EDI 856 - Advance Ship Notice/Manifest

The EDI 856 Ship Notice / Manifest also known as an advance ship notice (ASN) is a type of electronic data interchange transaction set used communicate the contents of a shipment to another trading partner.
EDI-x12 transaction codes

View the full list of EDI X12 documents and transactions

What is EDI 856?

The EDI 856 Ship Notice / Manifest also known as an advance ship notice (ASN) is a type of electronic data interchange transaction set used communicate the contents of a shipment to another trading partner. This electronic document complies with the ANSI X12 EDI specification.

The EDI 856 transaction is commonly used by the retail, manufacturing and automotive industries in response to EDI 850, EDI 830, or EDI 862 transactions. The EDI 856 may be the most complicated document to implement for most suppliers. With multiple trading partner having different requirements, the supplier must be able to support multiple different formats in order to comply.

Benefits of the EDI 856

All EDI documents are securely encrypted in transit, allowing trading partners to send sensitive data such as pricing and contact information safely. Benefits automating the EDI 856 reduces the workload of employees and eliminates errors from human manual data entry thus saving money.

Reduce order to payment cycles

Improve speed and accuracy of receiving goods

Track shipments and get products on store shelves faster

Receive shipment information in advance, planning for production and inventory can be enhanced

Better retailer relationships

Facilitate better labor and equipment scheduling and no need to stock additional products 

How is an EDI 856 Used?

Sending the EDI 856

An EDI translator is needed to generate the EDI 856 ship notice/manifest, once the ASN is created, it is then sent to the recipient through some form of electronic communication. There are many types of EDI, sending an EDI 856 the issuer can use one of many, most commonly through a Value Added Network (VAN) or through an EDI cloud service.

Value Added Networks receives an EDI 856 from a sender, and sorts and delivers it to the recipient’s mailbox. The recipient retrieves messages by connecting to the VAN, which validates the message and verifies the recipient’s identity. It then provides a full audit trail, and all messages are tracked and accurately recorded

Sending the EDI 856 directly to the recipient using the Internet as the communication standard. Typically done through software that can send the EDI 856 using a method known as AS2. When using AS2 to send the EDI 856, the document is encrypted at the source and is sent using secured Internet-based communication to the recipient, which must then have software capable of decrypting the EDI 856.


Translating the EDI 856

Once the recipient has successfully received and decrypted the EDI 856, the next step is to translate the EDI 856 into a format that is more readily available. 1. Human readable form of the EDI 856 that is easily understood by the reader. 2. Flat-file form that is easily sent to the recipient’s computer system. This is typically an ERP or accounting system form. This form of EDI 856 translation is also known as integrated EDI

EDI 856 Advance Ship Notice/ Manifest Segments

An ASN message uses segments and elements defined by the ANSI X12 EDI 856 guideline. EDI solutions send, receive and process EDI messages. The EDI 856 transaction will contain the following:
  • Shipment Number
  • Shipping Date
  • Expected delivery date
  • Ship from/to addresses and information
  • Purchase order number
  • Item details and quantities
  • Shipment tracking details (BOL Number, PRO Number, Tracking Number)
  • Item tracking details where applicable 
  • Packaging detail (carton, pallet level details)
  • UCC128/GS1 Numbers

EDI 856 Ship Notice/ Manifest Specifications

The EDI 850 X12 Transaction set is used to initiate an order in an industry-standard specified format.


The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) chartered the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 to develop uniform standards for inter-industry electronic exchange of business transactions, namely electronic data interchange. ASC X12 also contributes to UN/EDIFACT messages that are used widely outside of the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions

The EDI 856 transaction, also known as the Advance Ship Notice (ASN), is used by suppliers to notify buyers or trading partners about the pending shipment of goods. It provides detailed information about the contents of the shipment, including item descriptions, quantities, packaging details, and shipment dates.

For suppliers, the EDI 856 transaction helps streamline shipping processes, improve inventory management, and enhance visibility into the supply chain. For buyers, it enables better planning for receiving and inventory management, reduces manual data entry errors, and facilitates faster processing of incoming shipments.

An EDI 856 transaction typically includes information such as the sender and receiver details, shipment identification numbers, itemized lists of products or items being shipped (including quantities, descriptions, and identifiers), packaging details (such as carton and pallet counts), carrier information, and estimated arrival dates.

By providing detailed advance information about incoming shipments, the EDI 856 transaction enables buyers to reconcile received goods against purchase orders more accurately, anticipate deliveries, and plan for efficient warehouse operations. This reduces the likelihood of discrepancies, delays, and errors in order processing and improves overall supply chain efficiency.

Suppliers should establish clear processes for generating and transmitting EDI 856 transactions, including validating shipment data against purchase orders, adhering to EDI standards such as ANSI X12 or EDIFACT, and coordinating with carriers to ensure accurate and timely transmission of shipment information. Additionally, suppliers should conduct regular testing and monitoring to identify and address any issues that may arise during the implementation process.

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With fast and reliable translation, you can rest assured that your EDI processes are in safe hands, allowing you to focus on what truly matters – your business. 

Why Choose Commport EDI Solution?

1. Easy integration with any trading partner
2. Commport EDI solutions are scalable as your business grows
3. Affordable pricing and pay-as-you-go plans available
4. Dedicated world-class customer support
5. 100% EDI compliance guaranteed
6. Trusted by 6000+ customers

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