Introduction

This document defines the rules that can be applied to drive carrier selection decisions when using FreightDesk. This functionality is richest for users who are integrating with FreightDesk via APIs.

FreightDesk 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 linkageFreightDesk allows specific cost centres to 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.ExampleCost centre setup: Jobs booked with a Cost Centre A1 must strictly be allocated to carriers C1 and C2. 

Carrier selection: Shipments on Cost Centre A1 can only be quoted and booked for carriers C1 and C2. Carriers C1 and C2 will not appear for quotes or bookings for cost centre A2.

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

FreightDesk 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:

  1. Exclude all options in a specific service category

  2. Exclude all options from a specific carrier

  3. Exclude all options from a specific service

  4. Exclude all options more expensive than a specified value

  5. 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.

  6. 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 FreightDesk 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.

Quoting

In the quote API there are a number of options which determine the number and selection of prices that will be returned:

resultOutput value

Max prices

Comments

SINGLE

1

Only the cheapest price will be returned. Whilst this is the same as sending CHEAPEST it is retained for backward compatibility.

CHEAPEST

1

Only the cheapest price will be returned.

FASTEST

1

Only the fastest option is returned applying the carrier selection rules defined in the Fastest carrier selection section.

ABSFASTEST

1

The absolute fastest option will be returned. This will be the shortest transit time ignoring the carrier selection rules above.

CHEAPESTFASTEST

2

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.

FULL

ANY

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.

For every price included in the quote response there are three additional flags included which can be used to easily find the cheapest, fastest and absolute fastest options, this is especially useful when using the FULL option. The three flags are:

  • Cheapest

  • Fastest

  • AbsoluteFastest

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:

Carrier selection

Method

Cheapest

Set selectCheapest to true.

Fastest

Set selectFastest to true.

Absolute fastest

Set selectAbsFastest to true.

Specific option

Set priceId to appropriate value from quote response.


As these options could override each other they will be handled in the following priority:

  1. Specific option

  2. Absolute fastest

  3. Fastest

  4. Cheapest

Examples

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:

Carrier selection

Method

Cheapest

Set selectCheapest to true.

Fastest

Set selectFastest to true.

Absolute fastest

Set selectAbsFastest to true.

Specific option

Send a valid carrierId and serviceId. Please contact us for the correct values.


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. 

For example:

Service Category Label

Priority

Definition

Same Day Flag

ON DEMAND

1

On demand services - for example, Capital Transport VIP services

True

SAME DAY

2

Same day services such as Capital Transport taxi trucks.

True

AIR

3

Overnight and priority services such as Toll Priority Overnight

False

ROAD

4

General freight services such as TNT and Startrack Road services.

False


Default values

You do not have to enter your own Service Categories. The default categories in the system are as follows:

Service Category Label

Priority

Definition

Same Day Flag

SAME DAY AIR
1
Same day / on demand air services
True
SAME DAY
2

Same day / on demand road services

True

9AM NEXT DAY

3

Guaranteed delivery services

False

10AM NEXT DAY

4

Guaranteed delivery services

False

12PM NEXT DAY

5

Guaranteed delivery services

False

OVERNIGHT
6
Overnight services
False
EXPRESS
7
Express services
False
GENERAL
9
General services
False


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.

Example:

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:

  1. Navigate to the Company Details screen
  2. Click on the Connected Carriers tab
  3. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the screen to the Service Categories section (screenshot) below
  4. Click "+Add new" to add your required Service Categories


Change Service Categories from fastest to slowest

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.

  1. From the Company Details screen
  2. From the Rate Management screen


From the Connected Carriers tab in the Company Details screen


To set-up or edit the mapping between carriers and service categories:

  1. First, you MUST have some carriers and services actually set-up in the system!
  2. If you cannot see any carriers in the Connected Carriers section of the Carrier Setup tab then skip to the next section.
  3. 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:


  1. First, you MUST have some carriers and services uploaded to the system. If you don't, be sure to follow the instructions on getting this done!
  2. Search for the carrier that you wish to change (screenshot below)
  3. Select the Services you wish to edit (screenshot below) by clicking the pencil next to the services name
  4. Choose the appropriate mapping from the Service Class dropdown
  5. Click the green Save button


FAQ


Question: Do I have to set-up my own service categories?

Answer: No. FreightDesk has default service categories set-up in the system.