Purchase orders, invoices, advance ship notices, bills of lading, customs and inventory documents, shipping status and payment documents. Every shipment needs a stack documents to be exchanged via EDI to automate routine processes that can needlessly take up far too much of your staff’s time.

When it comes to the transportation industry, there’s a range of documentation you need to prepare that’s highly routine, cumbersome and full of minute detail. Filling this documentation, following a different standard every time, takes up valuable time of your staff that could be used in more productive ways.

EDI eliminates the dispatcher’s need to manually key in information that can be auto-populated. Automation of these tasks saves valuable time and money, eliminates the risk of costly human error, and helps all EDI-compliant companies on a single supply chain to communicate seamlessly with each other.

In recent years, transporters have begun to adapt to accept EDI in their documentation and document exchange.

Data moves between carrier, shipper and consignee in the form of electronic EDI documents. Let us follow the typical chain of communication for any transportation. To begin, the shipper communicates with the carrier to request a pickup. The carrier then responds to confirm acceptance. The shipper prepares the Bill of Lading.

The carrier communicates the complete list of multiple shipments in the shipment tendered for delivery, and sends status messages to customers to provide up-to-date information on shipments.

To close the transaction, the carrier sends an invoice with detailed breakup of charges to the payer (shipper or customer), who provides carrier remittance/payment information. Shipper, carrier or payee indicate confirmation of data receipt.

Since EDI documents are processed by computers and not by humans, they need to follow a single standard format across organizations and across systems.