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Influence of Lane ‘Fixed’ indicators in transportation planning

When you define a transportation lane, there are a couple of indicators that can seriously influence the result of your planning. The indicators I am referring to are the fixed transportation distance and duration indicators. As the name indicates, checking these options will ‘fix’ the distance and duration during planning and not try to determine them.

The indicators I am referring to are shown below:


Let’s take the use case and assumptions below:

  • I am planning transports between two zones that are in the metro area of a city and very close to each other,
  • I have no GIS system integration,
  • I have maintained the Geo coordinates of my zones manually (approximately the centre point),
  • I have assigned post codes to my zones  (the optimiser will determine to which zone a location belongs to based on that information),
  • I use many one time addresses (standard SAP logic assigns the region’s centre point  Geo coordinates to my one time locations).

If I put these elements on a map I have the following:

  • The red zone is my Perth City zone,
  • The blue zone is my Perth zone,
  • I am also showing the centre of WA, Australia – that is the geo location that all my one time locations will have. By saying this I’m trying to stress the fact that many addresses will be physically geo located in the City of Perth, but from a TM point of view, they will all be in the centre of WA, Australia (some 1000+ kms away from their real location).


So let’s see what happens if I plan a few freight units and have the ‘fixed’ indicators off in my transportation lane.  TM has used the actual Geo locations of my individual locations and has dynamically at run time calculated a straight line distance and duration for each of my legs. As can be seen from the scheduled  times and dates, my transport will take over 36 hours to complete approximately 80 real life kms!


Now let’s see what happens  if I plan a few freight units and have the ‘fixed’ indicators on in my transportation lane.


That’s better. This time TM has simply used the fixed times and distances that were indicated in my transportation lane. TM now tells me that this tour should take approximately 2 hours – which is much closer to what this will really be!

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      Author's profile photo Salvador García
      Salvador García

      Dear Pascal, thanks for your explanation! Very useful.

      I have one question for you, though. I've no GIS configured and therefore fitting your scenario explained above. No "fix flags" set.

      In my TL definition, I use 2 locations - customers (with 2 lanes) for which the "Generate proposal" has set a distance and duration based on the coordinates from my production plant. Everything looks fine till this point.

      Nevertheless, when I run the optimizer (and I open the explanation tool), I see that in the section for input data, the determined distance is correctly filled in BUT in my results section, one of the locations has no entry for distance and the other one has.

      Is there something to trigger during runtime distance calculations to make sure that the distances are copied to the solution?

      In fact, if I would set the flags for fix duration and time, I do see these values in the optimizer solution.