This guide outlines how to use Despatch date/times effectively when generating routes and creating consignments. Despatch DateTimes are optional and if none are provided, NOW will be used.
MachShip allows you to specify the despatch date and time of when the consignment is ready to be picked up. The Despatch DateTime should be set to when the goods are picked and ready to be picked up by the carrier. MachShip will return valid routes ON or AFTER the Despatch DateTime that has been provided. If you provide a Despatch DateTime that is in the past, MachShip will default the Despatch DateTime to NOW.
If no Despatch DateTime is provided, MachShip will default to NOW. Despatch date can be specified in 2 ways and only one of them should be provided:
Despatch Date UTC
This is the Despatch DateTime in UTC time.
Despatch Date Local
This is the despatch date and time localised to the pickup suburb's timezone.
If you provide both UTC and local time, UTC time will be used.
Creating Consignments from Routes
If you are creating a consignment based on a route that was returned from MachShip, you should use the Despatch DateTime from the selected despatch option of the returned route. MachShip's routing engine has inbuilt time windows, cutoff times, etc. which then affect the despatch date of the consignment. For example, if you specify that your consignment is ready after 5 PM, MachShip may push the despatch date to 9 AM the next day for certain routes.