Understanding ASNs

by Jeanna Courter on March 17, 2015


Written by: Cory Raphaelson, Vendor Compliance Specialist at PBD Worldwide

What is an ASN?

ASN stands for Advanced Shipping Notice and is used to tell your customer, usually a retail or wholesale customer, that a shipment is on the way. This notification can be as simple as a phone call, email or fax or as complex as an EDI 856 transaction.

Every reseller has different requirements and different ways of sending the shipping information. The most common information required is the number of pallets or cartons, weight of the shipment, purchase order number, carrier, tracking number or Pro number and estimated delivery date. Some resellers require more detailed information such as the contents of each carton and the volume of the shipment. 

More advanced ASN’s require bar code labels which may tie into an EDI transaction. For these types of ASN’s, you will often go to the reseller’s website and fill out the required information in their template. Be careful though! If you don’t have all the required information at your fingertips and need to pause to find the necessary information, you could potentially create 2 ASN’s for the same shipment.

Don’t think you need an ASN? Think again. Most resellers will hit you with a chargeback if you do not send an ASN or if you make a mistake on an ASN. Be especially careful when submitting an ASN through a website. Many people think they have sent the ASN, but later find out it was not submitted and receive a chargeback. When submitting a digital ASN, most websites will provide you an acknowledgement that it was received. It is a good idea to save a copy of the acknowledgement for proof.

Why do resellers want an ASN?

Retailers and wholesalers want an ASN so they know and can plan for what is going to be received. By planning ahead, they ensure they have the proper staff to process the shipment and make it available for sale. Just like any company, they do not want to overstaff and have employees standing around with nothing to do. Instead, they want to be able to move resources to different areas to improve their utilization.

When should you send an ASN?

The best time to send an ASN is as soon as the shipment is processed and you have your tracking information available. Often times an ASN for a shipment that ships late in the day is not submitted to the next day. Some resellers may consider this late and issue a chargeback, so it is best to be proactive and send as soon as possible.

What is an ASN Chargeback?

An ASN chargeback is a fee for not sending an ASN, a late ASN or sending duplicate ASNs. Some chargebacks are as little as $25.00 or as high as $250.00 per carton. Some resellers may also choose to charge a percentage of the shipment value.

Who should submit your ASN?

You or your staff may want to submit the ASN yourselves, but the better option is to have your shipping team submit it for you. By letting your fulfillment center perform this service, you can minimize the risk of errors which result in chargebacks. Your fulfillment team should have someone on staff that is familiar with the different reseller requirements, understands the process and does it on a repetitive basis.

For more information on retailer and wholesaler compliance, check out our blog: Retailer Compliance: Tips for Success.


Topics: Fulfillment Services, Fulfillment Center, Retailer Compliance, Advanced Shipping Notice, ASN, Wholesaler Compliance