Shippers handle numerous transactions; the use of EDI integration within a TMS can save millions of dollars due to early payment discounts. Aside from the financial benefits, there is a multitude of advantages from implementing EDI. Exchanging documents electronically improves transaction speed and visibility while decreasing the amount of money you would spend on a manual process. Here are several examples of EDI transactions within a TMS.
What is EDI?
Before addressing EDI in transportation, it’s crucial to understand what exactly EDI alone is. Electronic Data Interchange or EDI is not only used within the logistics/ transportation industries. EDI is the computer to computer exchange of business documents in a standard electronic format between business partners. It was developed in the 1960s EDI was created to speed the process of shipping and transporting documents. EDI replaces postal mail, fax, and email. While email is also an electronic approach, the documents exchanged via email must still be handled by people rather than computers. Having people involved delays the processing of the documents and also has a higher risk of errors. Instead, EDI documents can pass straight through to the appropriate application on the receiver’s computer, and processing can begin instantly.
Examples of EDI Transaction in Transportation
Carrier Load Tender
Used by shippers or 3PLs to tender an offer for a shipment to a full truckload motor carrier
Freight Details and Invoice
Electronic invoice complete with shipment details
Bill of Lading
Electronic bill of lading which states shipment date, reference numbers, shipper, consignee, and shipment contents
Delivery Trailer Manifest
Allows carriers to provide consignees with the contents of the trailer
Shipment Status Message
Provides shipments statuses including shipper information, consignee information, current shipment location, dates, proof of delivery, and shipment description