Frequently asked questions about XCargo
If this box is checked, then each customer can only be assigned to exactly one location. In other words, the customer draws his entire quantity from that one location. If the box is not checked, customers may be assigned to several locations, insuring that the customer’s quantity is distributed in the most cost-efficient way across all locations. Naturally this only happens when location capacities are limited.
How are transport costs calculated?
The cost value that is entered on the sheet “Fixed Transport Costs” or the sheet “Variable Transport Costs” will be applied to each “Location -> Customer” relation. If no value is found on one of those sheets, an alternative cost value will be calculated. You may use settings to define how the alternative cost value is to be determined. You may choose either distance, highway distance, or time. Note that highway distance and time are not provided by every distance table.
How can I show the results of assignment optimization on a map?
On the sheet for Customer Assignment, mark columns A to I and then click on the map icon from the XCargo menu ribbon. If you are using the template Street, mark columns A to O; if you are using the template XY, mark columns A to G.
These are the fixed and variable transport costs that were used for optimization. If the sheets “Fixed Transport Costs” and “Variable Transport Costs” were entirely filled, then these results sheets are simply copies of those. If your cost sheets had empty cells prior to the optimization process, or if they were entirely empty, then costs have been calculated for each relation (based on your settings), for example, based on distance. The two result sheets now show which costs were calculated and then used for the optimization procedure.
What are the minimum setting requirements for executing location planning?
You must fill in the sheets for plants and customers. You must also check all entries on the tab for settings and change them if necessary. Tabs for cost functions and advanced settings contain default values that for many applications do not need to be changed.
In order to plan locations, you must indicate a number of possible locations from which locations can be selected for planning. If you opt for user-defined, use the sheet for “potential locations” to list possible locations from which locations will be chosen. You may also use the locations of transport senders and recipients. A large number of well-distributed locations is the best prerequisite for unrestricted planning throughout the entire planning area.
How can results be shown quickly on a map?
Mark the columns B to J on the sheet for “Pre and Post Haul Results” or the sheet “Main Haul Result.” It is also possible to represent the data from both sheets on one map simultaneously. To do so, simply represent the data from both sheets one after another, without deleting the map in between. If you are using the template Street, mark colums b to P; if you are using template XY, mark columns B to H.
Location capacities have been exceeded. How should I interpret the suggested solution?
The sheet “Location Planning” names all scenarios (each scenario is for a predefined number of locations to be planned) where capacities are exceeded. But in addition, you also have the normal result sheets. In scenarios where the maximum capacity of locations is insufficient, those locations will only be filled to the extent permitted by their capacities. Some customers will remain unassigned to any location. In scenarios where the minimum capacity is too large, assignment will proceed as usual. In this case the minimum capacity will not be met for some locations.
Columns E and F describe quantities for post hauls. Example: Weight: 1000 kg; Number of Transports:3. This means that 3 post-haul transports to this customer each weigh 1000 kg. Column G contains a column for each plant that has been defined. Here you indicate the plant from which a customer gets a quantity. This is not split up into individual transports, it views the whole main haul quantity as one. Normally this column contains the result of multiplying the weight by the number of transports. Note: If one customer draws goods from several plants, you must fill in a new row. Any one row may only contain the quantity from one plant.
A message says that this problem cannot be solved using the present configuration. What should I do?
There may be various reasons for this. The most likely case is that the capacities of all locations at one node layer are not sufficient to handle the entire demand for this network. But it is also possible that edge layers have been forgotten during configuration, leaving your network incorrectly connected.
How can I show the results quickly on a map?
On the sheet Transport Result mark the columns F to L and click on the map icon in the XCargo menu ribbon. If you want to assign different colors to the relations, depending on which edge layer they belong to, you can copy column “Edge Layer” behind column L and extend your marking. If you are using the template Street, use columns F to P instead of F to L; if you are using the template XY, use columns F to J.
How do I fill column Type on the sheet for Node Layer?
Write “Source” or “Sink” or leave the cell empty. Source means the node layer where products flow into the network, for example, a production plant. Sink means the node layer where a demand for products arises, for example, a customer or a shop. Every valid network model must contain at least one source node layer and one sink node layer, but may also contain many such layers. Node layers that are not assigned a certain type have the property of including locations that are only throughpoints for products. Nothing can be added or extracted there.
What is meant by quantities of individual products on the sheet Locations?
For locations that belong to a node layer designated as being a source, quantities are the maximum produced quantity of a product. For locations that belong to a node layer not designated as a source or sink layer, quantity means the maximum throughput quantities. For locations designated as being sink node layers, quantities are the demand quantities that any valid solution must meet exactly.
Can I declare more than one source or sink node layer?
Yes. The only requirement is that you must define at least one source and one sink node layer.
What does the field Cost Driver refer to on the sheet Transport and Warehouse Costs?
Transport and warehouse costs are always related to a property of products, for example, the product’s weight, volume, storage position, etc. The field for Cost Driver may contain any property that has been defined on the sheet for Products. Example: The sheet Transport Costs contains a relation that costs € 0.02 per kilogram. The following products are defined: Product A: 5 kg per quantity unit; Product B: 7 kg per quantity unit. When 1000 units of product A and 500 units of product B flow through this relation, the following costs arise: (1000 * 5 kg * 0.02 €/kg) +(500 * 7 kg * 0.02 €/kg = € 170.00 . Cost drivers need not be uniform, they must be selected individually for each relation and each hub point.
How can I define declining transport and warehouse costs?
Do this by using fixed costs. Combining fixed and variable costs makes a single quantity unit very expensive because the fixed costs must be covered at any rate. When additional quantity units are added, the costs sink per quantity unit because fixed costs need only be covered once.
Can route planning create both inbound and outbound routes?
Yes. While the templates are set up using outbound examples, they can easily be used for inbound routes. In that case you would have many depots and very few customers.
How can I show calculated routes on the map?
For Route Planning: On the sheet for routes, mark all columns from “Route Number” to “Weight.” For XTour: On the sheet XTours mark all columns from “Route Number” to “Weight.” For Sequence: On the sheet “Sequence calculated” mark the columns “Route” and “Position” and the columns that contain sender and recipient information.
Why is the duration of a route not calculated correctly?
Please check which distance tables you have selected. The duration of a route can only be calculated using a distance table that provides information about times. Distance tables Beeline and EWS do not contain time information.
Routes: When two stops lie very close to one another or are even at one and the same address, the program will calculate using very short distances and durations. In the appropriate columns, you can indicate minmum values for the distance and the route duration between two stops; these will be used for optimizing.
How can I evaluate the outcomes of transport structures that have been changed?
By first generating the predicted changes and then calculating the costs in terms of freight calculation. To generate new data records, you can raise the quantity, for example, by X percent, in order to simulate an increase in demand. The costs will then reflect the difference caused by this change in demand.
How can I compare two bids with one another?
Save your bid matrixes or tables on different Excel table sheets and then use the function XC_Freightmatrix to add a column for bids to each data record; the column will calculate the cost value for each bid. This allows you to see the costs of different bids at a glance.
The matrix is calculated based on the field assigned under “Costs.” The result contains red, green, and white cells that indicate the deviation from the input data. Use the “Cost Field for Analysis” field to enter which input data you want the result compared with. (Example: The matrix will be calculated based on the costs including the gross earning. The result, however, should indicate how the newly calculated values deviate from the costs prior to gross earnings, in contrast to the deviation from costs after gross earnings.)
I manually adjusted one value from the results and would like to smooth over the matrix with the smoothing function without changing the value I adjusted. Why does that value change during smoothing?
The weighting of the manually adjusted value is negligible in comparison with the values surrounding it, so the calculator sees no need to keep it exactly as you want it. The solution is to give your desired value an extremely high weighting in order to underscore the importance of this one, specific value.
I have very large differences between the minimum and maximum values within one cell. Why?
Matrix Designer arranges all data records and their accompanying costs in the matrix structure. When classes are very large, you will have many data records with different costs in one class. Matrix Designer uses the mean of all data records from one class as the starting value.
Which methods are used to calculate freight?
One way is to use the function XC-Freightmatrix. This function uses the properties of a transport to calculate its cost value in a matrix. Another method is to use a so-called rule set to simulate complex rate structures that determine freight costs.
Can different kinds of costs be calculated?
Working with a rule set it is possible to calculate any number of different kinds of costs. All you need is to have tables that depict the true costs. Using the rules that have been defined, you can then calculate costs based on the properties of a specific set of data.
How does XCargo determine emissions?
Emissions are calculated differently for individual countries and depending on the distance driven (inside cities, outside cities, and highway). The type of vehicle used is decisive.
What kinds of emissions are calculated?
CO2, CO, N2O, CH4, HC, Benzol, mKR, NH3, NMHC, Nox, Pb, SO2, Toluol, Xylol
Are tolls calculated using daily updated toll fees?
XCargo does not have access to daily-updated publicly available toll announcements and is not refreshed automatically. However, the most recent toll tables come with every XCargo update.
Can toll be calculated separately for highways and national roads?
Toll is calculated for the number of kilometers driven on the highway in a specific country.
What happened to the .NET map?
What used to be the .NET map is now the Map&Guide map in XCargo 5.0. The map is the same, only the name has changed. And of course, the most recent map material is at your disposal.
The map is not shown in its entirety. What's wrong?
Your map settings are probably set for a maximum map section size. Reset the map size to normal by clicking on “use default values.”
How can I shift the map by pressing the mouse button?
Go to the toolbar and select the function for “mouse panning” (a hand icon). In order to return to the zoom frame, simply click on the corresponding function.
I would like to show various elements on the map but I can only find one icon on the toolbar. What do I do now?
With XCargo 5.0 all elements can be shown on the map with just one click. Simply mark the data that you want to show on the map and click on the map. XCargo will automatically place the right element on the map.
Can I show objects from different workbooks on one map?
Up until Excel 2010 things like relations from different workbooks can be shown on one map. After Excel 2013 each map is tied to one workbook, in other words, a separate map will open for each workbook and you can only show data from that workbook on your map.
How can I save bookmarks for later use?
In order to use bookmarks even months later, or to use certain map sections again with the right size and with the right zoom setting, you should export your map settings. When needed, you can re-import them and use the bookmark.
How can I see the actual route taken?
You can see the actual route taken by going to the highway icon on the icon ribbon. Note, however, that depending on the number of relations to be represented, this can take quite some time. We recommend having the actual route drawn in only when the number of relations to be represented is less than ten.
I cannot find how to manage speed profiles.
It is no longer necessary to define speed profiles separately, you define them right in the appropriate geocoding overview that contains all available speed profiles. SC_KUSAI and XC_KUSAII have been renamed to become XC_KST_1 and XC_KST_2 in order to represent customer rate tables (KST = Kundensatztabelle = customer rate table).
Do I have to enter a complete address in order to calculate the distance?
Distance can only be calculated when the geocoding engine can properly assign both the sender and the recipient. Normally this is guaranteed by entering a complete address including country, postal code, and city. In some cases, however, it is possible to calculate a distance without entering the city or postal code. To see whether it is possible, simply try it.
I can't find a certain function. Does it no longer exist?
XC_KUSAI and XC_KUSAII have been renamed as XC_KST_1 and XC_KST_2 in order to represent customer rate tables (KST = Kundensatztabelle = customer rate table). All toll functions have been combined as MAUTKOSTEN (TOLL COSTS) functions. Functions XC_Highway and XC_DistanceSelection no longer exist because their tasks are now covered by other functions.
Can I continue to edit Excel files that were generated by an older version of XCargo?
In order to avoid unsatisfactory results, please transfer your data to the new templates.
What setting do I use to create a new workbook for each template?
Go to Options > Settings > General > Other and activate the option “Open template in a new workbook.”
A function is not shown on the XCargo menu although I have a license for it.
The function might be hidden. In order to see it again, go to Options > Adjust in the menu configuration and check the box for the desired function.
Where can I find XCargo functions?
You can now find XC functions under the heading “XCargo Functions” (they are no longer user-defined in Excel functions).