EDI 856: Ship Notice/Manifest

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What is an EDI 856?

An EDI 856 is known as an Advance Shipping Notice (ASN). It is one of the most commonly used transaction code utilized in an exchange between trading partners. This document is used to transmit information about a shipment in advance of its departure to a customer.

What is included in an EDI 856?

A typical ASN document will provide information on four main levels: order level, shipment level, item level, and pack level. This could include:

  • Carrier information
  • Description of products and their respective quantities
  • Tracking numbers
  • Purchase order numbers
  • Barcodes for each container/carton
  • Types of packaging used
  • Configuration of items in the shipping container/transportation equipment

How does the exchange work?

  1. A household cleaner manufacturer is preparing a large shipment to their buyer –  a big box retailer.
  2. Depending on the supply chain of the manufacturer’s products, then one of two scenarios occur:
    1. If the CPG uses a warehouse, then a warehouse order is generated, and typically, the warehouse sends two documents: an EDI 945 to the CPG with the shipment details and an 856 to the retailer with the required details, including the product information, order details, and shipping information.
    2. If the CPG does not use a warehouse, then once they have shipped the product, they will generate an EDI 856 directly to the retailer with the required details.
  3. The manufacturer or warehouse transmits an EDI 856. Either one is the sender, so they are required to detail the contents of the shipment in order to properly prepare the retailer of exactly what will be arriving at its distribution center. Also, the manufacturer is required to understand the specific shipment requirements of the retailer ahead of time.
  4. Once the EDI 856 has been received, typically the retailer will send an EDI 997 as an acknowledgment of receipt of the document.

Common segments

It’s important to remember the actual segments used in an ASN will vary based on the detail level of the transaction.

  • BSN02 – Shipment Identification – A unique number assigned by the shipper
  • TD503 – Identification Code – Identifies the carrier for the shipment
  • PRF – Purchase Order Reference – Identifies and provides information about the Purchase Order being filled by the shipment
  • PO4 – Item Physical Details – Species weight, packaging, and dimensions for an item or product
  • MAN – Marks and Numbers – Points out identifying marks and numbers on the shipment
  • SN1 – Item Detail (Shipment) – Documents item-level details for the shipment

Documents that are exchanged in congress include:

  • 810 – Invoice: used to replace a paper invoice
  • 850 – Purchase Order: used to communicate the specific items a buyer wishes to order
  • 855 – Purchase Order Acknowledgment: used to confirm you can meet the requirements in the purchase order
  • 860 – Purchase Order Change Request (Buyer Initiated): used to request an update to the details on the original purchase order
  • 875 – Grocery Products Purchase Order: used to communicate the specific items a grocery retailer or wholesaler wishes to order
  • 880 – Grocery Products Invoice: used to replace a paper invoice for grocery retailers or wholesalers
  • 940 – Warehouse Shipping Order: used to authorize a shipment of items from a warehouse
  • 945 – Warehouse Shipping Advice: used to notify the trading partner of a shipment
  • 997 – Functional Acknowledgment: used to confirm receipt of the 856

Why should you use an EDI 856?

Big box retailers and store chains plan deliveries and manage their inventory levels based on the information contained in ASN documents. So, EDI 856 is a crucial piece in the shipment process. However, each retailer has varying requirements for their shipments. As a result, the EDI 856 can be one of the most complicated transaction codes. That’s where outsourcing EDI needs to a business integration specialist can come in handy. They will have the infrastructure in place to handle multiple formats.


New to EDI? Check out our post: What is EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)?

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