EDI Transaction Sets - Technical Tips

LMTS offers these tips for making your EDI transactions work better.    

Invoice (transaction set 210)

  • Accurately identify the receiver id.
  • Accurately identify the EDI transaction set version number that is expected.
  • If applicable, identify the Value-added Network that will be used.
  • Provide specifications outlining your system requirements.
  • Understand the components of EDI and have them ready to receive and process the EDI data when the tests are transmitted to you.
  • Work through your carrier representatives to ensure the proper locations to be included in the invoice are identified.
  • Determine what your systems will match the invoice data to; PO number and bill of lading number are common. Also, determine if there is a set pattern for those numbers.
  • The customer must determine whether EDI invoices should be sent for inbound and/or outbound or third party shipments.

Bill of Lading (transaction set 211)

  • The 211 must be used as a bill of lading with complete shipment information. The 211 is NOT to be used as a load tender to notify carriers that a shipment is available.
  • Many carriers prefer ALL bills of lading to be transmitted electronically. Due to system constraints we understand this is not always possible and only shipments destined to certain consignees can be sent.
  • The bill of lading should be transmitted within 1 hour of the carrier trailer leaving the shipping dock. (It can be transmitted up to 5 days prior if the shipment information is accurate). This ensures the data will be available to the terminal when the freight arrives.
  • Some carriers only accept an original bill of lading. Corrections and cancellations are handled manually at the terminals.
  • Carriers usually trace and bill all shipments by pro-number. Many also have a process called pre-pros that gives a shipper the opportunity to store the pro-numbers in their system and assign them prior to transmitting. This gives the shipper control over the pro-number assigned to their bill of lading number, which makes tracing and billing control more efficient. Check with your local carrier sales rep for a block of pro-numbers.
  • It is mandatory that the electronic bill of lading provide carriers with an actual street address for shipper and consignee information. Carriers cannot pickup from or deliver to a post office box.

The following details are mandatory in the electronic bill of lading:

  • Carrier SCAC - Four-digit alpha code which is assigned by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association.
  • Shipment Terms - Code identifying payment terms for transportation charges.
  • Pickup Date - The pickup date is the date carrier picks up the shipment.
  • Bill of Lading Number - Customers shipment identification number.
  • Carrier Pro Number - This field is required in the BOL06 by most carriers and must match the PRO number on the paper bill of lading.
  • Transaction Set Purpose Code - Always a 00 for an original bill of lading.
  • All Special Handling Requirements - Examples include notify contact before delivery, inside delivery required, lift gate required at destination, etc.
  • Shipper Information - Shipper name, shipper identification code assigned by the shipper or provided by carrier, shipper address (no P.O. Boxes), shipper city, state and zip.
  • Consignee Information - Consignee Name, consignee address (where carrier will deliver the shipment), consignee city, state and zip, and consignee contact information for delivery appointments.
  • Third Party Information - Whenever a third party is paying the freight charges, the information for the third party must be supplied (name, address, city, state and zip).

The following information is required for each commodity (line item):

  • Bill of Lading Line Item Number - This is a sequential number starting with 1 to identify each individual line item provided.
  • Lading Description - This is a text description of the commodity being shipped.
  • Lading Quantity - Number of handling units for which the carrier is responsible (master handling units). If the master handling unit is pallets, then pallet information must be provided.
  • Lading Package Form Code - The type of package being shipped (ex. CTN, PLT, SKD, etc.).
  • Weight Qualifier - Identifies the weight of the commodity as net weight, tare weight, etc.
  • Weight - The weight of the commodity being shipped.
  • If the commodities are palletized the carton information must also be provided (quantity and package form code).
  • The NMFC Number (National Motor Freight Classification code) - This number can be obtained from your traffic department or from your local carrier sales representative.
  • Purchase Order information - The PO number, PO department, total carton count for the PO on this shipment and the total weight for the PO on this shipment.
  • Hazardous Information for all hazardous commodities - The UN/NA identification code, hazardous material shipping name and hazardous material technical name.

Shipment Trailer Manifest (transaction set 212)

  • Work through your carrier representative to ensure the proper locations to be included in the shipment trailer manifest are identified (i.e., the business name of each location and the complete address including street, city, state, and zip).

Shipment Status (transaction set 214)

  • Work through your carrier representative to ensure the proper locations to be included in the shipment status are identified (i.e., the business name of each location and the complete address including street, city, state, and zip).
  • Determine what your systems will match the shipment status data to; PO number, bill of lading number and reference numbers are common. Also, determine if there is a set pattern (format) for those numbers. Provide all formats and indicate if a location has different formats than other locations.
  • Determine whether the shipment status should be sent for inbound and/or outbound shipments.
  • Identify the third party and/or bill to addresses (if any).
  • Identify the transaction segments needed (the data needed).
  • Determine shipment status codes and status options needed.
  • The customer must determine whether the shipment status should be sent for inbound and/or outbound shipments.

Shipment Pickup Notification (transaction set 216)

  • For best service, pickup requests should be submitted 24 hours prior to the requested pickup date.
  • If using a pickup authorization or reference number, always provide this information in the PUN04.
  • Use the proper SCAC code (unique four-digit alpha) for each carrier.
  • Provide requested pickup date.
  • Always include name and phone number of the person who should be contacted for clarification on pickup details.
  • Provide detailed shipper, and consignee information: name, address, city, and state and zip code. ** Shipper zip code information MUST be provided **
  • When acting as a third party, always provide detailed address information for the shipper and consignee.
  • Include details about the shipment such as quantity and weight.

EDI Remittance Advice (transaction set 820)

  • Always provide the carrier freight bill number for each detail line item that you are paying.
  • The check detail must equal the total check amount. When paying multiple detail items (or multiple freight bills) on one check, make sure that the accumulated totals of all detail items equal the amount of the total check.
  • Always provide the customer's name with each check. When paying multiple customers on one check, provide the customer name for each detail item.
  • When adjusting your payment - supply the appropriate adjustment reason code.

Transaction Acknowledgment (transaction set 997)

  • The acknowledgment is used to report the results of the syntactical analysis of the functional groups according to the published standards from ASC X12. The acknowledgment is not used to report on the semantic meaning of the transaction sets, for example the receiver's ability to comply with the request of the sender.
  • It is important that you use the same sender and receiver ids in reverse in the ISA / GS combination when acknowledging an EDI transaction.
  • The 997 can be sent back at a group level, which will acknowledge the total number of transactions that were received in the transmission or it can be sent at the transaction level, which acknowledges each individual transaction. Many carriers will accept both methods.
  • It is MANDATORY that many carriers receive an acknowledgment back when an EDI 210 Invoice has been sent. This information is key to both companies to save time and money by preventing past due issues.