Shipment Consolidation

Companies can save money on shipping costs by combining multiple smaller shipments into a single larger shipment through shipment consolidation. This article will explain how to create and manage this type of shipment.

Table of Contents

  1. How to create a Consolidation Shipment

  2. Consolidation Alerts

  3. Shipment Stops Logic 

  4. Merging Stops
  5. Parent and Child Carrier Management

  6. Shipment Status, Date, and Time Updates

  7. Parent and Child Location Updates

  8. Shipment Cost Calculation

  9. Accessorials

  10. How to Unconsolidate Shipments

  11. Push Activity Logs to Child Shipments

How to create a Consolidation Shipment

You can consolidate shipments from Shipment Search or Company Loadboard by selecting the loads you wish to consolidate. This will open the Bulk Operations menu, where you will find the option to Consolidate Shipments.

After selecting the loads you want to consolidate, clicking "Consolidate Shipments" will open a modal where you can confirm the shipments that need to be consolidated. The system will then guide you to select the Parent Customer, the Point of Contact (POC), and the shipment type for the parent shipment.

Note: In most cases, the customer for the parent and child shipment will be the same, but you can also select different customers if needed.

We suggest creating a Consolidation Customer to facilitate the consolidation of shipments from different customers. It's important to note that any accounts receivable (AR) transactions will occur on the child shipment and not on the parent shipment.

After clicking "Create," the system will create the Parent Shipment in a Ready status and assign it to you.

Note: The system will not allow you to consolidate Consolidated Shipments (parent or child) or shipments with existing Bills.

Consolidation Alerts

The system will automatically add alerts to all the shipments involved. You can find the icons under the "Alerts" column. The Multiple Cubes icon represents the Parent Shipment, and the Single Cube icon represents the Child Shipment.

Tip: Create a saved search with these alerts to find your Consolidated Shipments easily.
Learn More

Note: These alerts cannot be manually added, resolved, or deleted.

Shipment Stops Logic

  • The first shipment you select will be the First Pickup and Last Drop.
  • The system will determine the next stops based on the order in which you have selected the shipments.
Tip: The parent shipment can manage the order after it is created.

Users can delete a stop on a parent shipment, but we recommend against doing so because it will prevent the child stop from being updated from the parent.

Tip: The location history feature will show you all the stops in the parent shipment with a yellow tag. This allows you to easily visualize and understand the trajectory of the shipment.

Optimize Route

To optimize the route for your shipment stops, simply click on the "Optimize Route" option. The system will analyze the stops and suggest the most efficient route to take. If you accept the suggestion, the system will automatically rearrange the stops for you.

Merging Stops

You can merge shipments with multiple stops to the same location by clicking on the "Merge Stop" option in the shipment stops after creating the Parent Shipment.

  • You can choose the Target Stop that will remain, then select the stops you'd like to merge with it from the checklist.

Note: When merging stops, any stop reference, note, or instruction data will be added to the target stop.

System Warning Before Merging


Parent and Child Carrier Management

When you add a carrier to the parent shipment, it will also automatically be added to the child shipment. However, if you try to update the carrier from the child shipment, that change will not affect the parent shipment.


Shipment Status, Date, and Time Updates

Changes to the shipment status or date and time on the parent shipment will be reflected in the child shipment.

The dates and times entered for a Stop on the parent shipment will automatically be applied to the corresponding Child Stop.

Regardless of whether you merge a stop, the system will consider the Merged Stops in the Parent Shipment and automatically update the dates and times for the corresponding Child Stop.

When consolidating two shipments with pickups from the same location in Memphis, TN, you can merge their stops. After merging the stops, if you choose to update the Scheduled Date to 08/10/2023, it will change the Pickup Date for both shipments to that date.

Let's say the delivery location for your first shipment is PINE BLUFF, AR, which is the First Additional Stop in the Parent Shipment. If you update the Scheduled Date to 08/14/2023 for this location, it will update the Delivery Date for the first shipment to that date.

On the other hand, your second shipment is going to Denton, TX, which is the Last Drop in your Parent Shipment. If you update the Scheduled Date to 08/16/2023 for this location, it will update the Delivery Date for the second shipment to that date.


Parent and Child Location Updates

The child shipment will receive updates on its location from the parent shipment in the following cases:

  •  If the child transit leg (linehaul) has not been delivered yet.
  • If the child last stop does not have an Actual Arrival Date/Proof of Delivery Date.

If you want to stop location updates from being received for a child shipment that has already been delivered, you can add an Actual Arrival Date in the parent stop corresponding to that child shipment.

Note: Updating the stop in the parent shipment with an Actual Arrival Date or Proof of Delivery Date will change the status of the corresponding child shipment to "Delivered."

Parent Shipment Cost Calculation

This section will display the consolidated parent carrier pricing and individual shipment pricing totals on the right-hand side.


  • Parent shipments handle buy rates and carrier bills, while child shipments handle sell rates and customer invoices.
    • The sell side of a parent shipment will be locked upon creation, but the buy side can be modified.
    • The buy side of a child shipment will be locked upon consolidation, but the sell side can be modified.
  • Price changes made to the children shipment do not communicate with parent.
  • Child shipments included in the cost calculations of the parent shipment are conveniently linked for easy access to the individual shipments.

Parent Buy Distribution to Children

The system has the capability to distribute the buy amount from the parent to the children directly through the editing pricing modal.

There are four different distribution methods available for you to choose from:

  • Handling Units
  • Miles
  • Sell Rate
  • Weight

Example with Handling Units

If the buy amount is $1000 in the Parent Shipment and Child Shipment 1 has 5 units, Child Shipment 2 has 3 units, and Child Shipment 3 has 1 unit, the total handling units would be 9. This means each unit is valued at $111.11. Therefore, Shipment 1 would receive $555.56, Shipment 2 would receive $333.33, and Shipment 3 would receive $111.11.

The system follows the same pricipal for all the other distribution methods.

The system will display the following warning when you attempt to update either the parent or child shipment:



Accessorials from child shipments are added to the parent shipment. The system will add the pricing to the Linehaul Total. Since we are managing totals, all accessorials will be assigned a pricing of 0.


How to Unconsolidate Shipments

If you accidentally select the wrong shipment for consolidation, you can start over by Canceling the parent. This will remove the consolidation alert and reset the AP account status based on the transit leg status.


Push Activity Logs to Child Shipments

Within the shipment activity log of the parent shipment, there is an icon with multiple cubes next to the clipboard. This icon allows you to push a specific activity log to the child shipments. Once you click on this icon, the activity log will be displayed on all child shipments.