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Today I would like to give a short insight into the new TM 9.1 load planning functionality. A hot topic for sure.

Background

SAP TM offers with its planning functionality in the area of routing (building tours), scheduling and carrier selection already a set of very valuable tools to create reasonable transportation plans and reduce transportation cost. The routing already included weight and dimension restrictions and also comes with powerful incompatibility definition options to steer the optimization results. Nevertheless, when it comes to especially truck planning, more rules apply to fulfill legal restrictions. For example certain axle loads may not be exceeded. In addition, a certain loading sequence of the goods to be transported does further optimize the transportation plan. Generally spoken, load planning deals with loading the goods to be transported in an optimized manner into a transportation unit, may it be a truck, trailer, container or whatever resource.

Previous SAP TM releases did not offer any functionality in this area and it was required to integrate third-party products.

Load Planning Settings

With SAP TM 9.1, a new optimzation profile has been attached to the planning profile. It can be found next to the other profiles in the area of application administration -> planning.

MKS_LP_01.jpg

Load Planning Settings – Application Administration

Basically, the profile defines a process controller strategy (see here). This strategy defines a sequence of methods to be executed for the load planning and enables a flexible combination of standard and custom logic. Next to the strategy, it is possible to define a set of rules to be applied when optimizing the load. The rules can be given a priority, deactivated to test the planning with a different rule set, and adjusted with certain attributes. SAP TM 9.1 comes with a already great set of planning rules and for sure this rule set will grow as we see a lot of different planning requirements for LP.

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Load Planning Settings

This LP profile is as mentioned attached to a planning profile.

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Load Planning Settings in Planning Profile

As it is possible to start the transportation cockpit for planning with a defined planning profile, it is possible to define also the LP settings for each planning run. As an alternative, a planning profile can be attached to the Freight Order type. Hereby you can use different LP strategies for different Freight Orders (for example depending on the transportation mode or country specific requirements).

Integration

The LP function is integrated into the Freight Order itself and into the Transportation Cockpit.

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Load Planning in Freight Order

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Load Planning in Transportation Cockpit

Functionality

The result of a Load Planning [considering the items of the Freight Order (including times, weights, dimensions, and many other attributes) and the assigned resource(s)] is first of all a Load Plan. This load plan includes information if items can not be loaded, on the loading sequence, and exact position on the vehicle. Next to the load plan, a load distribution is available for each axle and the complete vehicle. This may be used as document that the load plan fulfills legal requirements. An additional tab holds statistical indicators (used volume, area, and so on).

As pictures speak loader than words and numbers, all of this information is also displayed in a 3-D model. This view is generated by SAP Visual Business (check this out) and brings a highly interactive scene for the planner to understand the result of the planning. Any information is color coded, like for example the weight distribution on axles.

As always, flexible information and functions can be attached to each object. Focus as always for any SAP VB integration within the T&L application is enhanceability to get partners on board and enable customer specific scenarios.

MKS_LP_06.jpg

Of course as for all SAP TM planning functions an explanation tool is available.

As this is our first step into this topic, we are very closely working together with selected customers to bring the function up-to-speed as quick as possible. There is a lot more on the road map that will bring value to the application.

So much more to say… Check out the ramp-up material and the TM 9.1 application documentation. If there is interest I could spend another MKS on the details.

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26 Comments

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  1. Tyler Roorda

    Hi Marcus,

    Great information,  We will definitely like to work with this when it comes out with 9.1.  We currently do a manual process in many of our divisions and this should really help improve the process.

    Regards

    Tyler R

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  2. Marco Antonio PĂ©rez Estrada

    Hi all,

    So, in my understanding at my current implementation with SAP SCM TM 9.0 I cannot see / or be able to set the priority of loading into a container right?

    So what can I do in order to ensure that the last delivery to unload with the final stop is carried out first (At the end of the container)

    IE.

    Delivery 6 most be loaded first into the container

    REAR <–| D1|D5|D4|D3|D2|D6| | –> FRONT

    Regards,

    Marco Perez

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    1. Marcus Zahn Post author

      Well, as the complete process of load planning does not exist in TM 9.0 I actually don’t think there is a way.

      How would you like to use this information? As output to the guys at the door? There maybe a item list ordered by destination would help.

      A good reason to upgrade to TM 9.1?

      Marcus

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  3. Bruno Bartoletti

    Hi Markus ,

    is the Load Planning integrated with EWM ?

    That means the load sequence is integrated is replicated into EWM in order to check  “physically” the load sequence ?

    If Yes , which the field that contains this info ?

    If Yes , can the load sequence replicated in EWM in the DIRECT integration  SCM-TM / EWM scenario ?

    Thanks Bruno.

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    1. Marcus Zahn Post author

      The load information is attached to the item of the freight order. They can be added to the order outbound message (within CD project).

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  4. Andres Singh

    Hi Marcus,

    saw your answer above… but still:

    does the Load Plan take into consideration the sequence of the orders according to the order in which they have to be unload according to the optimizer planning results? If yes, is this somehow set up or happens by default?

    How does the LP interact with features like Pallet Building of when we use Compartments where different nature products are separated from one another, maybe from the same order being physically split up or from different orders?

    How does does the personnal see the results of the LP on paper, for example?

    Saw

    Thanks in advance,

    Andres.

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    1. Marcus Zahn Post author

      Yes, by default the LP will consider the sequence of orders depending on their determined unloading stop (LIFO). So the goods to be unloaded first will be loaded last.

      Well, the Package/Pallet Building is part of the Freight Unit Builder creating the atomic pieces for the Transportation Planning finally resulting in the Load Plan. So you can apply split rules (for example different pallet types) for items/products, which will lead to different assignments. Or the same.

      You mean how the personal sees the TM LP? Or in warehouse management? In TM the load plan list can be printed, but without graphical representations.

      Hope this helps,

      Marcus

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      1. Andres Singh

        Hi Marcus,

        thanks for the quick feedback.

        If it can be printed out then it´s perfect, regarding EWM I guess it has to be managed via Output Mgmt and sent across.

        Regarding the pallets, they are built per FWO, therefore if I have let´s say 3 different FWO with 0,5 pallets with the same product, in theory we would need 3 pallets instead of 1,5. Do you think the consolidation per product/product type or any attribute that aglomerates them can happen independently (maybe at a later point of time in the process) of the FWO itself? This comes from a business case where it is expected that TM provides the total number of pallets per Product Type and of course the LP. Then this consolidation is used for booking capacity at Carriers and also used in EWM for estimating the number of Pallets and the order in which the products have to be picked up to make it more efficent at the moment of unloading the cargo. Do you see this somehow happening?

        Thanks in advance,

        Andres.

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        1. Marcus Zahn Post author

          Completely agreed. I am aware of that. We wanted to establish the Package Builder first in the most central spot in TM, but we know about further consolidation points. Technically that is not an issue as the PB is very generic and does not care where the products comes from and where the product – package item hierarchy is stored, but from a steering and process adjustment perspective it needs some more thought. Not in standard yet and I can’t tell you the release.

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  5. Rupak Hazra

    Hi Marcus

    Understood your document. But need to know related to the Load Planning rules. where in TM we define this rules and how these rules going to work when we perform load planning.

    when we perform load planning then the load planning profile will be called and there in the strategy the program lies. then how the rules will work at the same time the strategy. can you please help us in explaining this.

    If we need to create new rules then where in the TM system we have to build it.

    thanks

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    1. Marcus Zahn Post author

      Hi,

      rules are attached to the Load Planning settings and it is not possible to create own rules. The supported and selected rules are passed to the optimization engine which evaluates and applies them.

      A new customer rule would require implementations within the optimizer engine. So usually customers approach us with their scenarios and explain why the current set of rules is not sufficient, then we decide if the scenario is standard worthy and in case yes a new standard rule gets introduced.

      The only ABAP based logic would be related to rules you can apply during pre- or post-processing of the Load Planning run.

      Regards,

      Marcus

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  6. Rustam Mamedov

    Hi Marcus!

    1) At your screenshoots i see freight unit, that placed near the truck.

    I can’t do that operation. I can use automatic plaining only.

    What can i do to move freight unit?

    2) At last screen i see menu and detailed description of freight unit, how can i get that?

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    1. Marcus Zahn Post author

      1) Items can be excluded from the optimizer run (there is a checkbox in the item list) and will end up before the truck then. Manual placement of items is not supported.

      2) Double left click the item.

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  7. Rahul Chauhan

    hi,

    i am working on SAP TM 9.3 . my scenario in Ocean LCL in which for pre, main and on carriage i am using schedules. so when i try adding containers to the FO and FB my load planning fails. it says 0 of 1 items can be loaded.

    can u please provide me some help on the issue.

    thanks
    rahul

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  8. PRALHAD DESHMUKH

    Hi Marcus,

    For the items that cannot be loaded during load planning, does the explanation exist as to why those items cannot be loaded.

    Thanks,

    Pralhad

     

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