Basically, the transportation zone is a master data object in SAP TM used during transportation planning. It consists of one or more locations and represents the source or destination of a transportation lane. It can be assigned i.e. to a business partner or a shipping point in the respective address data.
You can use transportation zones in multiple ways to cluster locations for the planning process. A very simple example is to define transportation zones by basic geographical attributes in the customizing as shown in the following:
If you define the transportation zones in such a basic way, you might also want to reuse them for different countries, as shown in the above example.
When you now use order- or delivery-based TM integration, the transportation zones are in SAP TM created as master data objects and also as locations of location type 1005. Thereby, the identifier (here 'NORTH', 'SOUTH', 'EAST', 'WEST') is the default id for both.
But obviously, it's quite likely that in a constellation as shown above, at some point a transportation zone or location with the same id is tried to be created a second time for another country. As it's not possible to have different master data objects with the same name, the system will add a suffix to the id (as described in the mentioned post). I.e. the identifier 'NORTH' becomes 'NORTH_01'. This is fine technically, but from the user perspective...not so much.
With SAP S/4HANA 2020 FPS2, we adjust the names automatically in a more meaningful way. Let's describe the new feature by going on with the example from above.
In the customizing, we have assigned transportation zone 'NORTH' to the following shipping points:
Now assume, we create a sales order with shipping point 0003 in Germany (Country DE). During the integration with SAP TM, it's checked whether the transportation zone and its location are already existing, and create both if necessary.
If we create both, the new feature comes into the play. We now always add the country code as prefix to the id of both, the transportation zone and the location.
Means, we create transportation zone 'DE-NORTH' (transaction /SCMTMS/ZONE):