pickup locations + internal transport

Description:

Steps

Description

Prepare    

Transportation route lines are created on the basis of inventory orders, securing that all limitations like max weight, volume etc is maintained.

Plan internal

Ted, the transport planner, may change the transportation route type on the Transportation route lines, to decide what the external carrier should pickup, and what should be internally transported.

Plan external

The transportation route lines are then sent to the external carrier to book the transportations. Internal transports are not sent to the carrier. The carrier may come with other suggestions, that effect the plan.

Create shipment

On the basis of the transportation, the system will create a shipment for each truck. The system will generate one picking route per warehouse, as status “registered”. The shipment will cover all planned pickups and deliveries.

Picking and

Replenishment

When the transportation date closes, Sammy, the shipping manager, will release all picking routes and internal replenishments related to the shipment. This will happen 1 day (or x days) prior to the shipping date. John, the warehouse worker, will pick the goods accordingly into “outbound cargos“. When an outbound cargo is picked, the outbound cargo will get the status “picked“. Each outbound cargo can be marked with a shipping label and a contents label. If the outbound cargo is sent internally, the outbound cargo status will be “In transit” until received at the final shipping warehouse. The outbound cargo will wait at the outbound dock until the truck arrives. The status of the outbound cargo will be “staged” when the outbound cargo is placed in the outbound dock.

Loading

When the truck arrives, John, the warehouse worker, will load the outbound cargo into the truck. The status of the picking route and outbound cargo will change from “staged” to”loaded“.

Final load

At the final pickup place all related documents are printed (Bill-of-lading)

 

 

Multi warehouse shipments

3 pickup locations

Description:

Steps

Description

Prepare    

Transportation route lines are created on the basis of inventory orders, securing that all limitations like max weight, volume etc is maintained.

Plan internal

Ted, the transport planner, may change the transportation route type on the Transportation route lines, to decide what the external carrier should pickup.

Plan external

The transportation route lines are then sent to the external carrier to book the transportations. The carrier may come with other suggestions that affect the plan.

Create shipment

On the basis of the transportation, the system will create a shipment for each truck. The system will generate one picking route per warehouse, as status “registered”. The shipment will cover all planned pickups and deliveries.

Picking and

Replenishment

When the transportation date closes, Sammy, the shipping manager, will release all picking routes related to the shipment. This will happen 1 day (or x days) prior to the shipping date. John, the warehouse worker, will pick the goods accordingly into “outbound cargos“. When an outbound cargo is picked, the outbound cargo will get the status “picked“. Each outbound cargo can be marked with a shipping label and a contents label. The outbound cargo will wait at the outbound dock until the truck arrives. The status of the outbound cargo will be “staged” when the outbound cargo is placed in the outbound dock.

Loading

When the truck arrives, John, the warehouse worker, will load the outbound cargo into the truck. The status of the picking route and outbound cargo will change from “staged” to “loaded“.

Final load

At the final pickup place all related documents are printed (Bill-of-lading etc)

Delivery through distribution center

In this scenario all goods will be consolidated at the distribution center, and there will be internal movements from decentralized warehouses to the distribution center

Description:

3 thoughts on “Transportation planning in WM&D

  1. Good article with detailed describtion of the scenario’s.

    In relation to transportation planning based on released output orders.
    How do you see as the best way of creating and releasing output orders both concerning sales order and transfer orders?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s