What is EDI and How Does ShipHawk Work with EDI Providers?
  • Janna Prowell
March 30, 2021
Posted by Janna Prowell
Janna Prowell

What is EDI and How Does ShipHawk Work with EDI Providers?

EDI Defined

An Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a computer-to-computer exchange of business documents using an industry-standard electronic format. Specifically, an EDI automates the transfer of buying documents between business partners with the direct benefit of reducing cost and errors, increasing speed, and improving transparency and partnership between firms. 

In a relationship between retailers and suppliers, typical buying documents are exchanged. The most common of these documents are:

  • Purchase orders
  • Purchase order acknowledgments 
  • Invoices and advanced ship notices (ASNs)

In addition to these documents, an EDI can exchange bills of lading, customs documents, inventory forms, shipping status notices, and payment stubs.

ShipHawk & EDI Providers

ShipHawk does not directly integrate with any EDI providers. Rather, ShipHawk integrates with ERPs such as NetSuite that then integrate with EDI providers. Essentially, the ERP serves as a communication hub between ShipHawk and the EDI provider.

ShipHawk returns data to ERP’s that EDI providers require to create advanced shipment notices (ASN). ASNs are electronic messages sent from the carrier to the customer prior to the shipment leaving the carrier facility.

Today, ShipHawk writes package details, ID, cost, weight, and tracking numbers to the Item Fulfillment record in a mix of NetSuite standard fields and ShipHawk custom fields. 

ShipHawk can be configured to write EDI related information to the ShipHawk Package Items tab on the Item Fulfillment Record. Customers have created ways to share that information with the common EDI providers, such as SPS Commerce and TrueCommerce.

Some of the commonly required information that ShipHawk can / will write back to NetSuite include:

  • ShipHawk shipping method (typically carrier service aka 'Ship Via' in NetSuite)
  • Shipment ID
  • Carrier services
  • Carrier name
  • Shipping cost (at time of label generation aka billed or accrued shipping cost)

When ShipHawk transmits this data to NetSuite (aka we update or create an Item Fulfillment record) the above data can transfer over as well. From there, the EDI provider can use that information to create an ASN to fulfill the vendor’s requirements.

A few common EDI providers that ShipHawk customers work with are SPS Commerce, TrueCommerce, B2B Gateway, MuleSoft, and Dell Boomi.


ShipHawk’s Pain Point articles use questions that our team has been asked over and over again by businesses looking for ways to optimize their fulfillment operation.

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