It is often the case that a range of shipping methods will be used that can potentially include both own logistics and a number of third-party shipping agents. The choice of the most appropriate shipping service will normally depend on a number of factors. For example, it is unlikely the same shipping service would be used for an shipping a packet as would be used for a pallet.

The Shipping Agent Usage and Charges provides the ability to set the rules to determine which Shipping Agent Code and Shipping Agent Service Code to set on Sales Documents and, optionally create an additional line to create a shipping charge.

To use this feature, first there are two setting on the Shipping Management Setup that should be considered:

The Select Shipping Agent/Service on Release  option determines if the Shipping Agent and Shipping Agent Service fields should be automatically determined on the release of a sales document. If this is not set the user will have to select a menu option to update the Shipping Agent Code and Shipping Agent Service Code.

To calculate Shipping charges when the Shipping Agent is determined enable Calculate Shipping Charges. This will calculate any shipping charges and add a new line to the sales document. In order for these lines to be processed as part of the warehouse process new options should also be enabled on the Warehouse Setup page.

Shipping Agent Usage and Charges can be found by using the search function available in Business Central. You can also view the entries relating to a particular Shipping Agent from the Shipping Agent Service page.

The page has the following fields:

  • Country/Region Code - Select the Country/Region code the entry is applicable to
  • Post Code Region - If a specific Post Code can determine different Shipping Agents or Rates you can define a Post Code Region. Select from a pre-defined Post Code Region or create a new one from here. See below for more details on Post Code Regions
  • Starting Date - Set the date the entry is valid from (if applicable)
  • Ending Date - Set the date the entry is valid to (if applicable)
  • Maximum Order Value - Enter the maximum order value the entry is valid to
  • Maximum Weight - Enter the maximum order weight the entry is valid to
  • Maximum Volume - Enter the maximum order volume the entry is valid to
  • Shipping Agent Code - Select The Shipping Agent Code that should be used on the order for orders fitting the defined criteria
  • Currency Code - If defining shipping charges select the currency code of the shipping charge. When creating shipping charges the system will use a currency charge if it exists otherwise it will convert from the local currency value
  • Shipping Charge Amount - Enter the value charged to the customer for shipping. If no value is entered the entry will purely be used to determine the Shipping Agent/Shipping Agent Service

Note: For Maximum Order Value, Maximum Weight and Maximum Volume only order lines of Type Item are considered on the Sales Document.

To use Postcode Regions in the selection criteria, select Postcode Regions:

On this list enter a unique Code to identify the Postcode Region, an optional Description, and the Country/Region Code it applies to. Then select Postcodes from the Ribbon to define the Postcode areas with in the Region.

Within the Postcode Region Entries you define all of the Postcode Areas that make up the region using the Post Code To and Post Code From fields

The final area that needs to be configured in order to use Shipping Charges is the Shipping Agents Services. On this page the following fields should be populated:

  • Shipping Charge Type - Select the line type for the resultant shipping charge line. This can be a G/L Account, Item Charge or an Item (of Type Non-Inventory).
  • Shipping Charge No. - Select the G/L Account No., Item Charge No. or Item (Non-Inventory) to use depending on the Shipping Charge Type.
  • Shipping Charge Assignment - If the Shipping Charge Type is Item Charge then select how the shipping charge is apportioned across the lines. Choose from Equally, Amount, Weight or Volume.
  • Shipping Charge Description - Enter the description for the shipping charge line that should be displayed on the Sales Document.
Hint: It can be useful to use different G/L Account, Item Charge numbers or Non-Inventory Item Numbers against different shipping agent services as this can allow the ability to reconcile the costs charged by shipping agents with the revenue received.