As a continuation of the SAP Transportation Management Load Planning journey, the just released TM 9.4 adds the new feature of Load Consolidation. Remember, back with TM 9.1 Load Planning was introduced (MKS37). With this, it is possible to do automated load planning for Freight Orders and Container Units determining the load sequence of the goods considering the resource constraints and loading rules. Combined with the neat 3-D visualization using SAP Visual Business, already a good share of LP relevant scenarios can be tackled.
The following releases saw scenario improvements with a growing number of supported rules. TM 9.3 added the feature of package building (MKS53) to close the gap between orders based on products and load planning happening on pallets / packages.
The new Load Consolidation basically turns the table of the load planning process. The feature takes a set of transportation demands and resource types and determines the most cost efficient combination. The feature is meant to be used for main stages with a high transportation volume. For example you have multiple transports going from port Hamburg to port Newark and you have multiple different container types at hand (of course with different cost attached), TM 9.4 Load Consolidation will first try to use the cheapest container type. This includes the consideration of incompatibilities when some goods require specific resources.
From the user perspective, the function is executed in the Transportation Cockpit:
On the top left, the Freight Units going from Mannheim to Chicago are selected and on the bottom left you can see the containers. Of course it is possible to limit the number of available containers per type.
After executing the function, you can see the result on the top right represented by container units.
Load Consolidation can be executed considering all Load Planning relevant rules, or in a simple mode just based on capacity.
We think that Load Consolidation improves the planning of main stages significantly. In the next weeks I will go a bit more into detail.
As ever when presenting a new feature, feedback is very wellcome.