SAP is always adding new features and improving upon pre-existing ones to make your life easier as a shipping and logistics professional. Tracking all of the necessary aspects of a shipment from booking to transportation mode can be daunting, especially if you're managing a lot of shipments. Among SAP's best new features to support you in your shipping endeavors is Freight Order Management in SAP TM. We're here to tell you all about it so that you can put it to good use for your business.
The Freight Order Management feature in SAP TM is all about aggregating all of your relevant data about your shipments in one place. This can include product info, as well as dates, times, and locations for arrival and departure. The system also lets you add information about the resources used.
The documents you can edit and create in this feature include freight orders and bookings as well as trailer, rail car, and container units. The system manages transportation modes, including road, rail, air, sea, and independent methods wherever relevant to the type of documentation and shipment at hand. In this way, it is highly effective in the planning stage to allow you to estimate many different aspects of the shipping process, such as cost.
However, the system is more than a planning tool—it is a full suite of tools and integration from planning to execution to analysis. These tools are used in conjunction with other SAP features to drive your shipping optimization.
In essence, the Freight Order Management feature allows you to perform cost estimations, carrier selections, advanced booking, and freight tendering. You can also utilize the tool for cost distribution wherein the system will distribute costs in a freight order to the underlying distribution items. These features can be enhanced and extended through integration with other SAP products.
When you utilize the integration features, Freight Order Management becomes even more robust. This feature integrates well with SAP ERP, EWM, and also with other SAP TM features.
Using SAP ERP Shipment Processing, you can utilize Freight Order Management to create shipments in SAP ERP based on your freight orders and bookings. Using the Delivery Proposal feature in SAP ERP, you can have deliveries created for order-based transportation requirements for your orders and bookings.
The delivery-based integration with SAP EWM is something that you can tinker with when it comes to SAP TM Freight Order Management. Utilize SAP TM Freight Order Management to "execute delivery-based transportation planning and send your freight orders and transportation units to SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM)." You can also base it on forwarding orders.
Freight Order Management works in conjunction with both master data and basic functions, as you might expect. It also integrates with the following SAP TM components: forwarding order management, planning, freight settlement, dangerous goods, and global trade features.
As with any SAP product, experienced users can derive even more value from its features by utilizing deeper functionalities. Freight Order Management has a lot of depth to explore for new and experienced SAP TM users alike.
You can create and edit freight orders for road and rail within SAP TM through direct creation or manual creation and can also create forwarding orders from your freight orders. Your freight orders can include information about things like planning, drivers, business partners, location dates and times, items—this includes things like dangerous goods info, seals, quantities, corresponding orders, and other relevant data.
You can also add other information to your freight orders like stage data, diagrams, subcontracting info, execution info, document dependencies, communications, customs data, transportation charges, and more. If there's something you want not listed, there is a section to add attachments, admin notes, and other similar custom data.
Other useful features include the ability to set transportation service levels based on priority, schedule freight orders, manage freight orders with nonlinear stages, and create parcel shipments.
Freight bookings for sea and air work similarly, but the freight bookings feature offers a buyer's consolidation feature, recording of VGM data, external communications in sea and air traffic, shipper's declaration, import/export processing, and more!
The freight tendering feature within Freight Order Management is highly robust. You can use the in-built tendering process either directly or through a freight request for quote (RFQ) which, itself can be executed manually or automatically.
The freight tendering feature allows for multi-step tendering, mixed tendering types, tendering to one or more carriers, background tendering execution, direct sending of FOs to carriers and automatic reactions to FO changes, and the ability to flexibly use freight agreements to calculate price estimates.
The freight tendering features gives you the ability to create a freight tendering plan with your necessary requisites that can then run in the background. The system can even automatically create a plan for you. The system supports broadcast tendering to pre-selected carriers at once as well as peer-to-peer tendering which involves sequential tendering to the selected carriers, or, as mentioned above, mixed tendering.
Freight Order Management in SAP also allows for dealing with location changes and managing failed deliveries. Moreover, Freight Order Management helps with cost distribution management and the handling and management of the nature and quantity of your goods which integrates directly with the MAWB and HAWB features of the software.
Freight Order Management handles house bills of lading (HBLs), house air waybills (HAWBs), and master air waybills (MAWBs). The software can help you build and print any of these, and even automatically groups items that do not belong in a pre-existing HBL or HAWB.
To learn more about Freight Order Management, you can view SAP's own help article.
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