Advance Shipping Notice [ASN] Law and Legal Definition

An Advance Ship Notice or Advance Shipping Notice (ASN) is a notification of pending deliveries, similar to a packing list. It is usually sent in an electronic format. The ASN can be used to list the contents of a shipment of goods as well as additional information relating to the shipment, such as order information, product description, physical characteristics, type of packaging, markings, carrier information, and configuration of goods within the transportation equipment. The ASN enables the sender to describe the contents and configuration of a shipment in various levels of detail and provides an ordered flexibility to convey information .

The ASN is noteworthy in that it is a new concept in logistics, enabled by the advance of modern communication methods. Although it provides information similar to the Bill of Lading, its function is very different. While the Bill of Lading is meant to accompany a load on its path, the goal of the ASN is to provide information to the destination's receiving operations well in advance of delivery. Modern receiving operations rarely have time to break down a shipping unit (carton or pallet) and identify its components, depending instead on quick scans of barcodes on shipping labels. An ASN can provide a list of all of the barcoded ID numbers of the shipping units and the contents of each. The time required to receive the load, then, is greatly reduced.