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As businesses increasingly rely on cloud services to provide more accurate data for business decisions, seamless integration becomes paramount. The following article shows how integrated with cloud services, SAP Transportation Management can unleash new capabilities enabled by seamless data exchange, streamlined workflows, and enhanced collaboration.

I will split this blog post into two parts to address two critical value-adding features available for SAP Transportation Management (TM) enabled with the integration to cloud services.

These capabilities enable logistics experts to make faster and more informed decisions by helping the transportation planner identify potential discrepancies, improve transportation planning results, and optimize communication with the carriers as well as external partners, which, in the end, increases customer satisfaction. Late changes and lack of accuracy tend to increase the cost of transportation planning; therefore, visualization as a function can also help the planner represent the best outcome of resource utilization for operations. In part 1 of this blog series, I will first focus on the EPD visualization service to help generate the 3D scene on the load plan PDF.

First, let us start with an overview of the SAP Transportation Management 3D load plan and SAP EPD Visualization service.



SAP Enterprise Product Development – Visualization Integration



3D Load Plan:

SAP TM used the Load planning feature to approximate how the available resource loading space could be optimally utilized, considering several parameters and constraints such as vehicle resource dimensions, axle loads, stackability, and additional critical restrictions. As a result, a 3D load plan scene will be generated in business documents such as (freight orders, freight units, consignment orders) or the transportation cockpit. For more details on configuring a 3D load plan display, please check Markus Zahn's MKS Monday Knowledge Snippet (MKS) – 48 Configure your Load Plan Visualization details, which provide a detailed step-by-step guide.

Visualization service:

Since the S/4HANA 2020 release, it is possible to consume SAP EPD (Enterprise Product Development) visualization service by sending a request package including details of the load plan result from SAP Transportation Management to render images of the created 3D load plan. Therefore, generating a single picture of the final result or multiple images representing the loading sequence on a load plan PDF is possible. Further details on configuring the integration to the visualization services are available in note 3023625 - SAP Transportation Management: Setup guide for integrating SAP EPD VB Renderer Service for creating 3D Load Plan Images.

Subaccount for SAP EPD APIs

Load Plan PDF:

After setting up the visualization service, you have to perform customizing under Transportation Management -> Basic Functions -> Load Planning -> Printing to generate the form in the output management of the business document. Under the customizing, you can (1) Define the Load plan Printing profile to capture the layout, logo (company logo to be displayed on the form), print sequence steps, and the connectivity to the EPD service. The next step (2) is to assign the print profile to the business document types where you would like the form printed, e.g., freight orders. After that, (3) you need to define a layout, and (4) you can add or remove sections of the form for the specified layout. These steps provide high flexibility for the business to design the load plan form per business requirements. The transportation planner can display (the load plan form) directly in the business document and email it to external partners, e.g., carriers, suppliers, or customers. Therefore, it improves communication and decreases the potential discrepancies in the operative actions.

SPRO: Customizing for Load plan PDF in TM


This feature will help your customers reduce the need for extra trips, improve operation costs linked to transportation, and improve overall misalignment between planning and execution. Hopefully, this blog article will be helpful for your project team. Next, we will discuss the SAP HSS service for GIS integration (Geocoding, Distance Duration Determination, Routing, and Map tiles). But that's another blog article; therefore, stay tuned.