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ERPGenie.COM -> SAP Interfacing Technology -> EDI -> Standard Carrier Alpha Codes (SCAC)

For a list of SCAC codes click here

The Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) is a unique two-to-four-letter code used to identify transportation companies. NMFTA (National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc.) developed the SCAC identification codes in the late 1960's to facilitate computerization in the transportation industry.

For the official website of the NMFTA, where you need to order your codes or get registered, click here.

The Standard Carrier Alpha Code is the recognized transportation company identification code used in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 and United Nations EDIFACT approved electronic data interchange (EDI) transaction sets such as the 856 Advance Ship Notice, the 850 Purchase Order and all motor, rail and water carrier transactions where carrier identification is required. The SCAC is required on tariffs filed with the Surface Transportation Board (STB). The United States Customs Service has mandated the use of the SCAC for their Automated Manifest (AMS) and Pre-Arrival Processing (PAPS) Systems. SCACs are required when doing business with all U.S. Government agencies and with many commercial shippers including, but not limited to, those in the automobile,petroleum, forest products, and chemical industries as well as suppliers to retail businesses and carriers engaged in railroad piggyback trailer and ocean container drayage. Carriers who use the Uniform Intermodal Interchange Agreement (UIIA) are required to maintain a valid SCAC. The petroleum industry uses SCACs in GE Information Services's PETROEX set of integrated software programs that expedite the movement of bills of lading, pipeline tickets, product transfer orders, and inventory data. Many commercial shippers and receivers utilize SCACs in their freight bill audit and payment systems.

Certain groups of SCACs are reserved for specific purposes. Codes ending in the letter "U" are reserved for the identification of freight containers. Codes ending in the letter "X" are reserved for the identification of privately owned railroad cars. Codes ending in the letter "Z" are reserved for the identification of truck chassis and trailers used in railroad intermodal service.

The National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc., (NMFTA) assigns SCACs for all companies except those used for identification of freight containers not operating exclusively in North America, intermodal chassis and trailers, non-railroad owned rail cars, and railroads. Companies seeking identification codes for freight containers not operating in North America should contact the Bureau International des Containers, 167, rue de Courcelles, F-75017 Paris, France. Owners of intermodal chassis, trailers, non-railroad owned rail cars, and railroads should contact Robert Burkhart, RAILINC, 7001 Weston Parkway, Suite 200, Cary, NC 27513 (919) 651-5004. 


The Standard Carrier Alpha Codes are published by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc., in the Directory of Standard Carrier Alpha Codes (SCAC). The Directory is updated on a quarterly basis and is reissued annually. The SCAC data is also available on CD-ROM in ASCII format. The record length is 254 characters. 

For further information, please write to the National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc., 2200 Mill Road, Alexandria, VA 22314.

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