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SAP Transportation Management, order to cash for container shipping liners provides numerous functionalities that dedicated to help ocean liners to run their business better. In this blog series, you will learn how to use manifest document to ease the documentation work.

Business Background

As the nature of ocean freight carrier, in order to manage international trade, you need to deal with different business partners across the world. For example, customs offices have different regulatory requirements for cargo entering/leaving their country, and moving within their territory. The information such as shipper, consignee, cargo and vessel itinerary is typically required to be submitted in time.

Let's use the below scenario to walk through the process:

You have an order of importing cargo to Berlin. The cargo container will be discharged at port Rotterdam, and the needed information must be submitted to Rotterdam customs office XX hours before the vessel arrival.

Note that the following information is only for demonstration purpose.

Manifest Profile

Order to cash for container shipping liners provides a highly customizable tool to configure different kinds of document for various regulatory requirements -- Manifest Profile.

Create new manifest profile

Create Manifest Profile

• Language - In what language the documents will be provided by using this profile.

System use it for localization & translation purpose. You may configure the key information as Translatable in IMG: Manifest -> Maintain Manifest Settings -> Key Elements.

• Unit of Measure - In what unit (Metric/Imperial) the mass/volume/length will be provided by using this profile.

System use it for localization and conversion purpose. You may configure the key information as well as conversion rule in IMG: Manifest -> Maintain Manifest Settings -> Key Elements, and Unit of Measure.

• Type - For what kind of party this profile is designed.

The party role options come from the BP role group that is assigned to IMG: Manifest -> Maintain Manifest Settings -> General Settings -> Role Grouping.

You may configure the role group in IMG: Manifest -> Define BP Role Groupings.

• Country - For which country/region this profile is designated.


Create new document item

The the document items you create here will be used as template to generate instances during voyage generation.

Create Document Item

• Document ID - System will propose a numeric ID upon save.

You can define the number ranges in IMG: Manifest -> Define Number Ranges for Manifest Profile Documents; 

And use it in IMG: Manifest -> Maintain Manifest Settings -> General Settings -> Doc. ID No Internal.

• Document Name - You need to give a descriptive name to the document.

• Document Type - You may choose one from the document types.

They are configured in IMG: Manifest -> Maintain Manifest Settings -> Document Types. 

The customizing table has further characters such as relevant cargo activities (Load/Discharge/Release), activity direction (Inbound/Outbound) and preferred reference validity (ETA/ETD).

• Event Reference - You may choose one event reference.

They are configured in IMG: Manifest -> Maintain Manifest Settings -> Event References. This is where you control how the document instances are generated at runtime.

• Validity - You can maintain the validity period that this document takes effect.

Together with Reference Validity system determines relevant documents for each port call.

• Reference Validity - Estimated Time of Arrival / Estimated Time of Departure.

You can use ETA or ETD of a port call as the time base when determining relevant documents.

• Status - Draft / Final.

After you maintained everything you can set the status to Final so that the document will take effect.

• In Use - Indicate that this document already used.

The document items will be consumed by voyages (ocean freight booking) at time of voyage generation; The Document Usage will give you a full list of consumer voyages.


So far we have created one document item that is Cargo Manifest, which is relevant to Load and Discharge, and a Single instance shall be generated at each port call of designated port; It shall be effective from 11/11/220 to 31.12.9999.


Document Item General

Maintain the communication settings

Document General Setting

• Method - Choose the Communication method.

IMG: Manifest -> Maintain Manifest Settings -> Communication Method; Each should have an ABAP class implementation, which handles all the communication work.

• Format - What information is needed in the document.

• Layout - Form layout for printing.

If your communication method requires a printed version, you need to create a PDF form of interface /TMCSL/MAN_SBM_EXAMPLE_IF; The interface is maintained in IMG: Manifest -> Maintain Manifest Settings -> Manifest Settings - Interface. The layout should match with format.

• EDI Format - Needed only for EDI communication.

You can maintain EDI format in IMG: Manifest -> Maintain Manifest Settings -> EDI format.

• Amendment Type - Individual  / Mass.

In case B/L changed after document submission, how do you want to handle the amendment.

    • Individual - only the changed B/L are sent during amendment submission;

    • Mass - All B/Ls belonging the same document are sent during amendment submission.


For our case, we want our document to be sent by Email with the Full B/L (with charges) and VV Info attached in a particular Layout to the designated party; And when B/L data are changed, all B/Ls shall be resubmitted.


Document Item Trigger Rule

Here you can define:

The prerequisites for document instance generation; and

The rules for including Bookings and B/Ls into the document.

1. The prerequisites for document instance generation

• Advance Document Prerequisites

It is only changeable for which the document activity is Advanced, see Advance Manifest; For other document types, it is Always. The generation still depends on the class implementation, see Event Reference customizing. 

• Call Type Relevance

Choose the relevant type of port call, so that document instances are only generated at designated type of port call. Omitting this selection will be treated as relevant to any call type.

2. The rules for including Bookings or B/Ls into the document

Whether this document should include booking or B/L data

Some document may not need booking or B/L data at all, while others may need them as essential data; use the House B/L option to include House B/L as standard alone entry.

What kind of booking or B/L

There are different types of trigger you can choose from:

◊ Port Activity

What activity performed to the booking or B/L at this port correspond to what role that this port plays in the booking or B/L; Load - Port of Loading, Unload - Port of Discharge. By giving port activity as a trigger rule, you can filter out the booking or B/L that does not have desired actions.

◊ Method

Name of the class that has interface /TMCSL/IF_MANPRF_TRIGGER; You have to implement your filtering logic inside.

◊ Configured Trigger Type

Any trigger type defined in IMG: Manifest -> Maintain Manifest Settings -> Trigger Types.


So far we have done the profile settings so that:

System will generate a Single instance of Cargo Manifest at designated Commercial port; and it needs those booking and B/L data (house B/L as standard alone if exist) whose type is Original B/L, and going to be Discharged at designated port.


Document Item Activities

Here you can define the allowed document activities that shall to be executed throughout document's life cycle.

Activity to Be Scheduled

The Activities you configured in IMG: IMG: Manifest -> Maintain Manifest Settings -> Activities are shown in dropdown list; The customizing only define a few properties like Description, Type and Level (at what entity the action will be performed).

Event Type

The activity scheduled execution time can be determined by:

◊ Event - The time of one of following event (ETA/ETD/ATA/ATD) + Offset; Or

◊ Anther Activity - The scheduled time of another activity + Offset; Or

◊ PPF Condition - Determined by start condition of PPF action.

• Auto/Manual - Is the activity executable by user manually or by system automatically or both.

• Sea Duration - Shortsea or Deepsea; see Shortsea/Deepsea.

Event - Only available for type Event.

Previous Activity - Only available for type Activity .

Time Offset - The offset for calculating scheduled time; for example -72 Hours or +1 Days.

PPF Action - The actual business logic is implemented in PPF action; The PPF action profile and action definitions should be configured and enabled for Business Object /SCMTMS/TOR Node /TMCSL/MAN_DOC in IMG: Manifest -> Maintain Output Management Adapter Settings.

Note: SAP provides PPF output agent /TMCSL/MANIFEST as a basic setup with limited functionality, you may create your own and replace it.


We have defined three activities for our document, Cleanup is scheduled to be executed 72 hours before expected arrival, Original Submission is scheduled to be executed 48 hours before expected arrival; Critical Amendment is going to be submitted automatically on spot. Cleanup and Submission can be executed by system job or by user manually.


Document Item Key Elements

Here you can define the attributes that require either conversion or translation.

First you need to maintain the attributes in IMG: Manifest -> Maintain Manifest Settings -> Key Elements as translatable or convertible; then you can add them here, with a target Language or Unit. If you don's specify any Language or Unit, system will take the manifest profile header value as fallback.


Document Item Validations

As the owner of goods or as a representative, you are responsible for the data quality of documents. Submitting inaccurate or unclear documents to customs may be rejected and even punished. That is why it is important to perform cleanup before original submission.

First you need to maintain the validations in IMG: Manifest -> Maintain Manifest Settings -> Validations, assign validation level (against what entity it checks at), as well as implement the ABAP class.

The cleanup activity will be scheduled like any other activity; During execution, it will perform the validations maintained here and set status to corresponding entity according to severity level:


Document Item Responses

Here you can define the response code and corresponding actions.

Order to cash provides a fixed set of response actions, they can cover scenarios like submission feedback, cargo operations and document diversion. SAP also provides API to consume  response code.

You need to implement the communication between SAP system and third-party system, with the help of API.


Document Item Amendments

Here you can define what information change should be considered as amendment. You can classify the amendment as Critical - so that system automatically sent out amendment; or Required - only highlight a indicator for user information.

You can put three different types of amendments:

• Port Activity

• Method

• Any attributes maintained in IMG: Manifest -> Maintain Manifest Settings -> Key Elements as Amendment.


So far we have completed the manifest profile setup; in next blog I will introduce how to assign manifest profile to appropriate party so that it will take effect.

Related Info

you can find more information in online help.

Manifest Document Part 2

Manifest Document Part 3 – Advance Manifest

Manifest Document Part 4 – Shortsea/Deepsea