Integration of carrier API calls in SAP eWM and TM

by Lieven Declercq

Blog Lieven De Clercq | TheValueChain

In this blog we demonstrate a real-world example of how APIs can be used for carrier integration in transportation management (TM) and extended warehouse management (eWM). Rather than sending files to notify parcel carriers of truckloads, we integrate with all major carriers (UPS, FedEx, DHL, Shunfeng, etc.) through APIs. 

Request and receive quotations from carriers 

When a parcel rolls off the packing belt and is completed in eWM, an API call is automatically launched to one or more carriers. Based on the destination and the size of the parcel, they return their best quotes within seconds. All incoming quotes are displayed on a small RF scanner screen. The information is limited but it contains enough detail for you to make the right choices and scan the handling units or pallets on the shop floor. 

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After receiving all the quotes on the RF screen, you can select your preferred carrier and service to trigger a new API for booking. You can also indicate who will pay for transport and duties, a useful feature for EXW and FCA shipments where customers may have preferred carriers with better rates. For shipping dangerous goods, you can include data from SAP EHS in your shipment call. Once booked, you'll receive a tracking number to monitor the shipment. 


Developing a shipping label in SAP Smart Forms or PDF Builder can be exciting, but with the API, it's no longer necessary. Once the shipment is booked, you’ll receive the shipping labels from the carrier and only need to convert them to PDF for printing. This process is fast and carrier-independent, so any label changes made by the carrier won't affect you. 

If you pass on the data in the shipment API, the carrier will provide you with shipping labels, pro forma invoices, dangerous goods labels, declarations, and more. To organise different calls to different carriers, we created one message structure with all necessary information in S/4HANA. The data is aggregated into one CDS view and passed to SAP Process Orchestration, which maps it based on the carrier. For a new carrier, we just need to update the mapping in SAP PO without changing anything in the CDS in S/4HANA. 

How is this linked to SAP Transportation Management? 

After a successful shipment call, the handling units are automatically linked to the transportation units in eWM and TM. 

Once the truck departs, all assigned parcels are updated in the TM freight order. Rather than using rate tables, we utilise the stored quote results in our internal tables to determine charges. This allows for accurate creation of FSD documents and freight POs against the carrier, resulting in minimal discrepancies in incoming invoices. However, deviations can still occur, such as discrepancies in parcel size or address corrections made by the driver during delivery. 



  • No more label creation 
  • Mobile solution: user can walk around while scanning packages 
  • Online choice of the cheapest carrier: on every call, we can compare rates of different carriers resulting in a lower freight invoice 

 Points of attention 

• If the carrier connection is lost, shipping is no longer possible. While major carriers have backup measures, smaller local partners may experience reliability problems. 

• Quick response time is critical. Slow API calls cannot create bottlenecks at the packing station. You cannot expect users to wait ten seconds for every scanned parcel. Our solution was designed to be as lean and fast as possible. 

 TheValueChain helps you create and integrate custom APIs for all your business needs. 


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Lieven De Clercq | TheValueChain

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