Electronic Transport With EDI

Automation of transport processes for both key customers and vendors can help you improve service levels, inventory management, and shorten cycles. EDI and other electronic methods enable quick and reliable sending of transport documents for truckers, parcel carriers, air, ocean, and rail transport. For example, a quick and accurate shipment delivery or pick-up message alerts you that an order has actually arrived, is on-the-way, or is late.

NOTE: For discussion on EDI from the Trucker’s perspective, please read our Trucking Page.

For shipments to customers, obtaining a good price and ordering a shipment are important steps. For shipments from vendors, the price is important too. Electronic Bills-of-Lading, Trailer Manifests, and Invoices enable more efficient processing as data entry is eliminated and accuracy improved. The cost savings are plentiful. The key transaction is the Shipment Status message. Fresh information saves you time and possible embarrassment.

Overview of the Transport EDI Information Flow

  1. RATING (obtaining a price)
  2. BOOKING A LOAD (for customer shipments)
  3. CONFIRMING A LOAD (for customer shipments)


Rating is the price for how much a load will cost to haul. Ratings are based on the amount of miles and type of load. Example, moving light tortilla chips 10 miles or heavy auto batteries 100 miles.

How do manufacturing companies usually get a rating on loads?

  • Phone, Fax, or E-mail
  • Webpage Software rating package

Less used methods are:

  • Send a 107 (Request for Motor Carrier Rate Proposal)
  • Receive a 106 (Motor Carrier Rate Proposal) (Use of EDI for Rating is rare.)


A manufacturing company can book a load in several ways.

  • Send a Fax, an email or call a dedicated or preferred trucking company to see if they have any availability.
  • Send a 204 (Load Tender) to one or many trucking companies
  • Contract with a logistics company to handle all transportation needs. The manufacturing company in this instance sends the logistics company a 204.


How does a manufacturing company get confirmation that the load will be picked up?

  • Phone, Fax, or e-mail
  • Never worry, always picks up at same time (dedicated service)
  • Receive a 990 (Response to Load Tender) from dedicated or preferred trucking company
  • Receive a 990 from a logistics company.


Manufacturers may send a Bill of Lading (211) to the customer. (The carrier usually will only receive the paper BOL.)

  • Optionally, a Trailer Manifest (212) would be sent out by the manufacturer to the customer if they have sent a full trailer load of merchandise.
  • The Bill of Lading has the tracer number or PRO number needed for tracking and invoicing; plus other information such as the number of boxes and total weight.


Ship Status (214) Business Purpose
The Shipment Status (214) is sent by truck, parcel and air carriers. It provides the delivery or pick-up date/time for shipments to customers or from vendors.

  • Customers – you will receive actual delivery dates, so you know when it arrived
  • Vendors – you will receive actual shipment dates, so you know it is coming

You will know immediately the dates OR receive an alert if it is becoming past due. Technically, maps to both the customer service and purchasing module are needed.
For customers the actual delivery date in the Sales Order screen will be filled. For vendors, similarly, the actual shipment date in the Purchase Order screen.

There are few significant changes as the customer service or purchasing group works with their existing ERP application, not the EDI system. Your ERP system likely has these 2 fields. If not, DCS can populate a Microsoft Access or Oracle 11i database from which your developer can create a Web form. The amount of effort is about 1 or 2 weeks depending if your ERP system has these fields.

The savings will be elimination of calling/clicking to carriers sites. For example, upon arrival in the morning a purchasing agent can tab through all open orders to look for shipment dates on PO’s that are due to be shipped. The laggards will be readily apparent.


  • The carrier will send EITHER the manufacturer OR the customer a Freight Invoice (210) for transporting the product. The 210 Transaction is similar to the more common 810 Invoice, but allows for more details pertaining to transportion charges.


  • Payments are made electronically with a Remittance Advice (820) sent via EDI. The company paying for the freight would send the carrier a Remittance Advice (820) to show the exact Invoices paid. (The Remittance Advice used is the same transaction used accross most industries and is not specific to Transport as the 210 Invoice is.)


Our experience with hundreds of ERP conversions and upgrades can speed up the process and keep cost low. Improving inventory management at a time when prices are rapidly rising means a 100% ROI. Best of all, DCS will teach you to become self-reliant in managing your automated EDI processes. This enlarges the savings, but also makes the customer service and purchasing and logistics departments look good.

The transfer of electronic data in the process of business can be a powerful business tool and this has never been more apparent than in the Trucking Industry. The impact that an e-commerce integration can have on the Trucking Industry, both carrier and shipper can greatly effect the bottom lines of both businesses.

DCS EDI Consulting services offer thorough, quick, and economical solutions. DCS will speed up the process with our extensive experience. Having an on call group of EDI specialists is a welcome comfort when working with new technology, especially when it involves business critical processes. And, DCS charges a fair hourly rate of less than $140 an hour. The first step is easy, just e-mail us for your free EDI assessment.