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Jeff-Gebo
Advisor
Advisor
5,248

Introduction


SAP Business Network for Logistics (BN4L) provides collaboration capabilities for shippers and carriers - freight tendering, subcontracting, settlement, tracking and dock appointment scheduling can all be collaborated on. A carrier on our network can connect and transact with any shipper on the network. BN4L comes by default with a web portal that our carriers can use to collaborate with shippers they are connected to. Optionally, carriers can build an integration from BN4L to their own systems using EDI or API. If you haven’t yet read my blog on EDI vs API integration I highly recommend doing so.


Over the past year and a half, I have worked with hundreds of carriers who are building these integrations, both EDI and API. Over the course of this work with carriers going the EDI integration route I have identified common issues and questions that they have. My hope is that the below list will assist in speeding up EDI integrations for new carrier integrations. Note: I work with North American carriers so I am focused on ANSI EDI, that said we also support EDIFACT for the rest of the world.




EDI ANSI Common Issues & Questions


204


The first question I get from a carrier is always this: What are your ISA/GS IDs (AKA sender / receiver IDs)?


In BN4L we use the LBN ID of the shipper and carrier. The LBN ID is a unique ID (10 digit numeric value) of the shipper and carrier the uniquely identifies them on the network. Each will typically have two of these. One for the test landscape and another for the production landscape. Like any good integrator you will first build and test your integration on the test landscape then move to production once everything has been successfully tested. Ok, then there is the second related question – what is the qualifier? Ours is “ZZ”. You can find all of this documented in our 204 Spec Guide. PRO TIP: Never download our guides, just bookmark the link – we are making improvements all the time and upgrade our guides regularly.


 

990


The easiest of all the EDI inbound messages but almost everyone misses this one segment, you need to send the Sender System ID! Why? Because a shipper can possibly have multiple systems connected to their BN4L tenant and due to that we need the carrier to send back this segment so we can route the message to the proper system. If only I had a dollar for every time I emailed the below snippet, I could retire. LOL! Learn more in the 990 spec guide.


----------------------------


You are missing the following segment:


N9*06*”Sender System ID”~


You can get the sender system ID value from the 204 segment:


L11*SenderSystemId*06~


 

210


This one is more complex – the most difficult of all the inbound messages. First you need to send back three N9 segments – the Sender System ID, the Bill From Party and the Purchasing Party. The Bill From Party and Purchase Party are the business partner IDs as maintained in the shippers system. If you don’t get these correct the invoice won’t process successfully. Sometimes carriers forget to send the C3 segment with the currency code. Most difficult about the 210 is how we require the L1 segments to be formatted. I’m not going to go into detail on that in this blog, I will create a separate one just for L1 segment. Suffice to say, take the advice I mention below about the L1 segment – again, I email this snippet out all the time to carriers trying to integrate with the 210:


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You are missing the following segments:


N9*06*Sender System ID~


N9*12*BillFromParty~


N9*CN*PurchasingParty~


You can get these from the 204 in the following segments:


L11*SenderSystemId*06~


L11*PurchasingParty*CN~


L11*BillFromParty*12~


With the 210 please pay special attention to how we format the L1 – look at the examples on page 30 of the 210 spec guide. PRO TIP: You need to ask the shipper you are integrating with which BN4L Charge Codes they support for your use case with them. They should be able to send you that list.


 

214 for Freight Collaboration Tracking (not GTT)


This one isn’t too bad, but not used quite as much because a lot of our shippers choose a Visibility Provider (like Project44, FourKites or Shippeo to name a few) to get order tracking data. That said, more and more carriers are setting up the 214 with us…I imagine this will become more popular over time. In addition to the Sender System ID we need the Stop ID or Location ID. Stop ID is just 1, 2, 3 (depends on number of stops), or better yet send the Location ID which can be found in the 204. Below is the email snippet I send out regularly to carriers and as always the 214 Spec Guide which has examples is your friend.


-------------------------------


You are missing the following segment:


L11*SenderSystemId*06~


You can get the sender system ID value from the 204 segment:


L11*SenderSystemId*06~


You also need to send a Stop ID or Location ID.


The location ID can be found in the 204 N1-04 position.


Send as: L11*Location ID*LU~


 

997


We currently only support the 997 for confirmation of the files you send to BN4L - these are the 990, 214 and 210. It is on our roadmap to support 997 confirmations for a 204 (hopefully will be delivered sometime this year). With our 997 we have one thing that needs to be known by carriers - that is the sender ISA / GS ID is "LBN". Why? Well because we did receive your file, but it may not have been routed all the way to the shipper's TM. This 997 only means that it was received by BN4L. (Why "LBN" and not "BN4L" well, BN4L used to be called Logistics Business Network, LBN for short).

Summary


EDI Integration can be easy if you consider these common issues and answers to common questions listed here. I’ve seen this integration setup as quickly as a day…I’ve also seen it take weeks. My hope is with this info we can get more carriers integrated in days.


Feel free to ask any questions below on this in the comments. Happy integrating!


PS - we now support the 300 and 301 for Ocean. Are you a carrier interested in this? Let me know!

 

For further questions and feedback related to the blog, please check the Q&A area and feel free to post your questions in the link with the tag SAP Business Network for Logistics.
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