What is an EDI 204?

EDI 204, also known as Motor Carrier Load Tender, is an electronic data interchange document used by shippers to offer, or tender, a truckload or less than truckload shipment to a carrier. A shipper can be a manufacturer, a distribution center, a retailer, or anyone else wishing to ship goods. A carrier is generally a freight provider, such as FedEx Freight, Old Dominion, or UPS Freight. 

EDI 204 documents follow the x12 format set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a not-for-profit organization that regulates EDI formats in the U.S. 

Example of EDI 204

What are the Essential Components of EDI 204?

An EDI 204 document must include several essential pieces of information regarding a potential shipment, in order to allow the carrier to reasonably decide if they want to accept the tender. Details which may be present in EDI 204 include: 

  • Shipper and receiver identification information, such as names, addresses, and vendor ID numbers 
  • Shipping instructions, including pickup and delivery window, and any special pickup or delivery requirements. 
  • Equipment requirements, such as truck carriage size and length 
  • Load details, including lading quantities, dimensions and weight 
Fully automate your processes with integration

How Do I Use EDI 204?

Usually, EDI 204 is created and sent by a shipper when they have goods that need to be transported. The tender serves as an offer to the carrier, providing details about the load and requesting that they pick up the shipment. 

If the carrier chooses to accept the load, they will send back an EDI 990, also known as the Response to a Load Tender transaction set or reach out by other means to notify you on the status of the request. EDI 990 will indicate whether the carrier has accepted or declined the shipment offer.  

EDI 204 is generally used for full truckload shipments and less-than-truckload shipments. Some shippers will expect a response to EDI 204 within a specific time period; it is important to respond to this document quickly to maintain a healthy relationship with your trading partners. 

What are the Benefits of EDI 204?

Electronic data interchange documents are encrypted to provide security and protect sensitive details about orders, shipments, payments, and trading partners. EDI 204 uses data transfer automation to eliminate errors from manual retyping, which can lead to delivery mistakes, delays and chargebacks. Additionally, the document can help shippers plan their shipments, and provide consistent shipping details to carriers, which can streamline interactions between partners. The carrier benefits from being able to plan pickups and deliveries and the corresponding shipment requirements. 

EDI Format Example

EDI 204 can be viewed in two formats – a human “readable” version and a “raw” data version. The example below shows the raw EDI data, which is usually translated using integrated EDI software, and then sent to your business system (ERP) for use by your EDI manager or other employees. 

Click to See Example

ISA*00*          *00*          *02*ODFL           *12*9622309900     *      *    *U*00401*         *0*T*> 








N1*CN*Retailer DC 

N3*321 1st Street 


G61*DC*John Smith*TE*5555555555 

N1*SF*Test Company 

N3*123 Main Street 


















Ready to Do Business in Every Direction?

Get more information, a demo or quote

contact a specialist