An advance shipping notice is a notification sent from a seller to a buyer, detailing the estimated delivery date and time of a shipment, as well as the contents of the delivery. The information stated in the notice may include the following:
The exact contents of the shipment
How the goods are configured within the delivery truck
The type of packaging used
The identity of the carrier
The identifying customer order number
This notice is usually an electronic notification, and may be formatted as an electronic data interchange transaction. The information can be used to schedule which receiving dock to use for a specific delivery, as well as to plan for an adequate amount of available manpower to process receipts. The information can also be used to compare what has been shipped to the contents of the original customer order, to see if there are any variances to be investigated.