The Advance Ship Notification (ASN)
The Advance Ship Notification or an ASN, is a notification sent by the supplier to the buyer, as the items are leaving the supplier. This gives advanced notification to the buyer about the exact details of the shipment, its contents and how it is organized, and this will help the buyer to be prepared to store the items at its warehouses or reship it to the targeted stores etc. An ASN should be error free to be useful to the buyer and hence some buyers might charge a penalty if the ASN or the shipment does not meet the expected standard.
A shipment typically includes information at different levels, such as Shipment (S), Equipment (E), Order (O), Tare (T), Pack (P), and Item (I). The word Equipment implies a typical ocean shipping container such as a 20ft container, and might not be used by smaller suppliers. A Tare or Pallet would generally hold one or more Packs of Items being shipped and the ASN describes this arrangement with unique identifiers called (Serial Shipping Container Code) SSCC-18 barcodes pasted on the Tare, Pack or Item levels. The ASN itself arranges its Tare, Pack and Item information in a hierarchical order to convery the shipment organization. For example as shown in the following picture, a Shipment might consist of one Tare (T) or Pallet, which has 8 Packs (P). Inside each Pack, there can be a dozen count of one Item (I), or possibly multiple Items in different quantities, and this hierarchy of the contents are conveyed through the ASN.
Each of the Tare’s (Pallets) and Packs will have Serial Shipping Container Code SSCC-18 barcodes pasted on them to allow each component to be correctly identified at the point of receipt by the Buyer by simply scanning the barcode, and comparing with the ASN information sent by the Supplier. For this reason, accuracy of an ASN is of utmost importance.
The X12 EDI version
Here is a sample EDI X12 Advance Ship Notification (856) transaction message, created in response to the Purchase Order discussed in our previous step. Note that the line breaks have been inserted only for clarity, as EDI files typically do not contain line breaks.
ISA*00* *00* *ZZ*ADRTPROD *08*925485US00 *210701*0925*;*00501*100100543*0*P*>~ GS*SH*ADRTPROD*925485US00*20210701*0925*200200543*X*005010~ ST*856*300300543~ BSN*00*5712201706*20210701*0925*0001~ HL*1**S~ TD1******G*10*KG~ TD5**2*UPSN*M~ REF*CN*C0123456789~ REF*AO*A0123456789~ DTM*011*20210701~ DTM*067*20210703~ FOB*CC~ N1*ST*REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER 6285*UL*0078742090955~ N3*94-1420 MOANIANI ST~ N4*WAIPAHU*HI*96797*US~ N1*SF*SUPPLIER HAWAII LLC**~ N3*12-345 BAKER ST~ N4*Laie*HI*12345*US~ HL*2*1*O~ PRF*5712201706***20210624~ REF*IA*078967250~ HL*6*2*P~ MAN*GM*00008600047450001430~ N1*BY**UL*0078742022543~ HL*8*6*I~ LIN*001*IN*592351350*VN*PINK T 2/3*UK*07930526001294*EN*7930526001294~ SN1**2*EA~ HL*7*6*I~ LIN*002*IN*592351352*VN*PINK T 4/5*UK*08801600264982*EN*8801600264982~ SN1**2*EA~ HL*3*2*P~ MAN*GM*00008600047450001447~ N1*BY**UL*0078742020822~ HL*5*3*I~ LIN*001*IN*592351350*VN*PINK T 2/3*UK*07930526001294*EN*7930526001294~ SN1**2*EA~ HL*4*3*I~ LIN*002*IN*592351352*VN*PINK T 4/5*UK*08801600264982*EN*8801600264982~ SN1**2*EA~ CTT*4~ SE*39*300300543~ GE*1*200200543~ IEA*1*100100543~
The human readable version
The human readable version of the above ASN would look like the following.
The hierarchy of the Packs and Items for the above ASN could be seen clearly in the ASN compose view which would show it as follows. Note that the shipment is fulfilling one Order, and is packaged as 2 Packs (one for each store), with each Pack containing two Items.