For Export Orders (where the destination country is different to that of the country from which the goods are shipped) it is mandatory to use "Clever WMS Containers" functionality within Shipping Agent Integration.

Containers will be used to represent the Packages that are being consigned to the Shipping Agent as part of each Shipment and to confirm the Items (and quantities) within each Package. If you do not actively track the packaging stage of the Shipping process, Shipping Agent Integration also allows for the automatic creating of Containers, based on the No. of Packages confirmed against the Shipment, as detailed below. 

Container Setup

Regardless of whether you will manually confirm, or automatically create Containers within Shipping Agent Integration, the following pre-requisites must be completed. 

  • Container Confirmation Required must be selected (found on the Shipping FastTab of the Customer Card) for all Customers to whom you will ship Internationally using Shipping Agent Integration
  • Create a No. Series for the creation of Containers
  • Create at least one Container Type and assign a default using the Default Container Type attribute within the Containers Setup screen
  • Assign the Container No. Series to the Container Type
  • Finally, assign the Container Type to the Shipping Agent Packaging setup, for any Package types that will be used for Export Orders

With the pre-requisites in place, you then need to decide whether the user should manually create Container information when using Shipping Agent Integration, to identify exactly what is in Package, or whether Shipping Agent Integration will automatically create the Container information, based on the No. of Packages specified by the user during the Shipment process. 

Automatic Container Creation

If you would like the system to create Container Tracking for you, then you simply need to toggle on the Auto Create Containers attribute against the relevant Shipping Agent Service, as shown in the example below. The system will then automatically create Containers for the Warehouse Shipment, based on the No. of Packages entered by the user and the Default Container Type that has been assigned to the Shipping Agent Packaging Code, which is also specified on the Warehouse Shipment.

When using the Auto Create Containers option Shipping Agent Integration will split the content of the Shipment into Containers based on a pre-defined apportionment process, based on the number of Items (and Quantities) that are being shipped and the No. of Packages into which the Items have been placed.

The apportionment process will be done at the point that the Shipment is Posted and works on a cycle allocation principle, meaning the the following rules apply, with the intention of spreading the Items equally across the Containers. 

  • Containers will be created as per the No. of Packages set on the Shipment
  • Each Item Line is processed and based on the No. of Packages a single Item is added to each Container
    • If the No. of Packages is less than the Item Line Quantity the system will cycle through the Containers from the beginning and increase the Quantity for the Item until the Item Quantity is fully satisfied
  • When an Item Line is completely handled, the next Item Line is processed, but the apportionment will start from the next Container
    • e.g. if you ship two different Items in two Packages, then the first Item will be added to the first Container and the second Item into the second Container
    • As with the above cycle process, once the last Container had had an Item placed into the process will continue from the first Container once more

Worked Example

A Shipment is processed for two Items (Listed in sequence of Item A and Item B on the Shipment Document) with a total quantity of 18 (12 for Item A and 6 for Item B) which is being shipped in 10 Packages. 

The system will create Containers and perform the apportionment as shown below, with the following key facts highlighted.

  • The system creates 10 Containers
  • Item A is placed into each of the Containers and then additionally the first two Containers hold an additional quantity of Item A as the quantity 12 is greater than the No. of Packages (10)
  • Item B is allocated from the third Container, as the allocation of Item A ended on the second Container
  • The last quantity of Item B is allocated into the eight Container, as the total Item quantity is 6 and therefore no more Containers need to be used

NB: if the above method will not work for your business, then you will need to perform manual assignment of Items into Container, as detailed below.

If you have Sales Items that are shipped in multiple packages, or Assembled to Order then it maybe the case that the No. of Packages required to ship the Warehouse Shipment is greater than the Total Quantity of Sales Items being shipped. Within Shipping Agent Integration functionality has been added so that you can identify that Items require multiple Packages for Shipping through the Shipment Packaging screen, accessible from Containers Sub-Menu on the Item List and Card screens.

Within the Shipment Packaging screen you can identify the Share % that each Package should be allocated, which in turn will calculate the weight added into the Package as a Share of the Item's weight. 

For Items that have an associated Assembly BOM the system will split the Sales Item into the Packages based on each Item with the BOM and will use the Quantity defined against the Assembly BOM (in relation to the total Quantity defined on the Assembly BOM) to apportion the Weight from the Sales Item into the Packages.

Manual Container Creation

To manually create the Container Tracking Entries for a Consignment you will need to create the Container information as detailed within the Clever WMS Containers help guide, which can be found here

For Shipping Agent Integration the number of unique Containers should match the No. of Packages that you have declared on the Warehouse Shipment Shipping FastTab and the Total Quantity declared across the Container Tracking Entries must match the Quantity that is to be shipped on the Warehouse Shipment at the point of posting. If this is not the case then you will be presented with an Error at the point you attempt to Post the Shipment. 

NB: where you are loading the same Item into multiple Packages (Containers) it is proposed, for efficiency, that the "Suggest Lines" functionality should be used to first generate a Container Tracking Entry for each Item on the Shipment and then the "Multiple Split" feature can be used to further break down the Quantity into the number of Containers you wish to create, but manual entry can also be used.