Barcode label items with variable weight

GS1 barcodes make it possible to transfer information quickly and securely from things to computers. They are used all over the world to label, for example, consumer packaging, cases and pallets. This information is for you who are going to number and barcode label items with variable weight, for example meat, fish, cheese, fruit and vegetables.

Consumer packages with variable weight

Consumer packages with variable weight is often sold at a price based on kilogram. In order to be able to price each package individually, it must be numbered with a variable weight number and marked with the barcode EAN-13. The price is calculated using the item’s kilo price and the weight of the package.

Number the consumer package

Consumer items with variable weights, for example meat, fish and cheese, are numbered with a national variable weight number and marked with the barcode EAN-13. For items with variable weight, you need to order both a GS1 Company prefix and a GS1 Variable Weight Prefix.

Label the consumer package

Once you have created a variable weight number and numbered your consumer packages, then mark them with the EAN-13 barcode.

Variable weight number abroad

A variable weight number is national, which means that a Swedish variable weight number can only be used in Sweden. If you are going to sell items with variable weight in another country, you must contact the GS1 organization in the country where you are going to sell the items. They can give you a variable weight number that applies in the country in question.

Cases with variable weight

Cases containing items with variable weight should be numbered with the GS1 item number GTIN (Global Trade Item Number), and not with a variable weight number. GTIN, as opposed to a variable weight number, is an item number that is unique throughout the world. You can therefore use the same GTIN on the outer package regardless to which country the item will be sold.

Number cases

Cases containing items with variable weight should be numbered with the item number GTIN-14. Keep in mind that the first digit in GTIN-14, that is, the logistic variant, should always be 9.

Label the outer packaging

Outer packages containing items with variable weight must be marked with the barcode GS1-128. The barcode can carry additional information and should contain both the GTIN and weight of the outer package, but can also contain batch number and a date, for example best before date.

Items delivered to deli counter

An item that, for example is to be delivered to a deli counter and that won’t be read in a checkout point should not be marked with a variable weight number. These should be labeled in the same way as an outer package containing items with variable weight.

Pallets of varying weight

A pallet containing items with variable weight should be numbered with a GS1 item number — a GTIN (Global Trade Item number). You do this to, for example, be able to distinguish a pallet of sliced entrecote from a pallet of sliced steak in the item database.

Number and barcode label the pallet

The content on each pallet should be numbered with a SSCC (Serial Shipping Container Code) and marked with a GS1 Pallet label. SSCC is a unique number that allows the content on one pallet to be separated from the contents on other pallets. The pallet label is needed for the pallet to be handled in the warehouse, when the buyer receives the goods and manages stock.

To create an SSCC, your company must be a GS1 customer and subscribe to a GS1 Company prefix.

If your pallet is not the orderable unit

If the pallet is not the orderable unit, it should be numbered with GTIN-13 or GTIN-14. The item number is normally transferred to the buyer in the trade item information, and should not be transferred to the barcode on the pallet label.

Instead the pallet label contains the GTIN of the cases, the total weight of the pallet, the number of cases on the pallet and the contents SSCC, but can also include, for example, the expiry date and batch number.

If your pallet is the orderable unit

If the pallet is the orderable unit, for example, if the pallet is an display unit, it should be numbered with GTIN-14. The item number must begin with the number 9, in the same way as for outer packages containing items with variable weight.

The barcode on the pallet label should, in addition to the pallet GTIN, also contain information about the total weight of the pallet and the contents SSCC, but may also contain, for example, best before date and batch number.