Packaging levels

A packaging level is an integral part of a fixed package definition.

To pack an item, you can use various packing materials. To pack an item such as a can opener, you can use a box, and then put the boxes with can openers on a pallet. Box and pallet are packing materials. Item, box, and pallet each represent a packaging level. Item is level one, box is level two, and pallet is level three. You can define various packaging levels for a fixed package definition.

Packaging levels are used for the following purposes:

  • If handling units are used, to define the nodes and the relations between the nodes of a packing structure for a handling unit template.
  • If handling units are not used, to define the way items are packed. For items stored in a particular warehouse, to specify whether handling units are used, you can select or clear the Use Handling Units in check box in the Warehouse - Item (whwmd2110s000) session. For specific items, to specify whether handling units are used, you can select or clear the Handling Units in Use check box in the Item - Warehousing (whwmd4100s000) session.

For each packaging level, you must specify the proportional number of items or packaging items.

Example A
  • Level 1
    Can openers
  • Level 2
    Box type A: contains 200 can openers
  • Level 3
    Pallet type B: carries 100 boxes type A

To specify the proportional number of items or packaging materials for each packaging level, you must use storage units related to the packaging materials and the items, respectively.

For each packaging level, you must specify a storage unit. The lowest level is the base inventory unit for the item. Each higher level can contain the previous, lower, level. Note that for packaging levels you do not define specific items, but storage units referenced by various items.

Example B

For example, the lowest level has storage unit PCS for the item, the next level has storage unit BXA for the box, which contains 200 pieces, and for the highest level the storage unit is PLB for the pallet that contains 100 boxes.

LevelStorage unitStorage unit description
1PCSPieces; the storage unit for the item
2BXABox type A: contains 200 PCS
3PLBPallet type B: carries 20,000 PCS (100 boxes type A)


The storage unit at each level must be established in the unit set for the item. Each level must also have a conversion factor to the base unit of the item. Whenever a higher level is added, a check is performed to ensure that the conversion factor is not smaller than that of the previous level. For example, when the level 3 pallet with a conversion factor of 20,000 pieces is added to the level 2 box of 200 pieces, 20,000 is divided evenly by 200 to yield 100 boxes on a pallet.

When you link the package definition to an item, such as can openers in the previous example, which is described in Step 8 in To define package definitions, the conversion factors of the storage units defined for the packaging levels determine the number of packing materials and items for each level.

Packaging data

In addition to the unit that you define for a package definition level, the package levels of a fixed packaging definition include the following data:

  • Packaging Item
    The packaging item used to pack the package. Packaging items can be received and stored in a warehouse like any other item. Packaging items can have an assigned location like a normal inventory item. Packaging items have a flag to indicate whether the items are reusable. Reusable packaging items can be returned to inventory after they have been emptied. Note that reusable packaging items can be physically stored in inventory, but they are not registered in inventory in LN.
  • External dimensions
    The external dimensions of the package.
  • Weight
    The Weight of the package.
  • Location Type
    The pick or bulk location where the package is stored.
  • Package Type
    The package type indicates whether material is stored internally or externally. Internally means that items or packing material is packed inside the package item. For example, boxes inside a larger box. If you put more boxes in the larger box, the overall volume of the larger box does not increase. Externally means items or packing material is put on top of the package item. For example, crates on a pallet. When you add crates, the volume of the pallet increases.
  • Exists for Partial Quantity
    The partial quantity flag is used when picking orders. When a box is picked from a pallet, the pallet still exists in the location with the remaining quantity. Therefore, the pallet still exists for partial quantities. However, for particular types of boxes, when pieces are picked from the box, the box is discarded and the remaining pieces are represented as pieces. The box does not exist for partial quantities.
  • Shippable
Multiple package definitions

Because items can exist in various package sizes, you can link multiple package definitions to an item. If the item in the previous example can also be stored in a box that contains 50 pieces, another fixed package definition can be created for this item. However, units that are used in a package definition on a level higher than one cannot be used in another package definition for the same item.

Example C
2BXB (a box of 50 pieces)
3PLB (pallet of 400 BXB = 20,000 pieces)


A faster method for creating package definitions for multiple items is using the variable package definition. For further information, see To define package definitions.

A default package definition is always allocated to an item in the Items - Warehousing (whwmd4500m000) session. Because a particular warehouse may handle the item with a different package definition, a default (possibly different) package definition is also provided in the Warehouse - Item (whwmd2110s000) session.

You can choose to assign a default package definition by business partner and item. This definition is used for a supplier who packages the item in a way that differs from other suppliers. When you purchase this item from this supplier, the package definition defaults to the one defined for this business partner and item. This default can be overridden in the Items - Purchase Business Partner (tdipu0110m000) session, if required.

For sales orders, a mandatory package definition can be selected in the Items - Sales Business Partner (tdisa0510m000) session. You cannot replace a mandatory package definition with another package definition, and the package definition is always mandatory for outbound order lines.

Relationship of packaging to inventory

Fixed package definitions have a relationship to inventory. If a location has an item stored in a base inventory unit called, for example, pieces, an inventory record and an inventory structure record is included for the pieces. This enables you to search the inventory for the various types of packaging. For example, if inventory is required by pallet, you can find the inventory. If inventory is required by pieces and the item is stored at a higher level of packaging, the inventory unit quantity is converted to the higher levels of packaging.

2BXB (a box of 50 pieces)
3PLB (pallet of 400 BXB = 20,000 pieces)


For example, if you use the package definition from example C, a quantity of 45,505 pieces is converted into two full PLB pallets (400 pieces), 110 full BXB boxes (of 50 pieces), and five separate pieces.

Package ownership

Owners of pallets and containers want to get their own property back, and to be able to send their partners' property back to them, LN tracks the number of pallets and containers that have been received or shipped. Only re-usable packaging items can be tracked.

Re-usable packages are counted into and out of warehouses per business partner.