Core SAP industry solutions in shipping and transportation

SAP offers a wide range of solutions in ECC as well as in S / 4 HANA systems to meet the specific requirements of different industries.

The purpose of this article is to provide a short overview and comparison of SAP Industry Solutions used in SAP ECC shipping and transportation.

The characteristics of freight organization is determined by the following factors:

  • product features (packed or bulk, the quantity, special parameters such as density, hazardous material characteristics, etc.),
  • mode of transport (road / rail / sea / pipeline / multimodal),
  • duration of transport- and related to this the possible need for inventory planning.

The SAP Standard Logistics Execution – Transportation (LE-TRA) module is well-suited for planning and execution of low-quantity, mostly packed, road shipments, as well as for monitoring the transportation performance. However, it is not applicable e.g. for compartment-level transportation planning and loading of multi-compartment road tankers, or for global planning and tracking of high-volume, long-term shipments.

The SAP IS-OIL & GAS and IS-MIN industry solutions designed for oil & gas and mining industries contain the Transportation and Distribution (TD) and the Trader’s and Scheduler’s Workbench (TSW) modules which are developed to meet the above needs, among many others.

Core SAP industry solutions in shipping and transportation

The TD module can be used primarily for road or rail transportation of bulk materials and has its own master data (vehicles and related transport units, drivers). These types of shipments consist of three well-divided parts:

  • compartment level transportation planning,
  • loading confirmation, thus posting materials to in-transit stock,
  • delivery confirmation, thus goods issue posting.

TD module can be connected to TAS (Terminal Automation System) external loading systems or to weighbridge scales. Scales are created as maintenance assets while the measurement represent an event in TD documents. In oil industry items are recorded in the system in several unit of measures due to the material characteristics (temperature-dependent volume), which is a built-in function of TD documents.

The Trader’s and Scheduler’s Workbench (TSW) module can be implemented as a standalone solution or as a supplement of TD. Compared to the previous one, the primary role of TSW is planning, therefore it is recommended for the scheduling of large-volume marine or barge shipments and for the management of pipeline transports. Key definitions related to TSW:

  • Node/Location
  • Transport System
  • Nomination
  • Ticket
  • Three-Way Pegging

The node or location and the transport system are the two main master data objects of the TSW module. Locations represents the departure and destination points of the transport (factories or the customer’s site) while the transport system is the vehicle itself or the mode / route of transport (e.g. pipeline), which is often represented as an in-transit factory or warehouse in SAP. The participants of the transport (consignee, carrier) are listed as partners in the Nomination document.

Three-way pegging is a function created for the complex analysis of material demand, available stocks / planned production quantities (supply) and vehicle capacities. It helps the scheduling of bulk shipments with allowing the planner to see the above-mentioned data on one screen. The user assigns supply capacities to demand quantities and vessels, hereby creates the Distribution Plan. Nominations (transportation planning documents) can be generated from the items of the Distribution Plan.

Nomination is the document used for transportation scheduling, it connects the shipper and carriers who communicate through interfaces. The sales / purchase / transfer order will appear as a reference document on the Nomination while TD Shipment documents are created automatically or manually as follow-on documents. A Nomination can contain several items; during the transportation process tickets (Ticket 1 –start of transportation, Ticket 2 – delivery notification) are created as outputs of the main transportation events (e.g. IDoc message at the end of loading) and the related SAP material documents are posted in the background.

The TSW module offers the following extra functions for the planning and management of marine shipments:

  • Berth scheduling – depending on individual vehicle characteristics and port rules, the system offers a shortlist of vehicles for a specific freight planning
  • Fleet Management –the system stores all voyage-related events, vessel maintenance and performance history overview (data used in Nomination documents)
  • Storage of freight contracts
  • Comparison of measurement results (loading and delivery data)
  • Laytime and demurrage calculation for exceeding the occupied loading window based on the data specified in the freight contract

The solutions presented above, together with the associated external systems, allow users to optimize and operate logistics processes efficiently.

Core SAP industry solutions in shipping and transportation – References:

Logistics Execution (LE) – https://help.sap.com/viewer/b9f277e5ff1f439ca0de1d80158a961a/6.17.19/en-US/ea17bf53d25ab64ce10000000a174cb4.html

Comparison between TD and TSW – https://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/display/isoil/TD+Vs+TSW

Use of Three-Way Pegging – https://help.sap.com/doc/c53cbf53d25ab64ce10000000a174cb4/2.6/en-US/16a0cf535b804808e10000000a174cb4.html

TSW – Trader’s and Scheduler’s Workbench – https://help.sap.com/viewer/b9f277e5ff1f439ca0de1d80158a961a/6.17.19/en-US/b7a0cf535b804808e10000000a174cb4.html

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Core SAP industry solutions in shipping and transportation

Author: Mariann Kerekes

SAP Production Logistics Competence Centre

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