Barcoding pallets

GS1 Logistics Label is a standardized label used to mark logistic units, for example pallets. With the help of the label, a logistic unit can be traced throughout the supply chain from manufacturing to end customer.

GS1 Logistics Label can be one of, or a combination of, pallet label, transport label, retail and customer pack label. The process of marking the pallet with a GS1 Logistics Label takes place in four steps: Create GS1 package number for the transport unit, read and understand rules about labels and barcode, create label and barcode, and place label.

1. Create GS1 package numbers for the transport unit

Common to the three types of labels is that it is mandatory to enter a GS1 package number, also known as the Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC). SSCC is used to number transport units with unique package numbers and enables manufacturers, suppliers, carriers and buyers to track it from manufacturing to end customer. To create an SSCC, your company must be a customer to GS1 and subscribe to a GS1 Company Prefix.

Is SSCC already on the transport unit?

If the transport unit is already marked with SSCC, for example on a pallet label, no new SSCC should be created. Instead, the existing SSCC should be read from the pallet label and used again on the transport label.

2. Rules for label and barcode

The labels and barcodes that you mark your transport unit with include, among other things, information about the address to which the goods are to be transported, the contents of the pallet and the store or customer’s information. Because the information differs between types of labels, it’s important that you read and know the rules that apply to the labels you need.

Here we have gathered overall rules and recommendations for format, information and placement for GS1 Logistics Label, as well as examples of pallet labels.

Also try our tool where you can produce examples of pallet labels.

3. Create label and barcode

For the GS1 Logistics Label, the Barcode Standard GS1-128 shall be used. The barcode label is created with a software and a printer. In the software, you enter what information should be included and what type of barcode to use.

Parameters to set:

  • Select GS1-128.
  • X-dimension, the width of the barcode bars should be at least 0,495 mm.
  • The height of the barcode should be at least 31,75 mm.
  • Max 48 characters (including FNC1).

If you don’t have access to software or a printer, you can hire someone to do it for you, for example a packaging designer, advertising agency or printing service. Here is a list of barcode vendors.

We also recommend that you ensure the quality of the barcode before placing the label on the pallet.

4. Place label

It is important that you place your label with the barcode correctly, so that it can be easily and efficiently read with a scanner. The pallet label should, for example, always be visible and must never be covered with plastic or other label, at least one pallet label should be displayed and if two they should be placed on two adjacent sides.

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