Despatch advice
A detailed usage description of the Despatch advice message


The despatch advice message is used to communicate information regarding the shipment of products. It is based on the ubl Despatch Advice message, and made specific for SCSN usage by removing certain attributes and adding some data and cardinality constraints. The despatch advice message describes a descrete delivery, e.g. a truck dropping of products. This delivery may contain multiple orders or parts of orders. The despatch advice message allows describing which products are being delivered and is designed to support the flexible ways in which orders are shipped in practice while enabling traceability of products through the shipment process. For an exact message specification see this page.

Relation to other messages

After an order has been placed the manufactured order will be shipped. As such, the despatch advice is related to the order messages. The despatch advice is not directly related to any other SCSN messages but in practice will be used as part of a larger order process in which multiple message types will be used.
The relation to an order can be defined in two different ways. The first option is using the order reference component and providing the purchase order currently being despatched. Optionally, a sales order reference may also be provided. This way of connecting a despatch advice to an order my only be used when the despatch relates to only one order (i.e. all products being delivered are for one order)
When the product despatch contains products from multiple different orders the despatch line component of the message must be used. The despatch line not only allows the communication of multiple orders in one delivery, but can also be used when an order is only partially despatched. To despatch line to an order, use the order line reference component and provide the purchase order and order line. This also allows despatching an order line, instead of a whole order, and even despatching partial orders of order lines. Enabling both flexibility in describing what is shipped, while still keeping the highest level of traceability possible.
An important usage note, it is possible that all products from one order are despatched at the same time but these products are manufactured in different batches. In this case the despatch line should be used to separate these different batches. Otherwise traceability across batches may be lost in transport and the customer may think all products are from the same batch.
The image above describes the relation between despatch, order and measurement messages.

Describing despatched product

When despatching a single order, the despatched item does not have to be described in the despatch line. This is already provided in the order message the despatch relates to. However, when despatching a more complicated set of products, as described in the despatch line component, the specific despatched items have to be provided.
The despatched item is a component of the despatch line and provides an item specification for every despatch line, this includes information such as the items dimensions and the serial number.

Describing package structures

When products are despatched these are usually grouped in some way in the shipment. This grouping of products is modelled in the shipment component of the despatch advice message. There are two shipment definitions provided. The first one is applicable to the entire despatch advice and is used to describe the overall shipment, for example the delivery stage or the weight of the entire shipment. The second shipment component is on the level of despatch line and allows describing the shipment details within the overall despatch.
Both shipment components contain a transport handling unit, which can be thought of as the actual box or container with products . These may contain a Trace ID, which link the physical product to a logical description (e.g. an RFID tag), the handling units also allow describing some key information regarding the product box and enable modelling different containers placed inside each other (e.g. a box of products placed on a pallet, placed in a shipping container).


A simple despatch message is provided in the image below. It starts with some header information describing the delivery, it contains a description of who is sending the delivery, who is making the delivery and to who the delivery is sent. There is also some general shipment information provided, such as the estimated delivery period. The example below then contains three different order lines. The example shows three despatch lines describing the delivery of items. Despatch line number one delivers 2 boxes with dishwashers, the second despatch line despatches an item from the same order, but a different orderline, in that case a box containing an oven. The last despatch line describes some cleaning agent, ordered in a different order. The bottles of cleaning agent are stored in 3 boxes, on one pallet. In the message specification this may be described as pallet being the transport handling unit, used to handle 3 packages (being the boxes) which contain the 150 bottles of cleaning agent. This does assume that every bottle of cleaning agents is a single item. For every product a traceID is provided, matching the transport handling unit to, for example, a barcode.
Color coding only for matching the message to the visualization below it