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A quick but powerful planning related MKS today. SAP Transportation Management 9.1 comes with an enhancement of the trailer planning functionality. For scenarios involving the requirement to uncouple / couple trailers multiple times and switching trucks, it is now possible to use a new location setting.

Let's first explain the scenario a little bit: Basically a trailer as rolling warehouse enhances the options to create more efficient routes. For example due to driving constraints a truck has a certain range (for example it needs to be back at the warehouse every day). So whenever something needs to be transported to somewhere outside this range, a different and maybe more expensive truck has to be used. But as soon as this truck can pull a trailer, a new options opens up. It can bring the trailer up to the truck's range, uncouple it there, a different truck picks it up, and the truck itself returns. The process can vary regarding the stay time of the trailer. Swap means the other truck must be present, so the trailer does not stand there uncoupled (maybe not allowed or security concerns). But in some other places it might be okay to leave it there and the other truck picks it up later.

The challenge is obviously to define where such a swap / uncoupling + coupling is possible. The truck can not just drive somewhere, uncouple the trailer and let is stand there. This has two pieces: First the definition of the behaviour and secondly the determination of relevant trailer swap locations for a freight order.

In SAP Transportation Management 9.1 it is now possible to define for each location how the trailer can be handled. Standard setting is the coupling is not possible.

During the context determination for a to-be-planned freight order, the system determines all locations as possible trailer swap points where the setting does allow trailer handling AND that are included within a same transportation zone as a freight order stop. These locations are added to the planning run and the complete transportation network is determined for them. Of course it must be possible for the truck to reach the trailer swap location (what is usually defined using a transportation lane - this gives still the chance to NOT use it for trucks having a certain means of transport).

For more detailed info on the scenario you can check the application documentation:

Trailer Handling During Trailer Swap - Freight Order Management - SAP Library