Simple End-to-End Shipping

The following sequence of steps outlines the most straightforward Delivery Manager shipping workflow, from warehouse creation with one or two carriers, through to same day packing and manifesting.

The workflow is as follows:

  1. Log onto Delivery Manager as an admin. user.

  2. Configure your default Warehouse.

  3. Select a couple of carrier services that suit your shipping operation, and subscribe to them.

  4. Configure each service to which you subscribed and set up some basic costs.

  5. Activate your carrier services.

  6. Create the carrier 'service groups' that cover the carrier services to which you subscribed, e.g. one for 'Next Day' services and one for 'Economy' services. Ensure that each carrier service is in a group.

  7. Create some allocation rules for each carrier service, e.g. to exclude some carrier services in each carrier 'service group' that are unable to deliver certain weights of consignment (refer to Rule Syntax).

  8. Test your rules by creating and allocating test consignments via the GUI. You just need to check that the appropriate carrier services are being selected for each type of consignment. Adjust the rules as required before proceeding.

  9. Test out manifesting. If this process is something that can be run automatically at the same times each day, then contact Metapack support and ask for auto-manifesting to be set up.

  10. Set up an API user. This user will be used to make all the API calls (the admin. user cannot be used for this).

  11. Create a SOAP project from the Shipping API's Allocation service.

  12. Test the API user's access to the Shipping API by making a simple call.

  13. Having first ensured that you are familiar with booking codes, use despatchConsignmentWithBookingCode to create and allocate single consignments and generate the associated labels and customs documents at the pack bench. Successfully allocated consignments are left at the 'Ready to Manifest' status.

    Tip

    If a consignment cannot be allocated, you can troubleshoot the results using debugConsignmentWhyNotWithBookingCode.

    Note

    This topic makes the assumption that the workflow is set up to automatically move to 'Ready to manifest' (rather than 'Printed') after label printing. Refer to How do I Print and Manifest separately?.

  14. Use createPaperworkForConsignments or createPaperworkForCarton to print customs documents to PDF if the usual printing method is ZPL, and also to reprint both labels and customs documents where necessary.

  15. deallocate and then deleteConsignment - Voids any unwanted consignments and labels.

    Caution

    Parcels that have been manifested cannot be voided.

  16. If auto-manifesting has been set up, then you can go straight to the final step. Otherwise, go to the next step first.

  17. Use addConsignmentsToGroup to assign manifest group codes to the consignments. Refer to Scan to Trailer.

    Note

    Without the use of manifest groups, Delivery Manager will simply manifest all consignments that have a status of 'Ready to Manifest'.

  18. Use createManifest to generate the manifests for the required carriers and manifest groups.