How to Avoid ASN Related Problems in Shipping


An ASN, or Advanced Shipping Notice, helps bring shipment visibility and operational efficiency to trading partners. Any issue with the ASN can create delays for both the trading partner and the shipper, making it an important aspect of the shipping process to handle accurately. Problems with ASNs may incur chargeback fees from the trading partner. Shippers should audit their workflows and processes to be sure this isn’t a source of errors and unnecessary fees.

What to know about ASNs

ASNs are typically sent as an EDI (electronic data exchange) transaction, or EDI 856. EDI helps shippers and trading partners communicate quickly and effectively by handling documents and related correspondence in a standardized way. Trading partners in retail, manufacturing, and automotive generally require ASNs from their shippers, but they may be required in any other industry as well.

The information provided in an ASN includes the order number, a list of items included in the order, item quantities and units, the carrier transporting the shipment, the corresponding tracking number, the date of dispatching the shipment, and the estimated arrival day and time. This information helps trading partners prepare for incoming shipments to process the shipment once it arrives at the facility.

Mistakes with ASNs

When auditing, the most common mistake related to ASNs might be neglecting to send one. The trading partner needs the information in advance, and without it, it leads to delays in their process and a penalty for the shipper.

If the ASN is sent on time but the information contains errors or is incomplete, this is another reason a trading partner might issue a chargeback. Shippers must prioritize sending timely and accurate ASNs in order to work constructively with their trading partners. Too much friction from the shipper can even cause order cancellations or the loss of the customer.

If there are mistakes in the EDI 856 (ASN) transaction, the trading partner might respond with an EDI 824, or Application Advice. This document shows whether the ASN was accepted, accepted with errors, or rejected due to errors. It will detail the specific information that there is an issue with, and whether a new ASN should be sent. Possible errors include invalid shipment IDs, purchase order numbers, delivery location, item or unit details, or the day or time of arrival.

Preventing ASN errors

With EDI, there are different methods of workflows that can be used, some that help shippers avoid errors more than others. The most basic method is building an EDI document by manual data entry, which comes with a significant chance for keystroke errors. One step up from this method, in terms of a less manual process, is converting report data from your shipping software into the EDI format. This automates the data entry portion of the process but still has the need for a staff member to handle the export.

The best solution is to work with a shipping software that is designed to automate the entire process, capturing the needed shipment details without any additional effort and sending the ASN to the right recipient with the click of a button. This way, there is no chance of missing a step in the workflow and failing to send it.

Using automation to send the ASN has the added benefit of efficiency. Staff save time getting the shipments prepared while there is less chance of error and fewer chargebacks as a result.

Interested in learning about de-risking your data transmission with our advanced shipping notification integration? Check out this blog to learn more.




Publish date

January 10, 2023



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