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856 Advance Shipping Notice

What is EDI 856?

An EDI 856 Advance Shipping Notice is an electronic version of a printed packing slip that tells a buyer how a supplier has packed their items for shipment. Most ASNs will follow either standard pack or pick and pack guidelines. Usually the buyer will specify how they want the goods packed.

The 856 Advance Ship Notice, or ASN shipping, also tells the buyer that the goods have been shipped so they can be expecting the shipment.

The EDI Advance Ship Notice along with the GS1-128 (formely called UCC-128) bar code label contains the supplier's vendor number, ASN number, and carton number. Sample GS1-128 labels

The GS1-128 bar code label lets the receiving dock know what is in the supplier's cartons without having to open the cartons because the receiving dock can scan the bar code label and then check the EDI ASN that was previously received electronically from the supplier.

Companies use an EDI system to reduce the errors and costs associated with the manual keying of data, and to speed up the process of sending and receiving EDI Advance Shipping Notices.

Need to send / receive EDI 856 transactions?

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Related EDI Transactions

Most suppliers will also want to receive a 997 Functional Acknowledgement back after the buyer receives the 856 Advance Shipping Notice. The buyer sends the 997 Functional Acknowledgement back to the supplier to indicate that they successfully received the Advance Shipping Notice.

EDI documents are sent and received electronically using a VAN, Value Added Network. Part of the EDI 856 Advance Shipping Notice document will contain envelope information. The envelope information specifies which company is sending the document and which company is receiving the document. The sending and receiving companies are called trading partners because they exchange or "trade" the EDI Advance Shipping Notice and Functional Acknowledgements.

EDI is a mature electronic document format that has been carefully defined both by the companies that require their trading partners to use EDI and by standards bodies. The two recognized standards for EDI are ANSI X.12 and UN/EDIFACT. ANSI X.12 is by far the most widely used standard in the United States. UN/EDIFACT is more popular outside the United States, although it is used by US automotive manufactures.

Each EDI 856 Advance Shipping Notice document will have data organized into segments and data elements. Each segment contains at least one data element. Each data element is a data field. Examples of data elements on the Advance Shipping Notice include vendor number, item, quantity, price per item, street address, city, state and zip code, just like on a paper Advance Shipping Notice. The standards bodies have allowed for every conceivable possibility for data on the EDI Advance Shipping Notice document. Any one company will use a small subset of the available choices within the ANS X.12 or UN/EDIFACT standards.

Each company that requires its suppliers to use EDI will have an EDI Guide or mapping document. The EDI Guide will specify each segment and data element, the allowable values for each, and the applicable business rules that must be followed. EDI guides are detailed and extensive. It is not unusual for an EDI Guide to be more than 100 pages long.

Additional Resources on EDI 856

  • ASN's & You: The Why & How for Using Advance Shipping Notices

    An ASN is basically an electronic version of a printed packing slip. It communicates to your customer how you have packed your items for shipment and it shows the destination of the shipment as well as the delivery schedule.

    Find out how Advance Ship Notices work and how they benefit you and your customers.

    Read More

  • Printing GS1-128 Barcode Shipping Labels

    GS1-128 barcode labels must match the associated ASN (Advance Ship Notice). If your trading partner or customer requires you to print GS1-128 barcode shipping labels (formerly called UCC-128), you will be required to have a GS1 company prefix. Find out how to get your GS1 company prefix and print GS1-128 barcode shipping labels.

    Read More

  • How to Use Advance Shipping Notices & Barcode Labels

    Many EDI trading partners require advance ship notices and the corresponding GS1-128 barcode shipping labels, formerly known as UCC128 labels. The advance ship notice does just what its name says. It tells your customer in advance that your shipment is on the way. Information about the shipment destination, delivery schedule and transportation carrier is typically included. The ASN is also an electronic packing slip that tells your customer how you would pack each of your shipping cartons.

    View our video and see how easy it can be to send your customers Advance Ship Notices (ASN's) and the associated GS1-128 bar code shipping labels

    View More

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