EDI 204

Motor Carrier Load Tender

Learn about EDI 204s by reading the guide below. If you need to send or receive EDI 204s, contact our team today.

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What is an EDI 204?
The EDI 204, also referred to as the Motor Carrier Load Tender, stands as an electronic data interchange document employed by shippers to extend an offer, or tender, for truckload or less than truckload shipments to a carrier. Shippers encompass entities such as manufacturers, distribution centers, retailers, or any party wishing to transport goods, while carriers are typically freight providers like FedEx Freight, Old Dominion, or UPS Freight.


The format of EDI 204 adheres to the x12 standards established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a non-profit organization overseeing EDI formats in the United States.


What are the Essential Components of EDI 204?
An EDI 204 document contains all the necessary information about a potential shipment to enable the carrier to make an informed decision about accepting the tender. Key details found in EDI 204 may include:

  • Identification information for the shipper and receiver, including names, addresses, and vendor ID numbers.
  • Shipping instructions, covering pickup and delivery time frames, as well as any specific pickup or delivery requirements.
  • Equipment specifications, such as truck carriage size and length.
  • Load specifics, including lading quantities, dimensions, and weight.


How Do I Use EDI 204?
Imagine you're a shipper with a big truckload of goods that needs to get somewhere. An EDI 204 is what you send out to carriers like truck companies, telling them about your shipment and asking for bids.

  • Where the goods are starting and ending up (pick-up and delivery addresses)
  • What's being shipped (type of goods, weight, dimensions)
  • When it needs to get there (delivery deadline)
  • Any special instructions (temperature control, security requirements)

Depending on whether the load is accepted, the carrier responds with an EDI 990, also known as the Response to a Load Tender transaction set, or communicates through alternative means to convey the status of the request.


EDI 204 is used for both full truckload shipments and less-than-truckload shipments. Time is of the essence for shippers, as many of them expect prompt responses to the EDI 204 and within a certain timeframe, underscoring the importance of timely replies in order to maintain healthy relationships with trading partners.


Below is an example of EDI 204 in source format within Cleo Integration Cloud.

What are the Benefits of EDI 204?

Electronic data interchange documents are encrypted to provide security and protect sensitive details about orders, shipments, payments, and trading partners. EDI 204 uses data transfer automation to eliminate errors from manual retyping, which can lead to delivery mistakes, delays and chargebacks.


Additionally, the document can help shippers plan their shipments, and provide consistent shipping details to carriers, which can streamline interactions between partners. The carrier benefits from being able to plan pickups and deliveries and the corresponding shipment requirements.

EDI 204 Motor Carrier Load Tender source

EDI 204 Format Example

The EDI 204 comes in two formats: a source data version and a translated data version. The source EDI data, as illustrated below, is typically translated using integrated EDI software and subsequently sent to your business system (ERP) for utilization by your EDI manager or other staff.

EDI 204 Source Format Example





N1*BT*Peco Pallet*93*PECOPALLET~

N3*2 Bridge Street, Suite 210~




L11*FLATBED*EQ*Equipment Type~

L11*LIVE 4-29-20*SI*Shipper Ref No~

L11*LIVE 4-29-20*CB*Carrier BOL~





N1*SH*Rite Aid-Woodland, CA (DC #81)*93*50086~

N3*1755 East Beamer Street~


L5**MIXED - UNSORTED****R1024266*SI~




L11*FLATBED*EQ*Equipment Type~

L11*LIVE 4-29-20*SI*Shipper Ref No~

L11*LIVE 4-29-20*CB*Carrier BOL~





N1*CN*Western Pallet Supply & Logistics LLC*93*45195~


N3*7675 West 11th Street~




G61*IC*Nicole*TE*209-836-1968 ext. 102~


L5**MIXED - UNSORTED****R1024266*SI~




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