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The on-going fight between easy-to-setup scenarios, the requirement to steer almost any planning behaviour to get the desired routing, and runtime performance makes life really complicated sometimes. The same person complaining how difficult a transportation scenario has to be setup, will come back to you a week later complaining that for just this single city NOT airport XYZ shall be selected. One of the actually very powerful, but easy to use part of the transportation network are Transshipment Locations.

Transshipment Locations are simple: You tell the planning engine that a certain location needs to be used when switching from one transportation mode or means of transport or even vehicle to another. Of course there can be multiple options. For ease of maintenance this assignment can happen for Transportation Zones, too. By making this definition you only tell the system that it should search for opportunities to transport this way. The definition does NOT say automatically there is a valid lane, schedule, booking, or freight order. In addition, this definition needs to be done for both ends of the transportation chain.

It does not matter which Location you assign as Transshipment Location. There is no specific Location type and no checks.

In the planning profile you can also say how deep the system shall evaluate this static assignment. For example if you have a specific consolidation location before entering the dynamic air network. Not a good idea though to set it to a too high number – not so good for performance.

While TM is pretty dynamic in picking relevant schedules, bookings, or freight orders for planning using the selection profiles (which results sometimes in way too many options) or even completely dynamic, Transshipment Locations limit this to a reasonable amount of options. While still offering to get a scenario up and running quickly.

So let’s get started (I leave out Means-of-Transport, validity times, other details): You want to fly stuff from Germany to the US:

1. Create your airport locations for Germany and the US (TA: /SCMTMS/LOC3).
2. Create a Transportation Zone for Germany and one for the US (/SCMTMS/ZONE).
3. Create a Intra-Zone Transportation Lane for each Transportation Zone (/SCMTMS/TL5).
4. Assign the airports as relevant Transshipment Locations for the zones (/SCMTMS/LOC_TRANS).

Now already the system is capable of evaluating a path from any address in Germany to the US. With TM 9.0 there is a tool called path finder displaying this evaluation in table format and also on the Geo-Map. Now what’s left is to create connections between the fixed path locations: For example have a truck (vehicle resource) doing the transportation in Germany from any address to the airport, the same within the US, and connecting air schedules between the airports.

As soon as you have this scenario running, you can then think of making it more realistic by adding more specific Transportation Zones (within the south of Germany I will probably perfer Frankfurt / munich and not Hamburg; for a specific Warehouse you might also use an airport in France; and so on). Here can have to keep in mind that as long as you don’t delete the already existing and very generic scenario, it will always be available for all routings. Screws to adjust: Use different Means-of-Transport, exclude specific Locations from Transportation Zones, adjust transportation cost. For me it is always helpful to have something easy running and add complexity later.

Maintenance UI: Well, started with a generated view maintenance having 3 fields (Specific Location, Transportation Zone, assigned Transshipment Location). Requirements rolled in, features added, maintenance got too complicated. All reworked for TM 9.0, hope this time it fits better.

Also new with TM 9.0 is the option of rough-cut planning. I have explained above that the Transshipment Location assignment does not automatically say you can use the link. By defining a certain transportation time using a new field in the Transshipment Location assignment, and making a few setting in the planning profiles, with TM 9.0 it is not any longer required to have a Transportation Lane and Resource for this stage. This is for example useful if you are not responsible for this stage.

As always, a lot more details to be explained, but this should give a quick start into the topic and basic understanding how we see it.

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