TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Carrier, cost centre linkage
- Fastest carrier selection
- Impact on API usage
- Booking after quoting
- Booking without quoting (direct booking)
- Impact on Quoting and Booking functions in the web app
- Fastest Carrier Selection Configuration Options
- Service type category
- Default values
- Strict = TRUE carrier selection rules
- Strict = FALSE carrier selection rules
- Step by step guide on how to set-up service categories
This document defines the rules that can be applied to drive carrier selection decisions when using FreightExchange. This functionality is richest for users who are integrating with FreightExchange via APIs.
FreightExchange gives users the functionality to allocate different carriers and costs by using cost centres. This means, when you are entering a quote or making a booking for a cost centre, only specific carriers and costs will be returned.
Carrier, cost centre linkage
FreightExchange allows specificto be linked to one or more carriers. By extension this relationship works in reverse in that any carrier linked to a specific cost centre will only be able to be selected for shipments for that cost centre.
This setup cannot be overwritten, but a workaround is to have a second cost centre that does not have the limitation applied and use that for quotes and bookings where the strict carrier selection needs to be overridden.
Fastest carrier selection
FreightExchange allows each company that uses the system to set up their own rules to define which carriers and services should not be considered when selecting the fastest option. These rules cover the following options:
- Exclude all options in a specific service category
- Exclude all options from a specific carrier
- Exclude all options from a specific service
- Exclude all options more expensive than a specified value
- Exclude all options that are in excess of a specified percentage over the cheapest price option within a given quote. This can be banded by the cheapest cost.
- Exclude all options that are in excess of a specified amount over the cheapest price option. This can be banded by the cheapest cost.
These rules are defined at the company level and apply to all shipments for all cost centres. They cannot be overridden on specific requests and if changed will apply immediately to all quotes and bookings made after the change. The rules are applied in the order listed above, so for example prices from an excluded carrier will be removed regardless of the amount they are in excess of the cheapest price.
Impact on API usage
Using these options appropriately requires users to give considerable thought to how their system and its users are going to interact with the FreightExchange APIs. This also needs to be thought about in the context of the choice between getting a quote, then confirming it as opposed to directly making a booking without getting one or more prices first.
In the quote API there are a number of options which determine the number and selection of prices that will be returned:
Only the cheapest price will be returned. Whilst this is the same as sending CHEAPEST it is retained for backward compatibility.
Only the cheapest price will be returned.
Only the fastest option is returned applying the carrier selection rules defined in the Fastest carrier selection section.
The absolute fastest option will be returned. This will be the shortest transit time ignoring the carrier selection rules above.
Both the cheapest and fastest prices will be returned, applying the carrier selection rules. Note that the cheapest and fastest options could be the same in which only one result will be returned.
All price options will be returned, ignoring the carrier selection rules above.
Note that if no carrier selection rules have been setup then FASTEST and ABSFASTEST will result in the same result - the absolute fastest option being returned regardless of price.
Each is a boolean value (true/false), and each can be true only once across the result set. However any one price option could have more than one of these flags set to true (for example it is possible for an option to be the cheapest and fastest).
Booking after quoting
The same carrier selection principles apply to making a booking after getting a quote. Please note that the weight, quantity and item dimensions cannot be changed between making a quote and confirming it. The following options are available for selecting a carrier when confirming a quote:
As these options could override each other they will be handled in the following priority:
Example 1: If you set both selectAbsFastest and selectCheapest to true then the absolute fastest option will be selected.
Example 2: If you set a priceId value it will always be selected regardless of the other options.
Booking without quoting (direct booking)
When using this API you do not see any carrier prices, instead the shipment is immediately created. Regardless similar options are available to the booking after quoting option:
As with the booking after quoting option there is a hierarchy to how the rules are applied, which is basically the same order. Specifying a specific carrier and service ID will result in that option being selected regardless of other options.
Impact on Quoting and Booking functions in the web app
The Fastest carrier selection logic applies only to the API functionality. The web app functionality will continue to display the FULL set of carrier and service options with the quote amount and transit times.
The preferred carrier and service selection will continue to be a manual user process.
Fastest Carrier Selection Configuration Options
Fastest carrier selection rules can be configured in the web app as outlined below.
Service type category
The service type field can be populated via the “external service id” field in the courier upload function. It can also be managed in the Courier Rate Management module.
It allows users to compare “like for like” services across carriers. The number of service types, labels and definitions are all user defined.
You do not have to enter your own Service Categories. The default categories in the system are as follows:
Strict = TRUE carrier selection rules
Where you're linking carriers and cost centres together, there is an option called STRICT in the "Rule Definition". If STRICT = TRUE or is set, then the cost centre can only use the carrier/s defined in the rule and those carriers are not available to any other cost centre.
Strict = FALSE carrier selection rules
If the STRICT flag is FALSE then the cost centre will use that carrier if it is available, otherwise will default to the normal carrier selection rules (whatever those are for that customer). If the STRICT flag is FALSE, the carrier is also available to other non-restricted cost centres.
Let's say a customer wishes to select a Same Day service for metro to metro deliveries where available, otherwise default to another carrier.
Using the STRICT = FALSE configuration with the carrier selection rules ensures that the "preferred" carrier selection is made from the pool of available carriers.
Step by step guide on how to set-up service categories
How to Add Service Categories
To set-up or edit the carrier selection rules use the following steps:
- Navigate to the Company Details screen
- Click on the Connected Carriers tab
- Scroll all the way to the bottom of the screen to the Service Categories section (screenshot) below
- Click "+Add new" to add your required Service Categories
To set-up or edit the ranking of Service Categories from FASTEST to SLOWEST simply click and drag them into the required order (video below).
Map Carrier Services to Service Categories
There are two screens that give you the functionality to set-up or edit the mapping between carriers and service categories.
From the Connected Carriers tab in the Company Details screen
To set-up or edit the mapping between carriers and service categories:
- First, you MUST have some carriers and services actually set-up in the system!
- If you cannot see any carriers in the Connected Carriers section of the Carrier Setup tab then skip to the next section.
- Search for the Service Name you wish to edit, find it a click the pencil icon to edit the mapping
From the Rate Management screen
To set-up or edit the mapping between carriers and service categories:
- First, you MUST have some carriers and services uploaded to the system. If you don't, be sure toon getting this done!
- Search for the carrier that you wish to change (screenshot below)
- Select the Services you wish to edit (screenshot below) by clicking the pencil next to the services name
- Choose the appropriate mapping from the Service Class dropdown
- Click the green Save button
Answer: No. FreightExchange has default service categories set-up in the system.