What is EDI? Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the computer-to-computer exchange of business documents in a standard electronic format between business partners.

In the shipping industry, customers can set up EDI with their carriers to submit and receive shipment information. If you use EDI for existing business applications, you may want to consider using it to manage your shipment data.

In the olden days, a hard copy of the manifest used to be handed over to the captain of the ship and also a hard copy of the same used to be couriered or posted to the relevant discharge ports..

As technology improved, there was the process by which the manifest was sent to the relevant discharge ports by email.. The manifests thus received by the discharge port agents were manually captured into their respective computer systems..

With the advent of EDI, the above can now be avoided and precious time can be saved.. When sent as an EDI message, the data can be instantly downloaded into the recipient’s system thereby avoiding manual capture which in turn will avoid any typographical errors and also saves a lot of time.

This EDI messaging is also used to send the data to Customs (Manifest, Bill of Entry), Port (Container Stowage planning, Cargo Dues, Load/Discharge list, Container moves), Principals (Load/Discharge list, Container moves, Bookings).

Usually there are software that will help to convert data into an EDI format and this is then sent by email to the recipient same as a normal machine.. At the other end, there are systems that can automatically receive these msgs and transfer them back into data in their system.