856 Advance Shipping Notice / Manifest

edi 856An EDI 856 transaction is commonly referred to as an Advance Shipping Notice (ASN) or Manifest. The EDI 856 ASN is essentially an electronic version of a printed packing slip that communicates to a buyer (trading partner) how the supplier (you) have packed your items for shipment. It also shows the destination of the shipment with the delivery schedule so the buyer knows when to expect the shipment.

Customers that require ASN’s almost always also require GS1-128 barcode labels (formerly UCC-128). The barcode label works in conjunction with the ASN and contains the supplier's vendor number, ASN number, and carton number.

How EDI 856 ASNs & Barcode Labels Work Together

  1. The barcode label is placed on each carton/package to be shipped.
  2. When the carton arrives to its destination, the label is scanned by personnel on the receiving dock.
  3. The scanner enables the customer to quickly retrieve the ASN to understand exactly what’s in the shipment without opening the package.
  4. From there, the shipment can be routed efficiently and added to the customer’s inventory without having the manually key information in.

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Additional Information on EDI 856

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 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.

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.

Need to send an Advance Ship Notice?

CovalentWorks offers EDI solutions to send 856 ASNs along with any other transaction that your trading partner may require to be compliant.

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EDI Solution Comparison

Comparison Item




Turnkey solution ✓* ×
Web-based software included ×
Web-based portal × ×
Interfaces to other systems Optional ×
IT support included × ×
Transaction mapping ✓** ✓** ×
GS1-128 bar code labels ×
Trading partner testing ×
EDI VAN, AS/2, FTP ✓***
Training ×
Internet access from anywhere
Unlimited number of users
Month to month agreement
Free U.S. based support

*IT support required during testing for B2BWorks.

**MyB2B and B2BWorks include mapping for all transaction types for any partner in the world.

***EDI VAN service is included at no charge with both MyB2B and B2BWorks.

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