Advance Shipping Note – Definition

Cite this article as:"Advance Shipping Note – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated June 9, 2019, last accessed October 26, 2020,


Advance Shipping Note (ASN) Definition

Advance Ship Notice or Advance Shipping Notice (ASN) is a document that notifies the customer about a pending delivery. The notification provides all the details about the contents of a shipment of goods. Additionally, it can provide order information, product description, packaging information, physical characteristics, carrier information, markings and configuration of goods within the transportation equipment.

ASN is sent out as an electronic document in electronic data information (EDI) or extensible markup language (XML) format. The large distributors do not generally accept delivery without an ASN. ASN enables them to optimize their commercial operation and logistics chain. The EDIFACT equivalent of ASN is known as DESADV (Dispatch Advice).

A Little More on What is an Advanced Shipping Note

The Advanced Ship Notice is most relevant in the retail and automotive industry; however, any commercial entities can use this to verify the goods sent by the supplier matches the order made by them.

There is no fixed format of this document and can be modified according to the need of a particular transaction. A short version of ASN may only include the number of articles, their description, and supplier’s data. If this information satisfies the need of the receiver, they may use this format. A complete ASN message is however required for broad traceability of the shipment.

When an Advanced Ship notice is sent to the client, the client can confirm that the shipment contains exactly the same merchandise they have ordered. Any discrepancies can be spotted right there, before actually receiving the shipment. As both the documents are potted with EDI, the client receives a warning in case of any disagreement. As the ASN provides information regarding the expected time of the delivery, the client can plan the offload of the new products efficiently. They can assign human resources accordingly and can arrange the storage without any hassle. It also helps them to control the stock.

The Suppliers find it useful as it improves the management of product delivery. The use of EDI makes it automated, so the supplier gets all the information regarding the shipment in a timely manner. It saves them both time and money. The supplier gets notified as and when the shipment is delivered to the client.

Additionally, an ASN can provide a list of the barcoded ID numbers of each of the articles shipped. Upon receiving the shipment, the barcodes on the shipping labels can be scanned to identify the components. In this way, the receivers do not have to break down each shipping unit (carton or pallet) to identify the components.

It is believed that the use of ASN reduces the receiving costs by about 40%.

A number of companies supply the Advanced Shipment Notification Shipping Solution Software. They design the software to meet the requirement of various types of companies.

Using Web EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) for generating the ASN is recommended for the businesses with a low volume of operations. In this system, the EDI is conducted through an internet browser. Here, the paper documents are replicated as web forms and the user needs to enter information in that form.  Once all the relevant information is provided, this form is automatically transformed into an EDI message and sent through secure Internet protocols like File Transfer Protocol Secure (FTPS), Hyper Text Transport Protocol Secure (HTTPS) or AS2. The hub and spoke model is followed in Web EDI, where the major business partner acts as the hub and the smaller partners act as spokes.

However, the WEB EDI can prove to be tedious and error-prone for the companies that manage a medium or high volume of operations. When more trading partners are added and orders increase, it is always advisable to switch to a fully EDI solution. The integrated EDI solutions remove the requirement of re-key data and allow automatic transactions. It saves time, reduces the chance of making errors and reduces labor costs.

References for Advance Shipping Note

Academic Research for Advance Shipping Note

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