The SCAC code is an identification number for carriers in the US. With SCAC codes you can automate shipment updates and increase your efficiency.

Transparency and efficiency are essential variables in an excellent working supply chain. Computerized systems allow better management of needed paperwork and better communication between different companies. That’s where the SCAC code comes in. Paired with a computerized system, the codes help container logistics become more efficient and have more visible transactions. How does a SCAC code do that? Keep on reading

The SCAC code 101

SCAC stands for Standard Carrier Alpha Code and is a unique 2 to 4-letter code. The SCAC code was developed in the 1960s to computerize information and to identify transportation in the US. The SCAC code is used to monitor across the transporting modes in motor, rail, and water.

Through the SCAC code, shipping documents are registered with a computer system. It’s documents such as freight bill, bill of lading, packing list, and purchase orders. This data allows regulation of transport services and facilitates information to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

With LTL or truckload shipping SCAC codes are standard for automated operations and creates greater efficiency and transparency. The SCAC code is obligatory within the US. They use the SCAC code in different industries like automobile, petroleum, forestry, railroad, and ocean container industries.

Using this code is overall essential in food and drug administration processes. It guarantees accurate and efficient monitoring in the country.

SCAC code examples

These SCAC codes are listed and can be viewed by everyone. The code can be obtained from the NMFTA (The National Motor Freight Traffic Association).

Let’s look at some examples of SCAC codes of a few of the biggest international carriers. The letters in bold is the SCAC code: 

  • MSCU – MSC – Mediterranean Shipping Company 
  • CMDU – CMA CGM – Compagnie Maritime d’Affrètement Compagnie Generale Maritime 
  • COSU – COSCO Container Lines 
  • HLCU – Hapag Lloyd Container Line
  • MAEU – Maersk Line 

SCAC codes and shipping EDI

As we mentioned before, you use SCAC codes together with a computerized system. This system is called EDI. EDI stands for Electronic Data Interchange. It’s a computer-to-computer exchange of business documents between business partners and stakeholders. It allows a paperless transfer of important information in a common language between sender and receiver.

How EDI integration works with the help of SCAC code

You can share many kinds of documents via EDI. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Purchase orders,
  • Invoices,
  • Advance ship notices,
  • Bill of lading,
  • Customs documents,
  • Inventory documents,
  • Shipping status documents,
  • Payment documents.

When you use the EDI system, it reduces costs and errors. It improves efficiency and the relationship with business partners and replaces postal mail, fax, and email.

Who uses EDI in shipping logistics?

Freight forwarders, NVOCCs, customs brokers, and customs officers are the most common companies that use the EDI system. You can use the EDI integration to automatically update ETAs, release statuses, and share documents. Different types of data are transferred with different methods of EDI. The most common in the industry are:

File Transfer Protocol (FTP):

Transferring files from one network to another. In the shipping industry, those files are e.g. the shipping data transmission.


Is used to communicate between sender and receiver of different countries and languages.

Whether you work at a container depot, are a freight forwarder or carrier, you know that updating customers is time-consuming. What’s the container release status? Any changes to the ETA? Have you updated the sales offers? Checked the leasing offers? And so the questions continue raining down on you.

Imagine you wouldn’t have the stress of hundreds of phone calls and emails ticking in asking for those updates. Instead, customers can check everything online. That’d make your life easier, right?

You can now make that your reality with xChange Connect. xChange Connect links your system to the xChange platform. That way your leasing offers are automatically updated – and if you’re more into trading, it creates your sales offers automatically.

Connecting with xChange not only digitizes and automates many of your manual processes when it comes to updating sales and leasing offers. It also keeps track of your shipments and their statuses. Want to learn more? Click on the banner below and get in touch with our team.

SCAC code and EDI integration

SCAC codes, EDI, and transparency

The logistics industry faces different challenges when it comes to efficiency and transparency. The synchronization and communication between the different parties within the supply chain is often a problem. That leads to insufficient traceability and end-to-end visibility. That’s one of the reasons for the SCAC codes in the 1960s.

The SCAC code and the EDI technology provide more transparency and efficiency. They ensure efficient communication due to the safe, fast, and fluid electronic exchange of data between sender and receiver. This is necessary for overseas exports because of the need to manage operations in shipping ports, customs, and more.

Internal management processes such as electronic transactions like orders, dispatch notices, or electronic invoices, can be processed without human intervention. Aside from the automation that minimizes human error, the standardized language prevents misunderstandings.

For carriers based in the US, SCAC codes make the transfer of those documents and information easier through EDI.

Automate your updates with  xChange Connect

You’ve just clicked ‘send’ and watch another email disappear on your screen. The deep breath and feeling of contentment stay lodged in your throat. Because you know, that that email will far from be the last one you send out today. And the now quiet phone next to you is like the silence before the storm. Because giving updates on containers and shipments around the world – and getting updated yourself – is almost a full-time job. A full-time job, you have to take care of next to all your other responsibilities at work.

Now, imagine you could use that mandatory SCAC code and EDI integration to ease your workload.

With xChange Connect we link your system with xChange to automatically transmit data and reduce your manual and repetitive tasks. That way your leasing offers are automatically updated on the platform – and so are your sales offers. Your customers can also go onto xChange and check the status of the shipments through detailed track and trace reports. Where you can also get notifications when there’s a container event – such as ETA’s, pick-up, and returns. Automizing your container logistics can save you time, money, and get more satisfied customers, as all the information they’d be looking for is readily available for them online on xChange.

Want to learn how your SCAC code and EDI integration can leave you with more satisfied customers and ease your workload? Click on the banner below and get in touch with our expert team. They’ll happily show you the platform and explain the benefits of xChange Connect.

SCAC code and EDI integration

SCAC Code | Create Automation, Efficiency and Transparency
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SCAC Code | Create Automation, Efficiency and Transparency
SCAC code is an identification number for carriers in the US. With SCAC codes you can automate shipment updates and increase your efficiency.
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Container xChange
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