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Subject: Answer from Auden Vennesland regarding UBL usage

Dear Transportation subcommittee


Please find the answers below my questions to Auden regarding point 3 on the agenda in the last meeting


Hi Auden


I recognize this as the one from the UBL 2.1 release. I have some questions regarding this:

  1. What is Transport handling unit used for? Is this only for the top-level Transport-handling unit (like container or truckload) and pallet is described on package level. I have seen a model (Despatch advice in PEPPOL) where each Despatch line are described with mulitble transporthandling unit (one for the container, one for the pallet, one for the package etc.) What do you think of this approach?


The Transport Handling Unit is like a «virtual» identifier that can either be used to identify a Transport Equipment, a package or a goods item. Depending on the logistics arrangements, we also allow a nesting of Packages and Goods Items into Transport Equipment identified by a Transport Handling Unit. This nesting originates from the Common Framework model that we´ve developed and used in several EU projects. Regardless of how the Transport Handling Unit is implemented, it is important to maintain the references between which Transport Equipment is used to contain packages, which packages contain which goods items etc. and mechanisms for maintaining these references are in place both for the “nested approach” and the Despatch Line approach.


  1. If you have three TransporthandlingUnits of the same equipment type, will you then need three lines of TransporthandlingUnits or is there some place to specify quantity?


We use one Transport Handling Unit for each individual Transport Equipment, regardless of type. So if there are 4 containers, each of them will in principle have its own Transport Handling Unit ID.


  1. The example specify a transport equipment containing a package, but why is it not the transport handling unit package used instead. I have understood transport equipment as a kind of type description, but am I wrong with this?

See the «nested approach» above


  1. What is the different between a package and a goodsitem? In a IFTMIN there is a section called GID, and this element is all about Packages.


While the package describes the packaging (emballasje) of goods items, the goods items descriptions (and their association with Item and so on) is more focused on describing the nature of the goods being transported as well as provide an opportunity to add identifiers to goods items if necessary.


  1. In the Forwarding Instructions sample from UBL there is also a shipment that contains GoodsItems (instead of a consignments that has transport handling units). Is it correct to say that looking at the GoodsItems is a different view on the shipment/consignment, more related to customs and CMR that to the forwarders?


The GoodsItem and its associations (Item, CommodityClassification, etc.) at least describe the type of information that customs require.


I remember Tim McGrath had a nice presentation that distinguished shipment from consignment, but I cannot find it.


Our view is that a shipment is the view of the sender/receiver parties (and also customs), while the consignment primarily is the view of the logistics service providers and those parties involved in the logistics process (carriers, terminal service providers, etc.). Often senders/receivers doesn´t care how their goods are transported and otherwise handled from origin to destination, hence they are not interested in many of the details described in a consignment. For example, a shipment can be deconsolidated into several consignments, where each consignment can be transported and otherwise handled differently until they reach their destination.


However, I think UBL-technically you could describe more or less the same details with Shipment and Consignment?



Best wishes,

Peter L. Borresen

Head of IT Development




Mobile: +45 42 50 23 90

E-mail: plb@clearviewtrade.com

Skype ID: peter.borresen


ClearView Trade, Diplomvej 372, 2800, Denmark



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