Advance Shipping Notice

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Advance shipping notice (also known as advance ship notice) is a paperless document that is sent through an electronic data interchange (EDI). It reduces costs and increases accuracy in receiving shipments in warehouses and stores by standardizing the way detailed information is sent to recipients and reducing the amount of paperwork by sending it in a digital format instead of on physical paper. You will receive these and many other benefits by using Fishbowl in combination with SPS Commerce's EDI solution.


What is an EDI? That is a good question to ask before we get in too deep about advanced shipping notification, which is a part of everything that EDIs do. An EDI allows you to work with a variety of retailers. Even though you just have one way in which you format your outgoing information on shipments and orders that you send to all of your customers, each retailer has its own format that they prefer to view incoming detailed information in. It is not practical for you to modify every shipping document and bit of data that you send in order to tailor it to meet their specific requirements.

Imagine the headache that would be. Instead, you can use an EDI to do that work for you. In fact, most big box retailers require any vendors that work with them to use an EDI to conform to their specifications when sending data. So it is a good idea to start using an EDI sooner rather than later to save yourself from trouble down the road by not using one. Now that we have that information, let’s continue on with our discussion of advance shipping notices.


You might think that an advance shipment notice is just a glorified packing list because it contains information about what is being shipped. The great thing about advance shipping notices is that they provide detailed information far beyond what a packing list does, and they do that well ahead of the delivery of a purchase order. Fishbowl handles the packing list creation while SPS Commerce automatically generates advance shipping notices.

There is a variety of information that can be included in an advanced shipping notice. It all depends on the sender’s and recipient’s preferences. This information includes:

  • Type of packaging used
  • Detailed description of products, including their physical details like total weight and dimensions
  • Condition of products
  • Shipping carrier information
  • Placement of products in the packages
  • And much more


With this important tool, warehouse workers can know well in advance about any discrepancies between what they ordered and what is being delivered to them. Also, they can perform receiving procedures much quicker when they have detailed reports on exactly what is included in each shipment or purchase order. This all adds up to greater efficiency and lower costs thanks to all of the time saved.

Learn more about advanced shipping notice and the benefits of using a complete EDI solution with Fishbowl and SPS Commerce.


An advance shipping notice is an electronic document that is sent ahead of a shipment via an EDI to indicate all of the items that are being shipped. Not only that, but it also has other additional information, including:

  • Type of packaging used
  • Detailed description of products, including their physical details
  • Condition of products
  • Carrier information
  • Product arrangement in the package(s)

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