Planned, estimated, and actual events are the three categories of transport events on TradeLens.
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Transport events are designed to communicate the planned operational route and how it progresses to completion. Each event represents a significant step that has to happen for the transport equipment to reach its destination.
The transport event model is based around a logical model that aims to:
- Be generic and broadly applicable throughout the supply chain. It’s not meant to cover particular domains in full detail.
- Help software developers easily understand, map to and from, and code against.
- Embrace industry terms.
The transport event model follows the following pattern:
- Each type of leg comprises four distinct events:
- load, departure, arrival, and discharge.
- These four events are mirrored in planned, estimated, and actual events.
- Four leg types are represented: truck, rail, barge, and ocean vessel.
The only exceptions to the above logic are:
- Stuffing – loading the transport equipment
- Stripping – unloading the transport equipment
Since the stuffing or stripping work begins and ends at the same location, they don’t generate arrival and departure events. Stuffing and stripping events are still included as transport events since they represent physical, time-consuming tasks that must be factored into planning a consignment.
Planned, estimated, and actual events
Transport events comprise three categories:
- Planned: the planned route of transport equipment or consignment.
- Estimated: the estimated time things will happen to the transport equipment.
- Actual: things that have actually happened to the transport equipment.
The transport owner (transport service provider) or the consignment publishes the transport plan (planned events). Other participants can provide updated estimates and actual events.
For instance, a transport plan published by the carrier includes a truck leg with planned departure and arrival times. The trucker uses a GPS device to calculate the fastest route to the terminal and continuously update the estimated time of arrival (ETAs).
These ETAs are estimated events and can be published to the platform, indicating when the truck will arrive at the terminal. Estimates don’t change the transport plan owned by the transport owner (carrier).
Conversely, if the trucker arrives late at the terminal, the transport equipment might be relocated to a different vessel or voyage. This would require the carrier to change the transport plan.
The transport owner can publish planned events without the need to analyze differences with previously published planned events. This means the transport owner doesn’t need to maintain state data for the transport plan.
Planned events must include the field “transportPlanIssuanceTime8601” – the transport plan time stamp. This is used to group planned events that make up the transport plan. Subscribers can group the planned events by the transport plan time stamp, considering the group with the newest timestamp valid.
The TradeLens platform calculates a dynamic route for the transport equipment (TE) or consignment based on the planned events. Using the planned events, the platform identifies the event’s location.
The dynamically calculated route is used to determine which port and country subscribers receive events for the TE. Planned events can be submitted to consignments, and they’ll define the transport plan for the consignment.
A consignment’s transport plan can differ from its TE’s. This is because planned events published to a consignment are forwarded down to its TE. But planned events published to a TE aren’t forwarded to its consignment since a single TE within a consignment could take a different path to the rest of the consignment (or the other TE within the consignment).
If the plan for an entire consignment changes, then the carrier (or owner of the consignment) should submit a new set of planned events to the consignment. If the TE already has a TE-specific plan, new plans sent to the consignment aren’t forwarded down to the TE.
The transport plan is different from the route. The transport plan is an ordered list of locations that the consignment or TE will pass through.
The route is the list of port and country subscriptions that should receive events for the consignment or TE.
The route of a consignment is the sum of all its TE routes. So if you have a consignment with two TEs, one going to ports A and B, and the second going to ports A and C, the events for the consignment will go to port subscriptions A, B, and C.
The platform uses the sum of the routes of the TE because different TEs in a consignment can have a different set of planned events. But all subscribers need to receive consignment-level events.
You can see the transport plan summary via the Shipment Manager UI based on the events received. It includes a list of transport events in order of occurrence: “eventOccurrenceTime8601”. Together, these events indicate the sequence of locations that each TE will move or has moved on its journey and everything that happened along the way.
Event priority matrix
TradeLens applies an event priority to transport events (estimated and actual) and generic events. This means TradeLens can group events of the same type, happening at the same location, and display (or return) the highest priority event available at that time.
Doing so ensures the most reliable data for milestone events is provided, based on who the data provider is.
To see the priority matrix, download the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet has two tabs: the first breaks down events by the same event type/category, and the second is the consolidated list for all events.
All transport plan events relate to TE, not consignments. This is because the TE is what gets stuffed, loaded and discharged, etc. Shipment plans are made at the TE level, but individual containers often deviate from that plan. Managing at the TE level gives transport owners a more nuanced understanding of their shipment status.
For convenience, the TradeLens platform lets you submit planned events against a consignment. This can save some event publishing calls. However, the platform will translate all of these into individual TE events for all the consignment containers unless the TE has an existing plan.