Basic Carrier EDI

Basic Transportation EDI Scenario

This page describes a very basic scenario for the Widget Company's Carrier EDI Program.

Descriptions are very general concerning the implementation of Carrier EDI transactions sets used at Widget Company. This document will be updated as Widget develops new EDI capabilities.

Carrier Transaction Sets

Widget uses the following 004010 EDI transaction sets in its load tendering process:
204 (Motor Carrier Load Tender) – Widget will transmit to the carrier a 204 transaction set. The 204 will include all information as to the pick-up and delivery of the load.
990 (Response to Load Tender) – The carrier will transmit to Widget a 990. It is used to accept or decline the load tender.
214 (Shipment Status Report) – The 214 is sent by the carrier to Widget to inform Widget of pickup appointment information, delivery appointment information, actual pickup information and actual delivery information.

Testing Procedures

Prior to going live with the above transactions sets Widget will conduct two forms of testing.

Integrity Testing – This consists of sending the carrier five different truckload or pool 204’s. The carrier will fill out an ‘Integrity Form’ and fax it to the EDI/EC transportation business contact for review. The purpose of Integrity testing is to make sure the carrier understands the information being sent in the 204.

Business Case Scenarios – After successful completion of Integrity testing the carrier will then receive business case scenarios. The intent of Business case scenarios are to mimic real live situations. Here the carrier will receive a 204, respond with a 990 and send all the appropriate 214 messages as outlined in the scenario.

Move to Production

When the carrier has successfully completed the above two tests and both the carrier and Widget feel confident in their ability a live date will be set. On this date Widget will begin tendering all loads to the carrier via EDI.

Overall flow of transactions

1. Widget tenders load tender (204) to carrier.
2. Carrier responds with an accept or decline 990. (With-in 3 hrs of receiving the load tender)
3. Carrier sends a 214 with Pick-up appointment date and time information. (With-in 24 hrs of Accepting the load tender)
4. Carrier sends a 214 with Delivery appointment date and time information (With-in 24 hrs of Accepting the load tender)
5. Carrier sends a 214 with actual Pick-up information. (With-in 48 hrs after the Delivery of the load)
6. Carrier sends a 214 with actual Delivery information (With-in 48 hrs after the Delivery of the load)

By Ken Kinlock at
Corsica Ferry

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See KC Jones blog on Third Party logistics providers are shrinking in number, but growing in size The Forum for Supply Chain Integration

ec-bp was established in 2005 as the advocate for lowering the barriers to the adoption of EDI, and our email newsletter has been published every month since that time. Our focus has expanded beyond EDI to encompas the full gamut of supply chain practices and technologies. In addition, our readership has grown to become the largest of any similarly focused publication, and has expanded to include more than 90,000 professionals involved in nearly every aspect of the supply chain.

Today’s supply chain is more than simple transport of EDI documents. The complexity of maintaining compliance with trading partners, managing the ever increasing amount of data, and analyzing that data to drive constant improvement in processes and service take supply chain professionals far beyond the basics of mapping EDI documents.

3PL / 4PL / 5PL / 6PL Definitions

In every EDI application, knowledge of the business needs and functions is of paramount importance. If you don't understand a "purchase order" or a "load tender" or a "health care claim or encounter" you'll never be able to map the ANSI or EDIFACT EDI data format for these transactions. In my experience, logistics is the toughest because of the many, many unrelated (by ownership) parties who need to be in the loop.

EDI started out simply. The manufacturer sent an EDI Purchase Order to the supplier. Gee boss, we are on EDI!!! Now we wanted to “automate” the link to the trucker or rail carrier that brought the part into the factory. Yup! Can do; but they have their own EDI format. OK, done! But were we really linked with all parties?

The manufacturer changed his concept. He started getting sophisticated. He started issuing blanket Purchase Orders and ordering his product through a Material Release. The Advance Ship Notice followed shortly. But the suppliers and the shipping companies started getting sophisticated too. But they were not all in synch....and forget about parts imported into the country.

Time to go back to school on that whole transportation thing.

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ glossary, defines 3PL as follows: "A firm [that] provides multiple logistics services for use by customers. Preferably, these services are integrated, or "bundled" together, by the provider. Among the services 3PLs provide are transportation, warehousing, cross-docking, inventory management, packaging, and freight forwarding." Third-party logistics providers are:
•freight forwarders
•courier companies
•other companies integrating & offering subcontracted logistics and transportation services

In the "PL" terminology, it is important to differentiate the 3PL from the:
•1PL, which are the shipper or the consignee,
•2PL, which are actual carriers,
•4PL (Fourth-party logistics provider, abbreviated 4PL, lead logistics provider, or 4th Party Logistics provider), which were originally just consulting firms specializing in logistics, transportation and supply chain management such as Rollins, Deloitte, SCMO (company), BMT Limited, or Accenture. Now a new crop of companies have emerged who are actual transportation companies too. While a 4PL is sometimes described as non-asset-owning service provider, their role is to provide broader scope managing of the entire supply chain.

See the full article on 3PL / 4PL / 5PL / 6PL Definitions

See my other blogs

See other blogs about EDI

Transportation for EDI and Electronic Commerce

Only a partial list! These are places we have visited and find them to be useful.
Eye for Transport View eyefortransport's comprehensive transportation glossary. A "must" when working with logistics.
Schneider National Schneider National is a recognized leader in EDI implementation in the trucking industry. With a team of EDI experts, Schneider has over 1200 trading partners communicating through a Value Added Network (VAN), direct or on a secure Internet connection.

Over 1 Million transactions per month
5,000 loads per day tendered by customers
99% electronic rail waybills sent to railroads
3,000 invoices per day electronically received by customers

Supported EDI standards and transaction sets
All ANSI X12 and EDIFACT versions
204 Load tender
990 Response to load tender
214 Shipment Status
210 Freight bill
820 Remittance advice

Schneider National employs multiple technologies and offer various integration options. Two of the more common alternatives to EDI are XML and proprietary flat file formats.
Schneider National

What is a 7PL?

Since I wrote my definitions article on 3PL / 4PL / 5PL / 6PL, 4PL has become almost as well known as 3PL; but the terms 5PL and 6PL have not exactly become household words. Now we have: 3PL + 4PL = 7PL. Let's quickly review these definitions:

Among the services 3PLs provide are transportation, warehousing, cross-docking, inventory management, packaging/repackaging, and freight forwarding. Examples of value-added services also provided by 3PL providers might include: (1) pick and pack; (2) marking, tagging, and labeling; (3) product returns and reverse distribution; (4) salvage and scrap disposal; (5) telemarketing.

While a 4PL is sometimes described as non-asset-owning service provider, their role is to provide broader scope managing of the entire supply chain. Now, along comes the 5PL who sometimes define themselves as broadening the scope further to e-business. A 6PL adds in import/export customs. Don't forget, the 1PL is the shipper or the consignee, and the 2PL are actual carriers, warehouses, etc.

7PL Logistics Update

Last year we talked about how a Fourth-party logistics provider (abbreviated 4PL) PLUS a Third-party logistics provider (3PL) might be regarded as a Seventh-Party logistics provider. But what is a LEAD LOGISTICS PROVIDER? Do we have too many layers, or does each add value? Is anybody, other than supply chain theory people embracing the 7PL concept? However, a well-established company (since 1976) who pioneered the NVOCC (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier) concept has declared itself a 10PL! See how Dedola Global Logistics has “modified” the PL categories. Hope you enjoy!
1PL – Shipper
2PL – Traditional Transportation Provider
3PL – Integrated Logistics Service Provider
4PL – High Level Logistics/IT Consulting
5PL – Consulting for the High Level Logistics/IT Consultants
6PL – Artificial Intelligence Driven Supply Chain Management
7PL – Autonomous Competitor Created to Test Alternative Supply Chain Strategies
8PL – Super Committee Created to Analyze Competitor’s Results
9PL – Crowd Sourced Managed Logistics Strategy
10PL – Supply Chain Becomes Self Aware and Runs Itself Read more about 7PLs
Indiana Harbor Belt Chicago's terminal railroad, the Indiana Harbor Belt upgraded its ineffective information management systems to an electronic data exchange.

Connecting roads used to call Indiana Harbor Belt "Chicago's black hole." They don't anymore. Here's more about Indiana Harbor Belt's electronic commerce system.
Railinc The EDI team at Railinc coordinates EDI standard setting activities and initiatives of the railroad industry with the responsible business process owners. This team maintains and publishes all railroad industry related EDI Guidelines Required Attire for a Remote Workforce

Ever wonder how your telecommuting colleagues really live? Turns out, many of them actually do work in their pajamas. They also tend to love their work-life balance – to the point where they’d take a pay cut to maintain the status quo. This is a “must read” for both remote workers and for their office-bound managers.
Providence & Worcester Railroad Many railroads, such as the Providence & Worcester offer a wide range of EDI and electronic commerce services.

Drop-Ship - The Ultimate

Imagine the bicycle delivery person in the picture pedaling through a “pedestrian zone”. His first stop is a small T-Shirt store. He brings their package inside and gets a signature on his hand-held device. Next, he delivers a smaller package to a teenager in a nearby apartment. Again he gets a signature. You have just seen the tail end of the supply chain.
Drop ship
EDI Tool Box What is EDI?
EDI Mapping
Blogs about EDI and eCommerce
Financial EDI
EDI with the Government
Electronic Commerce Communications Providers
EDI and EC Vendors
EDI Project Management
Transportation EDI
History of EDI
Unique Global Identity for EDI Messages
Who wrote all this good stuff?

Find out about EDI Global Identifiers and EDI Directories

Supply Chain Control Tower

Supply Chain Management Control Towers

Control towers are used in many industries for different purposes: airports and railroads use them for traffic control; power plants have control rooms to monitor operations; and third party logistics providers use them to track transportation activities. These are places where operations run well. Why not a


in order to monitor and assure your supply? Talk to us, we build them!

So just what is an SCM Control Tower? What are the functions of a Supply Chain Control Tower? Who staffs your Supply Chain Management Control Tower?

If you use an EDI VAN for your business, this message is for you. Move past the ancient VAN technology. JWH EDI Services Electronic Commerce Messaging System will bring your EDI operation into the 21st Century. The power of our global EDI network is available on your server, your cloud platform or your application. AND you cannot beat our prices.
You can connect and communicate with all your customers and trading partners through the JWH EDI Services Electronic Commerce Messaging System - Connect with trading partners around the world on a single Network-as-a-Service platform, get real-time transaction visibility and eliminate those manual network processes. It is a pay as you need model. We track all interchanges from the moment they enter the system, along every step across the network, and through the delivery confirmation.

How can we help you? Contact us: Ken Kinlock at

Year 2012 SCM Model

With the advent of web-based applications such as Zoho, Tracker, ACEProject, HappyTODOs, plus Google Docs, Sales Force, plus even GOTOMEETING and DropBox; there are a lot of new possibilities. I am not endorsing anybody , but considering these to replace desktop tools such as MS Project, Outlook and Excel. I want to be in the forefront as more and more companies replace the desktop software they are using and turn towards on-line – or “cloud-based” project management software solutions. Web based project management tools have several significant advantages over desktop software that make them cheaper, faster, and easier to upgrade. No installation or updates!

As the tool is web-based, there is no need to install any software, meaning that low-horsepower PCs can use the tool. All that is required is an on-line connection and a browser. Not only that, but when the tools are upgraded, and new features released, there’s no cumbersome process, or disks and drivers that need to be updated – just log on to your tool, and the latest version is there for you to use! It’s easier to manage outsourced teams.

As companies outsource more time-consuming parts of projects – managing them has now become a challenge. Different time zones, software, and business processes mean keeping the project up to date gets harder. Using desktop software opens up possibilities of delays to the project. With web based project and time management software, everything is easier. The whole team sees the same version, the project manager can update everyone simultaneously, and team members know right away what their role is, regardless of their time zone or geographical location.

See the full article on Year 2012 SCM Model

See my other blogs

See other blogs about EDI

Putting Your Supply Chain in the CLOUD

If your business is up and running, you probably already have an IT infrastructure, and want to continuously improve that infrastructure. The Cloud could be your answer. Now that the Cloud is here, mainstream IT is figuring out how to best make use of it.

What does the Cloud do for Supply Chain management? Supply Chain is, by nature, inter-company, so you already the Internet to manage your partnerships. Supply Chain Management must look at the Cloud for communication between businesses. Most business software is only designed to work within single companies, not between companies. Here is my list of things to think about when starting to move your supply chain to the cloud:
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