Routing a shipment

Routing refers to the assignment of the optimal carrier and mode to ship a shipment.

A mode refers to parcel, less than truck load (LTL) and truck load (TL). The choices available when routing for a shipment is required, include the requirement to consider node or business entity (enterprise) or customer specific criteria when determining the carrier. A carrier and mode of shipment is chosen after using the appropriate guide as per the criteria and also factoring in the destination and weight of the shipment. For example, Parcel carriers often have weight limits or do not supply to specific zip codes (postal codes).

Sterling Order Management System Software supports the ability to hold a routing guide at the node, enterprise or customer level. The routing guide also captures the effective dates for the guide. It is typical in an industry that the routing guides are changed by a buyer every two or three years.

The ability to integrate with an external routing guide or a Transportation Management System is also available.

A shipment in Sterling Order Management System Software can have a pre-assigned carrier and service, in which case the routing guide is not used. A shipment can specify the service requested. For example, Best Parcel, which in turn is used in the routing guide to optimize the carrier and shipment mode chosen.

The outbound shipment pipeline defines the requirement for a shipment to be routed. The following figure illustrates the logic used.

Figure 1. Routing processing overview

This figure shows an overview of routing. There are three ways that routing can be performed:

  • Use Routing Guide - Routing is based on the Buyer or Enterprise routing guides
  • Dynamic - Routing is based on an external resource, such as a Transport Management System or a customized interaction with the buyer.
  • Manual Routing - Shipment routing is established by the console operator.