Packaging Unit
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Author: Rishi Choubey 

SAP TM Solution Architect



Krypt is back with another informative & unique podcast episode on – Packaging Unit by Rishi Choubey and hosted by our Guest Host Hari Subramanian.

In this podcast episode, Rishi answers diverse questions on – 

  • What is a Packaging Unit?
  • What are its advantages, why is it being introduced now, and its use from a business standpoint?
  • How do you create a packaging unit in SAP TM, and what are the different options in creating it?
  • Can one also create a packaging unit from Transportation Cockpit using the optimizer, or are there different ways of planning?
  • Can we have multiple levels of a Packaging Unit?
  • The benefits of the Packaging Unit summarized in brief.

Submit your questions here


Ben: Hi and welcome to Supply Chain today. Here we discuss the latest hot topic on supply chain and global trade with experts from all over the world. Today we have a special episode and the speciality is that I am not going to be the host for this episode, however, I am joined by an expert and experienced guest host. His name is Hari Subramanian. 

Hari is a highly experienced consultant with nearly 20 years of experience primarily in supply chain management. He’s spent almost a decade working with SAP TM  and over 10 years in Material Management, Warehouse Management and other supply chain areas. It is great to have Hari with us. 

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On the other hand, joining with us is our guest speaker, Rishi Choubey. Rishi is a SAP TM solution Architect with more than 10 years of experience in delivering logistics solutions in the transportation and warehousing domain. He has served multiple customers in the chemicals, retail, life-science and logistics industries sectors. It is an amazing opportunity to have both of you with us today. 

Today’s topic for discussion is Packaging Unit. On the same topic, we have some questions submitted by the listeners. I hope all of us will find this episode insightful, informative and interesting. Before I hand this over to Hari, I would like to remind all our listeners that you can submit your questions by clicking the link found in the description. With no more delay here is Hari

Hari: Hello everyone, welcome to Supply Chain Today. Good morning, good afternoon or good evening, wherever you are. Today we are going to talk about a new functionality which has been launched in SAP Transportation Management and this is Hari and I have Rishi with me.

So, Hey Rishi, How are you doing today?

Yeap, Yeah Hari. Glad to be talking to you today again, and yeah I am doing good Thank you, Interesting topic today right? Package Unit. 

Hari: Can you tell me about what is a packaging unit? 

Rishi: Yeah yeah absolutely sure, So Package unit, everyone like, this is one of a new business document which is introduced in SAP Transportation Management. It is kind of sitting at an intermediate level, right between freight unit and container unit, which have been in the transportation management landscape since long but then this package unit is the new addition which SAP has recently introduced. Logically or from a logistical standpoint, it represents the packaging in which you would move your items or products into? For example, a palette or crate. Yeah, it’s kind of, one of that intermediate layers which has been introduced by SAP

Hari: Can you explain little bit more what are the advantage, Why is this packaging unit introduced now and what do we do with it?

Rishi: Main advantage, in my opinion, you know, you can assign a package unit to other transportation unit such as container units, which is for sea, trailer units, rail car units, which is for road and rail. This allows you to create a route offer package unit in a way that packages are transported together across the transportation stages and across the transportation chain. Also they can be deconsolidated on the last stage of the tour which is often called the delivery tour. And in that sense, you know, the same freight unit can be assigned to multiple package units and you can do individual deconsolidation of those package units and then deliver without having the need to actually split freight units upstream in the process. So, that is one of the main advantages I see of Package Units. 

Hari: So in the earlier scenario, we have to split freight unit because you have to deliver to different, you are saying that the same freight unit can go on multiple package units and you deliver the package units. So additional flexibility has been introduced. 

Rishi: Absolutely correct. And even in those multi drop scenarios you can kind of have the same freight unit into multiple package units and then perform all the deconsolidation.

Hari: Okay, that’s excellent, I hope that it’s a very good functionality for all these delivery, last leg delivery scenarios. 

Rishi: Yeah

Hari: Can you also explain on how you create a package, so what are the different options you have in SAP for creating the packaging units. 

Rishi: Sure, Yeah there are multiple ways of creating a package unit, so there is always a manual option right, where you can create the package units manually from the transportation cockpit UI and also from other business transaction documents such as forwarding order or freight order. One of the other ways is kind of, building some rules right at the freight unit building rule level which creates a package units according to the business rule that you have set up. Those are some of the ways manual from transactional documents and also using some freight unit building rules. 

Hari: Can you also create the package you need from transportation graph using the optimizer or using the different ways of planning or is it mostly, you have to build a package unit before you go to the drafts, the cockpit drafts. 

Rishi: SP has made several cockpit views which are dedicated for package unit handling and VSR optimization can also be included, for considering package units in the same way as you would use a container unit. That is only as a requirement document and not just a capacity document. So it hits both purposes. 

Hari: Kind of a different level of container unit, you can say. 

Rishi: Yes

Hari: but you can assign container unit

Rishi: Yes, so in fact in the items hierarchy, you would see it in the, instead of CEO and D-level, you would see a PKG level in your XML’s and things like that. So yeah. 

Hari: Can you also have multiple levels of packaging units? Example: I have a package and I want to assign a package to a palette, so you can have multiple levels or only one?

Rishi: Unfortunately, at this point of time, standard allows only one level of package unit, Hari. So that’s the way to go right now. But who knows, this might come as an additional functionality in the future.
Hari: Just remember the scenario where we were working with a customer for Postal, Krypt were doing a personal scenario where we needed multiple containers, like these packaging. It was  a similar scenario back then in the 9.4 version I think. We did some enhancement. We have it in our set of assets, where we can, basically, for a postal scenario we have a set of assets and one of those assets is to have multiple level packaging and you can track multiple level packaging. Just to close this session, can you summarize the benefits in a quick 2 minutes. 

Rishi: So if there is one thing which I would like to call out and the biggest benefit in my opinion is the ability to assign the same freight unit to multiple capacity documents. Before this package unit functionality was introduced, it was only possible by splitting the freight unit and that is not required anymore. The package unit now allows you to kind of consolidate and deconsolidate in a more flexible way without cutting down on your freight unit. That is the biggest benefit in my opinion. 

Hari: That is good information on package Unit. Thanks Rishi

Rishi: Thank you very much for a very insightful discussion

Hari: Thank you everyone. Hope we will meet in another session, Thank you.


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