Simulation

Configure your account to use Shipium's Simulation service.

About Simulation

Simulation helps your organization optimize current fulfillment network operations and plan for the future. You can read more about Simulation on our website.

This guide provides Shipium’s recommended steps for using Simulation to generate a carrier selection cost analysis or a breakdown of carrier and service method configurations and their impact.

Set up Simulation for your organization

To start using Simulation, you’ll need to complete the following steps. Your dedicated Shipium team member is available to assist you with each one.

  1. Set up your Shipium account.
    You’ll set up your organization’s account within the Shipium platform.
  2. Configure your fulfillment context.
    A fulfillment context, including the origin and network properties critical to the outcomes of a simulation, is required to run a simulation. You can use an existing fulfillment context or create a new one in the Shipium Console.
  3. Set up simulation environment.
    To access the simulation environment, you’ll need to log in to the Shipium Console and follow the directions in the section below.

Run a new simulation

You'll access Simulation from the lefthand navigation menu in the Shipium Console.

To create a new simulation, you’ll select the + Create a New Simulation button in the upper righthand part of the page.

Next, you’ll select the type of simulation you wish to create.

Types of simulations

Regardless of type, the starting steps to run a simulation are generally the same and are included in the next section, Common Steps to Run Each Type of Simulation. This section provides a description for each simulation type as well as a link to steps later in this document that are specific to that type of simulation.

Common steps to run each type of simulation

There are four primary steps for each type of simulation, as outlined in the following subsections: (1) configure details, (2) time in transit overrides, (3) upload historical shipments, and (4) review and approve settings.

Step 1. Configure details

  • Name. Required. A human-readable name you’ll use to refer to the simulation
  • Description. Optional. An optional description you can use to help you organize your simulations
  • Priority. Optional. An optional priority order you can assign to the simulation, especially useful if you are running multiple simulations. Priority values are Low, Standard, and High.
  • Shiptime Configuration Version. Required. Configuration version values are Version 1 and Version 2.
  • Costing Options. Optional. Optionally override production upgrade cost limits. Any costing options associated with an existing fulfillment context will pre-populate these fields.
    • Total Upgrade Cost Tolerance. The total cost in whole dollars that you’re willing to incur when upgrading shipments to meet a desired delivery date
    • Upgrade Over Cheapest Cost Tolerance. The total amount in whole dollars that you’re willing to spend over the cheapest delivery option when upgrading shipments to meet a desired delivery date
  • Shipment Options. Optional. Optionally override details of the shipments you are simulating.
    • Product Details. You can specify the product as ORM-D, Lithium Ion, or Limited Quantity. More information about these classifications is in our Hazardous Materials documentation.
    • Ignore Rule Sets. This setting should be toggled on (to “Ignore”) if you're utilizing rules in your production configuration and you wish to ignore them for this simulation.
    • Ship Option. You can select a Shipium default ship option or desired delivery date (DDD) from the dropdown menu if you wish to apply one for the simulation.
    • Destination Is PO Box. This setting should be toggled on if the destination address is a P.O. box.
    • Destination Address Type. You can select Commercial or Residential as the address type from the dropdown menu.
    • Desired Delivery Date. You can use the calendar to select a desired delivery date if you wish to include one for this simulation.
    • Time in Transit Days. You can override the number of TNT days expected for all shipments in the simulation.
    • Business Days of Transit. You can override the number of business days of transit expected for all shipments in the simulation.

Step 2. Time in transit overrides

You can optionally override production TNT values, which default to carrier provided values.

When you select the + add button next to a TNT source, the source will be placed in the ranked time in transit source preferences. You can re-order your preferred TNT sources, and you can remove any source from the list by selecting the X delete button next to it.

In addition, you can use the toggle to consider weekend days as days of transit, and you can opt to use Shipium's advanced machine learning model for the simulation, rather than the legacy model.

Alternatively, you can override production TNT values with an existing uploaded file of your organization's TNT values. You'll select the box next to the file you wish to use for the override, and click the Upload TNT + button.

Step 3. Upload historical shipments

You have three choices for historical shipment data: (1) use a historical Shipium dataset, (2) upload your own data file, or (3) use a previous simulation dataset. The data fields you'll encounter in a file upload are described at the end of this step.

Use a historical Shipium dataset

You can use your own historical carrier selections for a given date range for the dataset. You will have the option of selecting a percentage of the total historical shipments to simulate. You'll need to provide a date range for the dataset, and you can optionally filter the dataset by origin and/or tenant.

Upload a simulation dataset

You can provide your own simulation dataset with this method. The simulation dataset provided must conform to one of the provided CSV templates. You can download a template with minimal data fields needed for the simulation or a full template with all data fields.

Use previous simulation dataset

You also can select a previously uploaded simulation dataset for this simulation. Once you make your selection, you can select a date range you wish to apply to the dataset as well as set the shipment sampling percentage. Reducing the sampling percentage decreases the amount of time the simulation needs to run.

You'll click the Save & Continue button to proceed. You also may download the file to make any changes you wish, if applicable.


FieldRequired / OptionalField propertiesDescription
origin_postal_codeRequiredString
Must be a minimum of 5 digits
Example: 87121
Valid postal code for the origin country code and region; an optional fulfillment_context_id can replace this value.
origin_state_regionRequiredString
Ex: NM
The 2-letter abbreviation of the origin's state or regionn; an optional fulfillment_context_id can replace this value.
origin_country_codeRequiredString
Ex: US
The ISO 3166-1 2-character country code of the origin
ship_dateRequiredStringThe ISO date string representing the ship date for the simulation shipment; the date must fall within the simulation date range. Shipments with a ship_date outside of the simulation date range will be ignored.
simulation_shipment_idRequiredStringA unique identifier representing the historical shipment; duplicate shipments will be removed.
destination_state_regionRequiredString
Ex: NM
The 2-letter abbreviation of the destination's state or region
destination_postal_codeRequiredString
Must be a minimum of 5 digits
Example: 87121
Valid postal code for the destination country code and region
destination_country_codeRequiredString
Ex: US
The ISO 3166-1 2-character country code of the destination
package_materialRequiredString
Values are:

- box
- envelope
-soft_pack
The type of material for the packaging
package_lengthRequiredNumber ($float)
12.0 is the most common length in inches
The longest linear dimension (i.e., the longest side of a box or envelope)
package_widthRequiredNumber ($float)
8.0 is the most common width in inches
The second longest linear dimension (i.e., the second longest side of a box or envelope)
package_heightRequiredNumber ($float)
8.0 is the most common height in inches
The least long linear dimension (i.e., the shortest side of a box or envelope). _Note on envelopes: _This height should represent the highest product you would reasonably put in this envelope before losing more than 10% of the length of the envelope in other dimensions.
package_linear_unitRequiredString
Values include:

- cm (centimeter)
- in (inch)
The unit in which linear dimensions are provided
package_weightRequiredNumber ($float)
Example: 50
The value of the weight
package_weight_unitRequiredString
Weight units include:

- g (gram)
- kg (kilogram)
- lb (pound)
- oz (ounce)
The unit in which weight values are provided
fulfillment_context_idOptionalStringThis value may be provided in place of the origin state and postal code
tenant_idOptionalStringEither the Shipium Tenant ID or your organization's Tenant ID. When present, this is used to indicate the tenant associated with the shipment.
reference_identifierOptionalStringAn identifier value to be included in the request and response data
limited_quantityOptionalBoolean
True or False
A value of true indicates the shipment includes limited quantity (LQ) products, such as small cosmetics.
lithium_ionOptionalBoolean
True or False
A value of true indicates the shipment includes lithium-ion products, such as electronics.
hazmatOptionalBoolean
True or False
If true, this indicates that the item is hazardous material (hazmat). The default value is false.
desired_delivery_dateOptionalString
Example: 2019-10-31T20:00:00Z
The ISO date representing the desired delivery date, which is the date or date-time the package is intended to arrive to the customer, for the historical shipment
buisness_days_of_transitOptionalInteger ($int32)
Example: 3
Indicates the number of business days from the ship time by when the shipment needs to be delivered; the number of business days to be used when calculating a desired_delivery_date
ship_optionOptionalString
Example: Standard
The type of ship option; Shipium supports default and configurable ship options
destination_is_po_boxOptionalBoolean
True or False
If true, this indicates that the destination address is a P.O. Box.
destination_address_typeOptionalString
Values are:

- Commercial
- Residential
The type of location for the destination address
label_costOptional (for historical shipment data)NumberThe label cost of the historical shipment
carrier_service_method_idOptional (for historical shipment data)StringThe selected carrier service method ID of the historical shipment; a list of carrier service method IDs for Shipium is in Supported Carriers.
delivered_at_dateOptional (for historical shipment data)StringThe ISO date representing the delivery date of the historical shipment
time_in_transit_daysOptional (for historical shipment data)IntegerThe TNT value (number of days the package is expected to take in transit) for the historical shipment
time_in_transit_data_typeOptional (for historical shipment data)String
Values are:

- partner_provided
- ml_model
- carrier_default
- shipium_calculated
The TNT data type for the historical shipment

Step 4. Review and approve settings

Once you review your settings and you wish to proceed, you can select the Start Simulation button.

Steps specific to simulation type

Fixed carrier rate simulation

Steps unique to the Fixed Carrier Rate type of simulation are included here:

Create rate modifier

You'll select the Carrier, Service Method, and Cost Modifier Type from dropdown menus and provide the Modifier Amount.

New rate sheet simulation

Steps unique to the New Rate Sheet type of simulation are included here:

Add rate sheet

You'll select the carrier and service method from dropdown menus. Next, you will need to upload a new ratesheet to apply to the selected carrier and service method. You also may enter any negotiated surcharge overrides for the carrier service method.

Add carrier & service method simulation

Steps unique to the Add Carrier & Service Method type of simulation are included here:

Select carrier and service method

You'll choose the desired carrier and service method(s) from dropdown menus.

Create carrier settings

From dropdown menus, you'll select "true" or "false" for eligibility for peak surcharges and for exemption from hazmat and limited quantity restrictions. You will also enter any expected shipping volume overage percentage. If you have volume-tiered peak surcharges, this number represents the percentage difference between average daily volume versus holiday volume.

Add rates

You'll enter any applicable dimweight volume threshold and negotiated dimweight divisor values for the carrier service methods you selected on the previous screen. Depending on the carrier, you also might select the allowed destination type (commercial or residential) from a dropdown menu. Next, you will need to upload a new ratesheet to apply to the selected carrier and service method. You also may enter any negotiated surcharge overrides for the carrier service method.

Add origin simulation

Steps unique to the Add Origin type of simulation are included here:

Create origin

To create an origin, you'll provide address and schedule details, as noted in the screenshot above. The schedule will include shipping days of the week, the shipping cutoff hour for weekdays, and the weekend shipping cutoff hour. You'll also configure your organization's expected number of days to ship once an order has been received at your origin. For example, if shipments typically leave your origin on the same day that the order was received, you'll select 0 for the expected days to ship. You also can enter holidays for the origin schedule, including custom holidays.

Select contracts

Applicable carrier contracts will populate on the page, and you'll select the desired one.

Map origin shipment

For this step, you will provide a set of ZIP3 postal codes (a format including the first three digits of the postal code) and matching country codes. You can download the CSV template, populate it, and upload it.

Access simulation results

Existing simulations will be displayed on the primary Simulation landing page within the Shipium Console. You’ll be able to see each simulation’s name, description, type, simulation status, and execution status. In addition, you’ll be able to execute certain actions for each simulation, depending on its status. For example, for simulations in a Pending Execution status, you may choose to cancel or archive them.

To access the details for any existing simulation, you can click on its name in the Details column or on its type in the Type column. The details landing page includes Simulation Details, Simulation Overrides, and Simulation Events as well as individual tabs for Shipments, Export, Carrier Selection Report, Time in Transit Report, Choropleth Report, and Mappings.

Simulation result reports

Several reports are available for your simulation results: Shipments, Export, Carrier Selection Report, Time in Transit Report, Choropleth Report, and Mappings.

Shipments

The Shipments tab provides a snapshot of the total number of shipments in the sample file provided for the simulation, the number of shipments executed as part of the simulation run, the number of shipments for which a fulfillment context was not defined for the simulation, and the number of shipments for which simulation was attempted but failed due to invalid request parameters or a service error.

This page also provides details for the simulation shipments batches.

Export

The Export tab gives you the option to download your simulation results in a CSV file.

Carrier selection report

The Carrier Selection Report tab provides shipment counts for carrier selection as well as total label cost and average label cost by carrier service method. You can narrow results using the dropdown menus for Origin, Tenant, Carrier, Time in Transit Source, and Day of Week selections.

Time in transit report

The Time in Transit Report tab provides shipment counts by time in transit source type. You can narrow results using the dropdown menus for Origin, Tenant, Carrier, Time in Transit Source, and Day of Week selections.

Choropleth report

The Choropleth Report tab provides an interactive map of the delivery zone for the simulation. You can gain insights about shipment totals, average times in transit, total cost, and average cost by carrier and by state. You can narrow results using the dropdown menus for Origin, Tenant, Carrier, Time in Transit Source, and Day of Week selections.

Mappings

The Mappings tab demonstrates the configuration used when running simulation shipments.

FAQ

Q: If I'm happy with a fulfillment context used for simulation, can the fulfillment context be used in production, or do I need to recreate the context in a non-simulation environment?
A: Yes. To use the fulfillment context in product, you would remove the “simulationOnly” flag from it.

Resources

Your Shipium team member is available to help along the way. However, you might find these resources helpful: