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Transportation is an integral part of Supply Chain and plays a key role in building and maintaining the company's reputation.Effective transportation management is often the primary competitive differentiator between the companies.

From a logistics viewpoint, transportation is not merely a means of moving goods from one location to another. It’s a means of facilitating all other major operations within a supply chain. The role of transportation is to increase the efficiency of your operations by getting raw materials, intermediate products and finished goods from their point of origin to their destination.

In case of bulk transport, many companies try to explore the use of rail as a mode of transport in order to gain cost optimization.

This blog describes below scenario with the help of integration between SAP TM and SAP EWM for bulk transport of Finished Goods from Manufacturing (MFG) Site to Distribution Center (DC) using rail as the mode of transport -

This scenario is applicable to any industry like - automobiles, retail, chemical, coal, oil, consumer goods (that do not have short shelf life) etc. whereby the train company would arrange to pick up the products in bulk from the manufacturing site (either by extending their rail network to the railyard nearby the factory site or by arranging local road transport for pick-up from the manufacturing site to their nearby rail yard for onward delivery).

Note:  This blog post shares my personal insights based on my experience working with customers in Manufacturing and Retail industry and my insight into SAP solutions only.

Process Flow -

Process Flow - MFG site to DC using S/4 HANA EWM TM – Bulk Transport by Rail

This blog will cover the additional configuration steps involved in this scenario, master data and the process till creation of Railcar TU. Remaining process steps in EWM can be performed as per standard process in EWM.

Configuration -  SPRO->Display IMG->Transportation Management->Freight Order Management->Freight Order->Define Freight Order Types->Execute-> Create new Freight Order Type by copying existing standard Rail FO and make sure the values as populated as highlighted below in yellow in this example without which TU will not get created in SAP EWM.

Rail FO Type Configuration

Master Data -

  1. Create Railcar material with material type VERP in S/4 HANA - Please make sure that this material has appropriate "Material Group Packaging Material" and "Packaging Material Type" in "Sales general/plant" view of the material master.

  2. Maintain link between packaging material and means of transport - transaction code /SCWM/PM_MTR and maintain values similar to below example -

Link between packaging material and rail means of transport

Documents in S/4 HANA -

  1. Stock Transport Order - is created to initiate shipment of finished goods from manufacturing site to distribution center (both locations could be in the same state / different states of the same country / different countries.)

STO from MFG site to DC


2. Outbound Delivery from MFG site - is created by automatic job / manually. This delivery will  be  EWM and TM relevant as shown below.

Outbound Delivery from MFG Site


3. Freight Unit (FU) will get created and this is subsequently planned for transportation with the help of transportation cockpit and Freight Order (FO) gets created. Once the Rail Carrier agrees to  take up the transport execution activity.

4. FO is set to load plan status as load plan finalized when the railcar is at the yard of the MFG site. FO is sent to EWM as per below screenshot -

Rail FO - General Data


Railcar Item


Rail FO Document Flow

Rail FO - Transmitted to EWM


5. Transportation Unit (TU) is created for railcar in EWM as shown below -

Transportation Unit in EWM

Next step of activities in yard management and outbound process steps in EWM are not covered as these can be performed as per standard EWM outbound process.

Please share your comment and/or feedback in case of any suggestions.

Happy Reading !!!



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