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The Problem

Freight Document types (Freight Order Type, Freight Booking Type) are playing a very important role in TM as they are steering the behaviour of our documents. (btw., some nice shortcuts to directly navigate to the Freight Document Type can be found here ...).

Now the question is, how are the document types determined.

Basically we have to distinguish two scenarios, creation of documents freestyle (like from create freight order UI) or with planning (like creating a freight order with the optimizer, manual planning etc.). And there is one more pretty specific case, you will see at the end...

Document creation without planning

When creating a freight document e.g. from the create freight order UI, basically the decision process has only 2 steps:

  1. Document Type is provided in the UI: The document type is taken over

  2. No Document Type provided: The default for the Document Category AND mode of Transport is used.

The following screenshot shows two default freight order types, one for rail, one for road freight orders:

The same logic applies for freight documents created e.g. via message.


Document Creation with Planning

The world becomes a bit more flexible when it comes to planning. Here a lot of different documents can be created in one planning run and for different documents different document types may be required.

In the planning profile there are 3 Basic options:

  1. Use the document defaults (as for Document creation without planning)

  2. Define deviating default document types for the planning profile

  3. Use a condition for the document type determination

This setting can be defined in the general settings of the planning profile:


As many other settings the profile settings are taking over into the transportation cockpit but can be transactionally changed. In this specific case only the category default types can be overruled, the basic decision to use conditions, document category defaults defined for the profile/session or apply the global settings can not be overruled for the session.

Depending on the Settings the document type determination happens with the following priority:

  1. Check if Condition is defined and if the condition returns a document type

  2. Check if a default is defined for the document cat/mode of transport in the planning settings

  3. Use the document cat/mode of transport default as defined in customizing


Document creation with reference to a Freight Unit Stage from Freight Unit UI / Transportation Cockpit with Action "Create Freight Document"

When creating a freight document from the Freight Unit Stage UI or with the specific action "Create Freight Dcoument"(not defining the document category) there is a little extra option:

In customizing under SAP Transportation Management=>Transportation Management=>Forwarding Order Management=>Define Default Capacity Document Types for Stages default document types for stage types can be defined.

This customizing is applied first. If it does not return a value, the logic as defined for document creation from planning is applied. The planning profile used in that case is the one defined in the freight order type.


All in one

The following graphic is visualizing all the access and the following decsion path in one picture:

Hint: In case you have problem reading the graphic make a right click on the picture and choose "Open Image in new tab", then it is fullscreen...