The small parcel shipping (SPS) feature enhances teams with an ability to interact directly with their shipping carriers, in a bi-directorial way, providing a framework for communication between the D365 system and carriers through their APIs. It helps organizations to avoid container shipping or less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping when shipping individual sales orders – since now they are able to do that through commercial shipping carriers instead.
Let’s assume there is a customer who’s shopping online on your website or on an app, who will place an order once to be delivered directly to their home address. Once they finish their customer journey, your company will receive the order and send it to the warehouse to be picked and packed directly to the customer.
Since we’ve got individual small shipments that will go directly to the customer – you are able to use the small parcel shipping feature to connect directly to any number of parcel carriers securing a freight estimate, tracking number from that carrier as well as carrier’s shipping label (that can be applied directly to the parcel and then be scanned when that carrier picks it up from your warehouse facility).
D365 SCM Integration with Parcel Carriers
From the integration perspective, we have our Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management business application from one side, and a parcel carrier from the other (i.e. UPS, FedEx, etc.).
The SPS feature interacts with a shipping carrier through a dedicated rate engine. An organization must develop this rate engine in collaboration with a carrier or carrier hub service. These two then will be communicating through XML messages that are sent and received between Dynamics and the parcel carrier APIs, i.e., as mentioned before, UPS, FedEx, and etc.
A kind note that in order to ensure your system communicates with carriers, warehouse management, and transportation management configurations are required, so make sure you either do it correctly or contact your partner to assist you.
There is a patterned business scenario where teams do need to ship small parcels so they try to develop the integration on their own, fail, and only then reach out to a partner for assistance. Just make sure you have enough resources and expertise to integrate the feature, otherwise, call your partner and enjoy the enhancement without lifting a finger.