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Handling Unit

A handling unit is a physical unit that consists of the packaging materials (load carrier / packaging
material) and the goods contained therein. A handling unit is always a combination of materials and

All the information contained in the material items, such as batches and serial numbers, is always
available by way of the handling units.

Handling units can be nested, meaning that you can also create new handling units from several handling
units as often as you like.

Handling units have unique, scannable identification numbers that can be formed according to standards
such as EAN 128 or SSCC.

Figure 1: Handling unit example

The handling unit object contains the following attributes:

Identification number
Materials and quantities
Packaging materials
Packing instructions

A handling unit consists of a handling unit header and handling unit items. For identification purposes, it is
given a unique number.

Handling unit header

The header data of a handling unit is divided in the following way:

General data
Means-of-transport data
Additional data
Output determination procedure

For more information about each of these detailed points, see


The handling unit is linked to general status management. In this way, the various physical states
(planned or implemented) and other attributes (weighed, loaded, blocked or posted goods issue) of
handling units can be documented.

You can use the

HU_ST_INIT user parameter when you create handling units without object reference to set which initial
status the handling unit is to have when it is created.

If you want to implement a status of your own, you can define a user-specific procedure for the packaging
material type (see also

Define Packaging Material Types).

Handling unit item

The items of a handling unit can consist of material items, packaging materials or other handling units that
appear in an overview. For more information about this overview, see the Contents section of

To access the item data of an individual handling unit, select the handling unit concerned and choose

Detailed HU data Contents.

Handling units can be used in all processes within the supply chain.

Packaging Materials
Packaging materials are intended to enclose or hold together the materials that are to be packed. In other
words, the material that is to be packed can be packed into or onto the packaging material. The
packaging material can be a load carrier. The most important packaging materials include crates, boxes,
containers, wire baskets, and pallets.

You have to maintain the material master data for each packaging material you want to use. When
creating material master records for packaging materials, enter either material type

VERP (packaging) or a customer-specific material type that you have already set in Customizing. Material
type VERP contains additional packing-relevant fields ( Sales: General/Plant Data screen). You can use
the field selection to make the additional fields available for input for all of the material types.

The gross weight and the volume that you enter in the material master have special significance for
packing. When you create a handling unit (HU), the system automatically copies the packaging materials
master data and uses the gross weight and volume as the packaging materials tare weight and tare

The tare weight and tare volume refer to the gross weight and gross volume of the
packaging material. In the case of a container, the tare weight is the weight of the
unloaded container (the total weight less the weight of the goods and packaging
materials that are packed in the container).

If you choose the Sales: General/Plant Data view in the material master data of the packaging material,
you can maintain the following data on the Packaging material data section of the screen:

Packaging material type

The packaging material type is a grouping of packaging materials with several control
parameters, which is defined in Customizing for packing and which controls the following:

o Sorting in the handling unit display, so that the packaging materials can be displayed in
order of size, for example.
o An output determination procedure in which handling unit outputs can be defined
o A packaging material category, which subdivides the packaging materials For example, in
handling units with a packaging material category of means of transport, it dictates that
additional fields, such as Driver and Alternate driver are available for input.
o A plant determination rule that defines, in delivery processing, the plant from which the
packaging material is to be debited if delivery items are created from handling units in the
o Whether delivery items are to be generated for the packaging material and if so, under
which conditions
o Number assignment for handling units
o Whether the packaging materials tare weight is variable

If this indicator is blank, it means that when the total weight of a handling unit changes,
the loading weight of the handling unit is determined by taking the total weight less the
packaging materials tare weight.

If this indicator is selected, it means that when the total weight of a handling unit
changes, the tare weight of the handling unit is determined by taking the total weight less
the loading weight.

Material group packaging-material

The material group packaging material is a grouping parameter that can be used to group
materials that need similar packaging materials. For example, material group 005 can group small
parts that are to be packed in small packages.

You can maintain the material group packaging material for all materials that you want to
pack. In other words, this field can be maintained for all materials. All other fields given
here can only be maintained for packing materials (material type VERP).

Allowed packing weight

In this field, you can enter a maximum total weight for a handling unit. If the allowed weight for
packing is reached, a system message to this effect appears and further packing operations are
carried out using a new handling unit, if necessary.

Allowed packing volume

In this field, you can enter a maximum loading volume for a handling unit. If the allowed volume
for packing is reached, a system message to this effect appears and further packing operations
are carried out in a new handling unit, if necessary.

Stackability factor
The stackability factor indicates how many items of packaging material, such as pallets, can be
stacked on top of one another. It is not a control and is therefore for information purposes only.

Filling level

The filling level is the percentage to which a handling unit should be filled. It is not a control and is
therefore for information purposes only.

Excess weight tolerance

In this field, you can enter a percentage tolerance limit, up to which the allowed packing weight of
a handling unit can be exceeded.

Excess volume tolerance

In this field, you can enter a percentage tolerance limit, up to which the allowed packing volume
of a handling unit can be exceeded.


This field allows you to control whether the total volume will be changed or remain the same
during packing.

When packing an open pallet, the total volume changes.

When packing a closed box, the total volume does not change.

Packaging materials are special types of materials that can be used for packing or for transporting goods.
During packing, you must always specify a packaging material so that can be created.

Control Parameters
You can use control parameters to make settings in the SAP System for the packing and handling unit
(HU) functions.

1. In order for you to implement the packing function, your system administrator must maintain the
following parameters for packing in the Implementation Guide (IMG):

o Define Number Ranges for Handling Units

o Define Packaging Material Types
o Define Allowed Packaging Materials
o Define Material Group for Packaging Material

If you want to use the additional fields that are available for customer-defined modifications of the
packing function, choose the

Use Handling Unit Supplements activity.

2. You can also maintain the following control parameters for packing in delivery processing:

o Packing Control by Item Category

o Define Requirements for Packing in the Delivery

3. If you want to use the HU function in other processes besides delivery processing, you must