SAP S4HANA Embedded Transportation Management – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Author’s Note: The questions covered in this guide focus on SAP S/4HANA Transportation Management using embedded deployment with SAP ERP. Refer to our SAP Transportation Management FAQ if you are interested in classic TM.

Author’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness to cover S/4 HANA 2023 release.

With the release of S/4HANA 1709 SAP customers have been able to run SAP Transportation Management functionality on the same instance as their ERP solution.  S/4HANA 1909 release has made the embedded Transportation Management option even more appealing, by closing most of the functional gaps that S4/HANA 1709 release had with the AnyDB stack (aka Business Suite) TM release 9.6. The embedded TM option certainly looks advantageous, as it reduces the complexity of several interfaces and data duplication.  However, the embedded SAP TM alternative has its limitations that are important to understand and take into consideration.

We have compiled a number of frequently asked questions and answers in regard to embedded TM offering in SAP S/4HANA and published them for your reference below.  Please note that the information provided below is accurate as of the writing of this post (January 2024) and relates to S/4HANA version 2303.

SAP S/4HANA Transportation Management
SAP S/4HANA Transportation Management

What is “embedded TM” in SAP S/4HANA?

S/4HANA 1709 introduced an additional deployment option for SAP Transportation Management where TM functionality runs on the same S/4HANA instance as the ERP functionality.  In other words, it is no longer necessary to have a separate set of systems/servers/databases for SAP Transportation, as is the case with the classic side-by-side deployment option of SAP TM that we have seen to date. 

Can I still choose to implement S/4HANA TM in a side-car scenario?

Yes, absolutely. You can implement a standalone S/4 stack TM system that is then connected to other SAP ERP systems (ECC 6, S/4, etc.) or non-SAP ERP systems. This side-by-side deployment option is often appealing to customers that have a number of SAP ERP systems that they want to connect to a single TMS. This can also be a good option if you are currently not in a position to move your SAP ECC environment to S/4HANA but still want to take advantage of the latest S4 stack TM system.

In fact, any new SAP TM implementations that have already determined to use the side-by-side deployment option should seriously consider implementing an S4 stack (1909) standalone TM solution instead of the AnyDB stack TM 9.6. Based on latest information from SAP, TM 9.6 will be the last AnyDB stack release and all future improvements will be done in the S4 stack TM solution. SAP has been pretty clear that the future of TM is on the S/4 stack.

Keep in mind that there are still some differences between functionality of AnyDB stack TM 9.6 and S/4 stack TM, that might prove to be critical for your implementation. These apply to both the embedded and side-by-side deployment options. See the “What key SAP TM functionality is not yet available in the embedded TM option in S/4HANA?” section below.

In addition, an S/4 stack TM installation currently requires higher licensing cost when compared to AnyDB stack TM 9.6, due to additional S/4HANA licensing that comes into play. However, this licensing difference could change in the future, so please check with your SAP Account Executive for the latest licensing information.

What SAP TM version is the embedded option in S/4HANA based on?

Generally speaking, the S/4HANA TM 2023 embedded option is based on SAP TM 9.6 with a few restrictions (see more below).

Does SAP S/4HANA embedded Transportation Management support both Shipper and LSP scenarios?

Yes.  As of S/4HANA release 1809 the embedded TM option supports both the Shipper and LSP scenarios.

What are the main advantages of the embedded TM option?

The main advantages can be summarized as follows:

  • Smaller database and hardware footprint
  • Reduction in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) due to smaller replication and monitoring effort
  • Enhanced user experience leveraging S/4HANA “look and feel” and Fiori UI
  • Remove the need to duplicate ERP customer, vendor and material master data into business partners and products in TM, thereby removing the need for the Core Interface (CIF). ERP and TM share a single set of harmonized master data objects.
  • Real-time embedded analytics
  • Integration with new S/4HANA Enterprise Management for managing transportation-related equipment
  • Remove the need to duplicate ERP orders and deliveries into Order-based Transportation Requirement (OTR) and Delivery-based Transportation Requirement (DTR) documents in TM. OTR and DTR documents are no longer necessary. Orders and deliveries are able to convert directly into Freight Units, Freight Orders, etc.

What SAP licensing is required for embedded SAP TM functionality in SAP S4/HANA?

As always, please contact your SAP Account Executive to get the most accurate information.  But here is a high-level overview of what the licensing normally looks like:

S/4HANA divides TM functionality into 2 main buckets – Basic Shipping and Supply Chain for Transportation Management (SC for TM).  As the name implies, Basic Shipping includes basic transportation functionality, whereas SC for TM includes advanced TM functionality.  Basic Shipping functionality is included in the “Digital Core” licensing of S/4HANA which basically means that no additional licensing is required.  However, SC for TM is a separately licensed SAP product that does require additional licensing to be purchased.

What is included in Basic Shipping in S/4HANA?

Technically, Basic Shipping was introduced in S/4HANA with release 1511.  However, back then Basic Shipping was based purely on the old ECC Logistics Execution – Transportation (LE-TRA) functionality, utilizing ECC shipments and shipment documents.  Implementing such functionality is strongly discouraged, as it is based on highly outdated code base and already subject to end of life of the Compatibility Scope, which is currently set to 2027. 

S/4HANA 1709 brought the possibility of implementing Basic Shipping functionality using the modern SAP TM code base.  The following basic functions are included:

  • Main transportation network master data (zones, lanes, etc.)
  • Manual carrier selection and tendering
  • Freight agreements
  • Delivery based planning
  • Dangerous goods management (with some limitations)
  • Output management
  • Transportation execution (without Event Management)
  • Basic charge calculation and freight settlement
  • Analytics in BW

As a general guideline, SAP customers are able to perform the same functions that they could using the old LE-TRA shipment/shipment cost document functionality, but utilizing the new SAP TM objects, transactions and code base.  However, if the functionality was not included in the scope of the old LE-TRA solution it is likely not covered by Basic Shipping in S/4HANA either.

What advanced functionality is covered by S/4HANA Supply Chain for Transportation Management (SC for TM)?

SC for TM adds a wide range of functionality on top of Basic Shipping that some SAP customers have already experienced in side-car SAP Transportation Management offering:

  • Order and delivery based planning
  • Transportation Cockpit UI
  • Optimizer-based planning
  • Automatic carrier selection and tendering
  • Advanced charge calculation (consolidated, event-based, air/rail/ocean functionality)
  • Analytics and reporting via CDS
  • Load planning and optimization (TLB)
  • Integration with:
    • Event Management
    • Global Track & Trace (EM future replacement)
    • Logistics Business Network
    • Enterprise Warehouse Management (EWM)
    • Descartes GLN
    • Enterprise Asset Management
    • Geographical Information Systems (PC*Miler, HERE, etc.)
    • Global Trade Service (GTS)
    • S/4HANA Credit Management

What key SAP TM functionality is not yet available in the embedded TM option in S/4HANA?

Refer to SAP note 3289977 for a comprehensive list of differences and limitations between SAP TM 9.6 and S/4HANA 2023. The summary follows below:

  • Carrier Collaboration Portal
    • SAP has developed a replacement portal solution with a product called Business Network for Logistics (BN4L). Keep in mind that BN4L requires separate licensing from SAP. Refer to our SAP Business Network for Logistics FAQ for more information.
    • It is now technically possible to use the SAP TM Collaboration Portal with S/4HANA. However, it requires Business Suite TM licensing (which will rarely be the case for an S4/HANA TM customer) and the Collaboration Portal has to be deployed on a separate instance/server. Refer to SAP note 2858217 for more information.
  • The following functions are discontinued for the purposes of “Simplification” and are not available in S/4HANA TM 1909
    • Integration with SAP CRM
    • Integration of TM Resources to Enterprise Asset Management Objects
    • Prepayment of Forwarding Orders
    • Selected Planning Functionality
      • Condition-Based loading and unloading duration determination
      • Fixed Loading and unloading duration determination per requirement document
      • Condition-Based filtering for Transportation Cockpit (via Profile)
      • Take away Load Cost Function from UI (Usage is possible via BAdI)
      • Option for Time-Related Selection of Documents based on All Stop Times
      • Transportation Proposal for multiple Freight Units at once
    • Integration from S/4HANA TM Freight Order to LE-TRA Shipment and vice versa is not supported (embedded in S/4HANA and side-by-side with ERP and S/4HANA)
  • Compared to SAP TM 9.6, the following functions are not yet released in S/4HANA TM 1909:
    • Internal Settlement for Resources (other Internal Settlement Management scenarios are released)
    • Group Logistics is only supported for side-by-side scenarios, but not yet for system internal processing
    • Business Partner hierarchy (see SAP Note 2409939)

Can existing side-by-side SAP TM customers move from their current AnyDB stack TM system to S4/HANA SC for TM?

Technically, the answer is yes.  And SAP will even work with you to provide a credit for your original SAP TM licensing and convert that to S/4HANA SC for TM licensing.  However, keep in mind that this will technically be a re-implementation of the TM system, not an upgrade. SAP has recently released some tools that help with the migration of configuration and master data from an AnyDB stack TM system to an S/4 stack TM system. This, however, requires your AnyDB TM system to be on version 9.5 or later. For many customers this translates into a 2 step process:

  1. Upgrade your existing SAP TM environment to 9.5 or later
  2. Perform the migration from AnyDB stack SAP TM 9.5+ to S/4HANA 1909 TM solution. Like mentioned before, this can either be done via embedded or side-by-side deployment options.

Refer to SAP note 2769186 for the list of available migration tools and their limitations.

One key limitation is the current absence of tools for migration of historical transaction data (Freight Units, Freight Orders, etc.) You will need to deal with the conversion of open documents in the same manner as you would do so with any other TMS implementation, doing so either manually or using custom scripts/programs to help with the conversion.

Do you still need to install the Optimizer executable separately from SAP TM or is it included in the S/4HANA environment?

In S/4HANA SC for TM the Optimizer executable is still a separate engine that has to be installed in the same manner as it was installed for the side-car SAP TM offering.

Is SAP Event Management (EM) embedded in S/4HANA 1909?

No.  SAP EM is not embedded in S/4HANA. However, SAP EM 9.2 SP05 onwards can be used with SAP S/4HANA, provided that SAP EM is installed on a separate instance from S/4HANA (side by side).  Refer to SAP Note 2490547 for more information. It is important to keep in mind that long-term SAP intends to replace SAP EM with the new SAP Global Track and Trace (GTT) public cloud solution.

Is embedded TM available in the S/4 Public Cloud (aka Multi-Tenant, aka Essential Edition) offering?

Yes, but the TM functionality that is available in S/4HANA Cloud Essential Edition is currently extremely limited.

Can S/4HANA TM be deployed on-premise or in the cloud?

Technically, S/4HANA TM can be deployed either on-premise or in the cloud. However, it has become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to purchase on-premise licensing from SAP for any of its solutions. Thus, most of the net new S/4HANA TM implementations are done in the cloud. Keep in mind that in case of side-car deployment, your existing SAP ERP can reside on-premise, while S/4 TM can be deployed in the cloud. Refer to the following article from SAP on S/4HANA deployment options.

Leave A Comment


Sign up to receive latest news, updates, promotions, and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.
No, thanks