EDI 856

Advanced Shipping Notice (ASN) Specifications

Learn about EDI 856s by reading the guide below. If you need to send or receive EDI 856s, contact our team today.

What is an EDI 856?

The EDI 856 transaction, also known as an EDI Advance Shipping Notice or EDI ASN, is a critical and widely used document that notifies the receiving party of a shipment, specifically describing the contents of a shipment. The document is sent preceding a shipment arrival. Many major retailers require it to be sent within a certain time frame before the product arrives at a given distribution center or store. 

An EDI 856 is commonly used by:

  • Suppliers
  • Manufacturers
  • Distributors
  • Retailers

Moreover, the EDI 856 transaction contains order information, product descriptions, packaging types, carrier information, and more.


How is an EDI 856 used?

Advanced shipping notice (ASN) is used to electronically communicate the contents of a shipment to a trading partner and is most often used in the retail, manufacturing, and automotive industries. Most major businesses require this EDI 856 document, using EDI software to send this information allows retailers to quickly receive the information they require for each shipment. EDI 856 specification is sent in advance of a shipment arriving at the other trading partner’s facility in response to three transactions:

EDI 850

EDI 830

EDI 862

After you receive an EDI 850, EDI 830, or EDI 862, an Advanced Shipping Notice is sent to communicate the shipment is en route to the destination.

Once the ASN EDI document is received by your trading partner, an EDI 997 Functional Acknowledgement is generated and sent back to the buyer to indicate the successful delivery of the EDI 856.


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What are the Important Components of an EDI 856 Mapping Document?

Key information in the EDI 856 mapping document include:

  • Purchase Order Number
  • Shipment Number
  • Shipping Date/Delivery Date
  • Shipping Location Details (from/to addresses and information)
  • Item Description, Details and Quantities
  • Shipment tracking details (ex. Tracking Number, etc.)
  • Item tracking details where applicable (i.e. Lot or serial numbers)
  • Packaging details (ex. Items in specific cartons, specific cartons on pallet, etc.)
  • Carrier information

EDI 856

Here is an EDI 856 Transaction within Cleo Integration Cloud

EDI 856 - Cleo Integration Cloud Platform view

Example EDI 856 Transaction Exchange

1. First, An EDI 850 Purchase Order (Order 3476) is sent from Autozone (your trading partner) and received by your business

2. Second, your Cleo EDI Platform creates and sends an EDI 855 Purchase Order Acknowledgment to Autozone to recognize that the EDI 850 Purchase Order was received. 

3. Third, Cleo's cloud-based EDI platform generates an EDI 856 and sends the document to Autozone, giving information on the contents of the shipment. 

4. Fourth, Cleo Integration Cloud generates an automated EDI 810 invoice and sends the invoice to Autozone as a receipt for goods purchased. 

EDI 856 Mapping Specification 

This X12 Transaction Set contains the format and establishes the data contents of the Ship Notice/Manifest Transaction Set (856) for use within the context of an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) environment. The EDI 856 mapping specification can be used to list the contents of a shipment of goods as well as additional information relating to the shipment, such as order information, product description, physical characteristics, type of packaging, marking, carrier information, and configuration of goods within the transportation equipment. The transaction set enables the sender to describe the contents and configuration of a shipment in various levels of detail and provides an ordered flexibility to convey information.

The sender of this transaction is the organization responsible for detailing and communicating the contents of a shipment, or shipments, to one or more receivers of the transaction set. The receiver of this transaction set can be any organization having an interest in the contents of a shipment or information about the contents of a shipment.


Accredited Standards Committee X12. ASC X12 Standard [Table Data]. Data Interchange Standards Association, Inc., Falls Church, VA. https://x12.org/index.php/products/transaction-sets

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