Container tracking functionality in SAP TM was never realised in practise until SAP EM was used since SAP TM was mainly used for transportation of products or goods from source to destination location.However with SAP TM 9.2 SAP TM can now be used to transport equipements like containers.In older versions SAP TM assumed that containers has to be loaded before transportation process started but infact we also need to keep in mind that the containers transport journey starts much before it was loaded in shippers site.
Hence for any LSP scenario, if there was no empty container available from shipper then in that case empty container have to be hired/contracted from the carrier or LSP who is responsible for the entire transport execution.In this case the process flow is as follows:
a) Container picked up from container yard
b) Empty container transported to port of loading.
The process a.b is called empty container provisioning
c) Once the container was fully loaded ( FCL scenario) the transport is executed and then the container is unloaded at consignee location
d) Finally the empty container from consignee location comes back to container yard again
Process c,d is called as empty container return.
In order to map the process a-d , we can set up forwarding order and in the item details in the item hierarchy empty provisioning and empty returns indicator has to be set as X.Kindly note that container item has to be maintained in item hierachy.
In the locations/dates time tab of FWO, the source and destination location represents the loading and unloading point of container.However the container yards locations are not maintained in the FWO .
Secondly in the item details of the FWO, when we click on the container item, there is two new tabs called as empty provisioning and empty retuns.
In the tab for for empty provisioning, delivery location of empty container and the delivery dates are always prefilled.However both this data can be changed manually since specially the delivery location can be changed if shipper wants to receive the empty container at a different location.
similarly the empty return container tab is always prefilled with pick up date and pick up location which can be changed manually.
Similarly on the stages tab of FWO, dates and locations for empty provisioning/return can also be defined and maintained and also amended in the same tab.
Empty provisioning/return scenario is not supported for trailers and trailer units.