Understanding External Third-Party Freight Integration

Freight can be added to a sales order demand line by:

  • Using the PeopleSoft internal calculator within PeopleSoft Order Management or PeopleSoft Inventory.

  • Entering freight amounts manually on the sales order at order entry, at shipping time, or on the delivery in the Delivery Management Workbench.

  • Receiving freight charges from an external third-party freight provider.

This topic discusses the third-party freight integration setup and processing.

The delivery management feature must be implemented for you to use external third-party freight integration. The delivery structure is the mechanism that you use to transfer to and from the third-party freight provider.

See Setting Up Delivery Management.

When integrating with a third-party freight provider, the PeopleSoft system exchanges information with the freight provider by using enterprise integration points (EIPs). These are service operations that send and receive data messages using the PeopleSoft Integration Broker. In addition to providing freight charges to the delivery, the external freight provider can also provide the following services:

  • Printing shipping labels. A link to the shipping labels stored at the third-party provider site is maintained with the delivery, packages, and shipping containers.

  • Generating tracking numbers. The tracking numbers are sent to the PeopleSoft system and maintained with the delivery, packages, and shipping containers.

  • Printing specialized shipping documents such as bill of ladings and export documentations.

  • Creating and maintaining shipping manifests for individual carriers.

Note: Whether the preceding services are provided by the third-party freight system depends on your agreement with the external freight provider. Oracle is not responsible for the specific services delivered by the third-party freight provider.

PeopleSoft applications provide several options for sending and receiving freight data from an external third-party system. To implement this PeopleSoft feature, you need to understand:

  • Freight request methods.

  • Points for providing freight charges, shipping labels, and tracking numbers.

  • Asynchronous -vs- synchronous transaction requests.

Freight Request Methods

The PeopleSoft external freight feature provides the following methods to request freight:

  • Rate Shopping: Rate shopping is an optional feature that enables a user to preview and choose which freight carrier and charges to use on the delivery based on the choices retrieved from the third-party freight provider. This method displays the Freight Rate Shopping page for users to view, evaluate, and select the best freight carrier for their needs. Rate shopping can be performed from the Order Entry Form and from the Delivery Management Workbench. At shipping time, you can easily link to the Delivery Management Workbench from the Shipping/Issues component.

  • Specified Carrier: The PeopleSoft system sends a request with a specific carrier ID to the third-party provider system, and the third-party provider returns only freight choices from the specified carrier. The user can preview these choices.

  • Best Way: The PeopleSoft system sends a best way request to the third-party provider system, and the third-party provider returns only one freight choice per delivery ID. The user can preview this choice. The best way options are:

    • Least Cost: The third-party freight system selects and returns the freight service with the least cost.

    • By Commit Date: The third-party freight system selects and returns the freight service that best matches the scheduled ship date based on the fastest freight service.

Points for Providing Freight Charges, Shipping Labels, and Tracking Numbers

Freight charges, shipping labels, and tracking numbers can be received into the PeopleSoft system at different points in the order fulfillment cycle:

  • At order entry or quote entry time for sales orders or quotes. Depending on your setup, freight charges can be received from the third-party provider and applied to a sales order from requests initiated by; the Order Completion process (OM_BACKGRND), the Process Deliveries/Freight process within the Order Management menu, or during online sales order or quote entry. Using the Order Entry Form component in PeopleSoft Order Management, the request for third-party freight charges can be initiated when the user clicks the Freight Charges button or when the user saves the order. Shipping labels and tracking numbers are not available at this point in the order fulfillment cycle, because the order is not ready to ship.

    If you have selected the OrderEntry option for the Freight Bill Type field, then these are the freight charges that are sent to PeopleSoft Billing to be placed on the customer's invoice. The order entry freight is managed from Order Entry Form or the Order Completion process. Freight can be calculated in inventory fulfillment, but that freight amount is not billed. When you bill at order entry, you can only recalculate or override freight charges on the sales order before the first demand line ships. If you ship sales order lines within the same delivery multiple times due to backorders or partial shipments, the full freight amount is charged with the first shipment for that delivery. Using this option, you can initiate freight rating at shipment time; however, the new freight calculation is purely for information and comparison purposes.

  • At optional points in PeopleSoft Inventory fulfillment before shipping. Depending on your setup, freight charges can be received from the third-party provider and applied to the delivery and its orders prior to shipment using the Delivery Management Workbench or the Process Deliveries/Freight process within the Inventory menu. Shipping labels and tracking numbers are not available at this point in the order fulfillment cycle, because the order is not ready to ship.

  • At shipping time. Depending on your setup, you can receive freight charges from the third-party provider and apply them to the delivery and its orders by sending the synchronous Inventory Freight Ship Request EIP from the Delivery Management Workbench or from the Shipping/Issues component. This transaction will perform a manifest action allowing you to manifest the shipment in the third-party freight system and return freight rates, carrier assignments, tracking numbers, and label URL references to the PeopleSoft system. You also have the option to send the asynchronous Inventory Freight Rate Request EIP to manifest a delivery when deliveries are shipped using the batch shipping process or by selecting the manifest option on the Process Deliveries/Freight process within the Inventory menu. In either of these situations, the Inventory Freight Rate Response is returned from the third-party system to update the freight rates, tracking numbers, and label URL references in the PeopleSoft system. All of the demand lines within the deliveries must be in the shipped fulfillment state to receive tracking numbers and shipping label information from the third-party system. Based on your setup, shipping documents can be generated in the third-party system upon manifesting but these documents are not returned to the PeopleSoft system.

Asynchronous - vs - Synchronous Transaction Requests

The PeopleSoft system communicates with the external third-party freight system by sending and receiving transaction requests through the PeopleSoft Integration Broker. The service operations used by the Integration Broker provide two methods of communication:

  • Synchronous: A synchronous transaction is a transaction request that is sent to a destination where the sender waits for an immediate response before continuing. This is considered a two-way transaction, because the initial request is sent and a response is accepted in the same session. For example, the rate request transaction sent from the Order Entry Form component during freight rate shopping is requesting freight charges to be displayed to the user online. This service operation is synchronous. The availability of the synchronous freight transaction depends on your third-party freight provider.

  • Asynchronous: An asynchronous transaction is a transaction request that is sent to a destination where the sender is not expecting or waiting for an immediate response. This is considered a one-way transaction, because a response is not returned in the same session. For example, the rate request for third-party freight sent from the Order Completion process in PeopleSoft Order Management does not require an immediate response because no user is waiting for a response. Asynchronous service operations are useful for recording freight charges for a large number of orders or with lights-out processing, such as with EDI sales orders that have been uploaded to PeopleSoft Order Management and now require background processing, including freight charges. The availability of the asynchronous freight transaction depends on your third-party freight provider.