|Audience||Dispatcher, carrier, logistics provider|
|Application||eCargo Premium, eCargo Web|
eCargo's Freight Management Solution offers a comprehensive and integrated technology platform for planning, executing and managing the movement of goods between multiple sites and multiple carriers. eCargo lets you easily integrate with enterprise, warehouse and transport systems, providing visibility and control of freight movements, performance, costs and invoicing.
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Who uses eCargo?
People from throughout the supply chain use eCargo - dispatchers, carriers, and logistics providers all have a role in managing freight jobs, and it can all be done from eCargo.
If you use other systems to manage freight, they can be integrated to automate many tasks in eCargo. Updates to jobs in your enterprise resource planning system (ERP) and your carrier's transport management system (TMS) will automatically update the jobs in eCargo.
How freight jobs work in eCargo
The basic life cycle of a consignment in eCargo can be described as follows:
1. Create a freight job
A freight job, or consignment, is created in eCargo via one of two ways:
- B2B interface: A delivery or sales order is created within an ERP system, which then sends a message to eCargo to create a consignment. Any updates to the order in the ERP system will also update the consignment in eCargo
- Dispatcher: A consignment is created by a dispatcher using the eCargo Premium application or via a CSV file import in the eCargo Web.
2. Assign the carrier
Once a consignment has been created the carrier must be assigned so that they have visibility over it. A carrier can be assigned in one of two ways:
- Auto Carrier: Business rules are setup to automatically assign the carrier based on the dispatch point, delivery address or rating zone, or protection type. Sub-contractors can also be setup to be automatically assigned in the same way.
- Dispatcher: A carrier is assigned to the consignment by the dispatcher.
3. Allocate a vehicle (includes manifesting)
The action of allocating a vehicle in eCargo effectively confirms to the consignment owner that the assigned carrier can perform the requested freight movement. The vehicle refers to the pickup vehicle, not delivery vehicle. Vehicles can be assigned in one of two ways:
- B2B Interface: The consignment is manifested in the carrier's Transport Management System which then updates eCargo with the manifest, carrier, vehicle and sub-contractor details as required
- Dispatcher: The carrier manually assigns the vehicle directly to the consignment or via the manifest it is attached to.
4. Confirm the dispatch (pickup)
The Confirm Dispatch action is performed when the consignment is loaded onto the vehicle and leaves the dispatch area. This effectively confirms the actual pickup date/time and quantities loaded of the consignment. A consignment can be dispatched in one of two ways:
- B2B Interface: The order is picked and confirmed in the source enterprise/warehouse system which then in turn sends a message to eCargo updating the consignment with it's actual quantities loaded and dispatches it.
- Dispatcher: The owner or carrier of the consignment confirms the dispatch in eCargo.
Note: Once a consignment is dispatched eCargo will then proceed to calculate it's freight cost based on the rate tables loaded. Once calculated these consignments become immediately available in the accruals reports and for invoicing.
5. Confirm the delivery
Confirming delivery on a consignment takes place when it has physically been delivered to the customer or delivery point. Apart from invoicing the freight cost it's at this point that the consignment is considered complete from a dispatcher's point of view. A consignment can be delivered in one of two ways:
- B2B Interface: The consignment is completed in the carrier's Transport Management System which then updates eCargo with the actual delivery date & time
- Dispatcher/Receiver: The carrier manually confirms delivery of the consignment, entering the actual date & time of delivery and indicating if any damage or incomplete product delivery occurred. The receiver can also perform this task via the eCargo web application.
A consignment can be invoiced after dispatch, however to reduce the number of credits it is best practice to invoice a consignment after it has been confirmed as delivered. Consignments that have had a freight cost, or revenue, successfully calculated against them will appear in the Invoice Dashboard under the Ready to Invoice status.
After invoicing a consignment it is possible that a credit and re-issue may occur, otherwise this completes the life cycle of a consignment in eCargo.
The eCargo software
eCargo is available as a desktop application (eCargo Premium), and a web application (eCargo Web). Not all dispatch features are available in eCargo Web Dispatch yet - see the comparison table for more information.
Ready to get started with eCargo? See our Getting started articles.
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