Encoding Transport Process Information GS1 Implementation Guideline

Rules for encoding transport data to enable transport processes (Scan4Transport) Release 1.0, Ratified, Aug 2021

1 Introduction

The GS1 Logistics Label has been established successfully for many years to support the flow and management of transport units along the supply chain. However, users, supporting the transport process (i.e. logistics service providers), need to have transport data encoded directly on the label to best support their processes. In response to these requirements, this Implementation Guideline explains how to add relevant transport data in a 2D Code on the transport label while supporting existing applications.

The Guideline specifically details how existing and recently approved GS1 Application Identifiers can be used to encode transport process information. Additionally, a reference in Section 5.1.1 points out that pilot testing was done to understand how GS1 Digital Link URI syntax could be used for encoding transport process information.

Contributors have expressed their support of the approach described in this standard to ensure interoperability among stakeholders in the transportation of goods from source (seller) to final destination (buyer).

This Implementation Guideline consists of three main parts:

  • PART I
    The principles, covered in sections 4 to 5, explain the main business needs and challenges and the way these will be addressed. The principles are not rules but help to explain the logic behind the rules.
  • PART II
    The rules, covered in sections 6 to 9, specify how the identification keys, data elements and data capture standards (2D barcodes, transport unit labels) must be applied.
  • PART III
    This section provides examples of how the standard can be implemented using GS1 barcodes.

Part I and Part II describe normative rules, meaning they are based on and compliant with the GS1 General Specifications.

Part III provides detailed examples of how implementations of the GS1 AIs could be used to encode transport process information.

All parts of this Implementation Guideline build upon the General Specifications and the GS1 Logistic Label Guideline.

Please see the GS1 Transport-and-Logistics website for more information about GS1’s projects and developments related to the use of GS1 standards in the T&L environment.

1.1 Target audience

All parties involved in creating transport units or handling transport units at any stage of their journey from original source to final destination, may use this Implementation Guideline.
These include:

  • Senders of goods (e.g., manufacturers, sellers, marketplaces, retailers),
  • Receivers of goods (e.g., consumers, buyers, businesses of all sizes, authorities like municipalities, hospitals),
  • Logistic Service Providers <LSP> (e.g.,carriers, couriers, express and parcel operators, postal operators) and
  • Regulators

1.2 Scope of the standard

Today’s Transport & Logistics (T&L) industry and supply chain are becoming ever more open and competitive, with increasing numbers of service providers (especially in Last Mile) and also new entrants coming in from outside the traditional T&L environment.

As a result, Transport & Logistics processes have become far more international and complex. This drives the need for greater interoperability among stakeholders in the T&L environment and among their systems and supply chains.

To meet these challenges, the Transport & Logistics industry must improve its operational processes and develop capabilities to manage and track all their activities at the level of the individual transport unit.

A key enabler is the SSCC with the ability to identify transport units unambiguously across the systems and processes between all stakeholders.

This Implementation Guideline defines the rules, roles and responsibilities regarding the creation of transport unit labels when using GS1 2D barcodes to include more transport process data on GS1 transport labels. The SSCC is the mandatory identifier required on all transport labels and this standard defines how it should be used in concert with optional attributes to support transport and logistic processes.

1.3 Conventions applied in this document

1.3.1 References

References to documents, websites etc. are indicated as follows [REFERENCE, paragraph number (optional)]. The list of references with full details is included in section 2.

1.3.2 Rules and recommendations

Rules and recommendations are numbered per section. For example, clause [4-3] is the third clause in section 4.

Within this specification, the terms SHALL, SHALL NOT, SHOULD, SHOULD NOT, MAY, NEED NOT, CAN, and CANNOT are to be interpreted as specified in section 7 of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2, edition 7.0 [ISODir2]. When used in this way, these terms will always be shown in ALL CAPS; when these words appear in ordinary typeface they are intended to have their ordinary English meaning.

1.3.3 Format of element strings

The following conventions apply to indicate the format of GS1 Application Identifiers and data fields.

To indicate the allowed characters:

  • N numeric digit
  • X any character, see [GENSPECS, figure 7.11 – 1] for the allowed characters.
To indicate the length:
  • Nn exact number of digits
  • N..n maximum number of digits
  • Xn exact number of characters
  • X..n maximum number of characters
Examples:
  • X3 exactly 3 characters
  • N..18 up to 18 numeric digits
To indicate digit / character position:
  • Xn
  • Nn
Examples:
  • N3 numeric digit on position 3
  • X16 any character on position 16

2 References

Table 21 Normative references

REF ID

Document

Author / Year

GENSPECS

GS1 General Specifications

GS1, latest

ISODIR2

ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2: Rules for the structure and drafting of International Standards – 7th edition, 2016

ISO

LogLabGuide

GS1 Logistic Label Guideline

GS1, latest

LIM

Logistics Interoperability Model

GS1, latest

RFC 6570

URI Template

https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6570 

RFC 2606

Reserved Top Level Domain Names

https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2606 

RFC 6761

Special-Use Domain Names

https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6761 

RFC 3986

Uniform Resource Identifier: Generic Syntax

https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3986 

22 Relevant regulations for Transport & Logistic stakeholders

Regulation

Description

Not Applicable

 

3 Terms and definitions

For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

The term Logistic Label stands for the label on a transport unit that includes an SSCC. As this Implementation Guideline focuses on transport issues and the term transport label is the more accepted term in the transport area this document also uses transport label.

3.1 General concepts

Location

A geographic position of an entity, in either the form of geospatial coordinates (latitude, longitude, altitude) or a civic address

Note: A civic address can extend to internal landmarks within a site, e.g., building number, floor number, room number.

(ISO/IEC TR 16167:2011(en), 3.2.4)

Transport Unit

A transport package containing a single product/product package or collection of product/product packages (same or different) designed to enable these to be handled as a single transport entity. (ISO 17364:2013 4.7)

Transport Unit Label

A piece of paper or other material displaying information and affixed to the transport unit. (Adapted from ISO 21067-1:2016)

Shipment

A grouping of logistics and transport units assembled and identified by the seller (sender) of the goods travelling under one despatch advice and/or Bill of Lading to one customer (recipient).[GENSPECS]

Consignment

A grouping of logistic or transport units assembled by a freight forwarder or carrier to be transported under one transport document (e.g., waybill) [GENSPECS]

Party

An individual, a group or an organisation.

Note: A party may take on a wide variety of roles within the context of this Implementation Guideline.

3.2 Identification

Unique identification

Depending on the scope / context, the term unique identification may be used to refer to a globally unique identification key for a transport unit, shipment, consignment, location or party.

  • When referring to the transport unit, the term transport unit ID (SSCC) is used.
  • When referring to the shipment, the term Shipment ID (GSIN) is used.
  • When referring to the consignment, the term Consignment ID (GINC) is used.
  • When referring to the location, the term Location ID is used.
  • When referring to the party, the term Party ID is used.

3.3 Transport unit label elements

Human readable interpretation (HRI)

Characters, such as letters and numbers, which can be read by persons and are encoded in GS1 AIDC data carriers confined to a GS1 standard structure and format. The human readable interpretation is a one-to-one illustration of the encoded data. However, start, stop, shift and function characters, as well as the symbol check character, are not shown in the human readable interpretation. [GENSPECS]

Non-HRI text

Characters such as letters and numbers that can be read by persons and may or may not be encoded in GS1 AIDC data carriers and are not confined to a structure and format based on GS1 standards (e.g., a date code expressed in a national format that could be used to encode a date field in a GS1 AIDC data carrier, brand owner name, consumer declarations). [GENSPECS]

Data titles

Data titles are the abbreviated descriptions of element strings, which are used to support manual interpretation of barcodes. [GENSPECS]

Barcode

A symbol that encodes data into a machine readable pattern of adjacent, varying width, parallel, rectangular or square dark and light spaces. [GENSPECS]

PART I - GENERAL PRINCIPLES

4 Freight transport from first mile collection to last mile delivery

4.1 Introduction

Transport is the backbone of all economies in the world enabling businesses and consumers to ship and/or receive goods. The movement of goods can involve multiple logistic service providers as well as multiple transport modes, including road, rail, air and maritime. All value chains that (partly) rely on the transportation of physical objects need reliable, effective and efficient transport & logistics (T&L) networks. Here are just a few examples of such value chain: Healthcare (pharmaceuticals, medical devices, consumables and general supplies), Technical industries (e.g.,mining, construction), Energy (Oil & Gas), Retail and Finance (cash handling).
The Australia’s Logistics Sector has an important impact on the national economy of Australia:

  • 8.6% of the nation’s GDP
  • $131.6 billion contribution to Australia’s economy in 2013
  • 1.2m people employed
  • 1% improvement in efficiency will increase GDP by $2 billion

A key challenge for Australia’s freight industry is that the freight task is expected to increase:

  • 80% between 2010 and 2030
  • Triple by 2050

More efficient supply chains are required to support the growing freight task:

  • Improving the flow of goods from production to consumption
  • Reducing transport costs, resulting in cheaper goods
  • Generating economic growth

The use of proprietary freight labels across the Australian Transport industry causes inefficiencies, reduced visibility and cost across the supply chain. A 2017 Austroads Report Estimated a $1.63 billion productivity penalty extrapolated for SMEs in the sector due to the inability to integrate incompatible formats.[1]

GS1 standards break down these barriers by creating common identification, labelling and data sharing standards across the supply chain. The GS1 standards are the most widely used supply chain standards in the world and comprises guidelines, solutions and services created in formalised and collaborative processes.

The benefits for users throughout the entire supply chain include

  • Common identification across industry
  • Reduced manual entry
  • Reduced re-work
  • Reduced development & maintenance requirements
[1] Austroads Report “Investigating the Potential Benefits of Enhanced End to End Supply Chain Visibility” Published 07-MAR-2017 https://www.onlinepublications.austroads.com.au/items/AP-R538-17
 

4.2 Logistics network context

Transport & Logistics networks have always been complex generally involving numerous stakeholders with different roles, who at times are not known to each other. The complexity of T&L networks is increasing, and the complexity is showing an accelerated pace.

The explosive growth of e-commerce mostly drives this increase. Consumers and business customers order more frequently and they order in smaller quantities. At the same time, the total demand for product is increasing. The net result is a massive increase of the number of deliveries (and returns) that transport and logistics providers must manage.

Furthermore, customers have more complex and restrictive demands related to those deliveries and returns —demands that can only be fulfilled with more transport providers. Transport operators from around the world rely on the transport data encoded on a logistics label to support their daily operations. Currently, this data is captured in various proprietary formats. As the number of transport providers grows, so do these proprietary solutions.

Currently, many of these suppliers encode this information in two-dimensional (2D) barcodes.
Retailers and shippers often use multiple transport providers to fulfil their various transport needs and have to support just as many different formats to encode the same information on a transport label.

Due to the opportunities offered by the massive increase in number of orders, an increasing number of parties are getting involved in the T&L networks, using an increasing number of different systems. Unfortunately, these parties and their systems do not work well together.

For shippers, there is excessive waste associated with the development costs and time required to setup different transport providers in their transport systems and processes.

A major issue revolves around the lack of a common, global standard in sharing transport data. This is driving inefficiencies, unnecessary costs and decreasing productivity industry-wide. The cost of maintaining multiple label formats and data capture processes is a burden on all stakeholders in the industry.

Most importantly, the lack of interoperability inhibits stakeholders from efficiently handling the transport process information generated by other stakeholders. By using a common standard that describes a standard mechanism for encoding the information, stakeholders can read transport data generated by other stakeholders. This translates to faster handling with near-perfect accuracy, especially in the “last mile” where the number of packages is rapidly increasing and more stakeholders are involved.

One paramount requirement however above all others necessitates a fundamental change to the way that T&L Delivery and Returns processes will be handled in future:

Both sellers and buyers expect highly reliable transport & logistics services.
They also demand to have visibility of where their goods are at any point in time.

In several sectors (e.g., healthcare, tobacco) and geographies of the world (e.g., Australia, Europe, Brazil), there are legal frameworks in place that impose that stakeholders must also trace products exactly over their entire journey from original seller to final buyer.

Current processes in Transport & Logistics are, largely, not able to meet those requirements.

4.3 Business processes

In the delivery journey for a transport unit, there are three main stages:

  1. Pre-carriage/First mile;
    collecting the transport units from source and moving it to a (first) depot where it may be consolidated with other transport units to achieve efficiencies in the logistics network.
  2. Main carriage;
    transporting consolidated transport units usually over longer distances to a deconsolidation centre near the final delivery location.
  3. Onward carriage/Last mile;
    delivering the individual transport units to their final destination.

Figure 4‑1 Typical logistics network.


There are a few things to take note of in this diagram.

  • The three stages model applies equally to domestic and international networks.
  • For each of the three stages, a different carrier may be used.
    In fact, even when the transport unit is managed end-to-end by an integrated courier, express or parcel service provider they each manage their networks exactly as described in the diagram above. Even integrated carriers make use of subcontracted third party carriers within parts of their networks.
  • There are several points in the network where the transport units are handed over from one party to another.
    • Note: The carrier boxes in the above figure may itself represent a complex network of hubs and depots used to increase efficiency in the transportation.

A key feature in current logistics networks is that transport units are sorted at every hub, depot and (de)consolidation centre they pass through. This is a labour intensive process and today often error-prone. The vast majority of all logistic service providers heavily rely on manual sorting processes.
Some service providers have highly sophisticated automated sorting solutions but these are not available everywhere in their networks. Furthermore, those automated sorting solutions generally rely on proprietary ID keys and labels. So handovers among with those carriers is often cumbersome (and may involve relabelling, which introduces significant risks of errors.)

Increasing efficiency and accuracy in these sorting processes is a pre-condition for T&L to meet the (reliability) requirements outlined in the context paragraph above.

4.4 The vision for transport and logistics

In transport and logistics, a transport label with an SSCC for the transport unit is required.

The seller assigns an SSCC, a globally unique ID Key, to each Transport Unit.
(Serial Shipping Container Code; compliant with ISO 15459-1 Licence Plate)

The seller attaches a standardised Transport Unit Label to each Transport Unit that all Parties may use.

The seller makes the relevant information regarding the Transport Unit (e.g., its final destination, and required service levels (e.g., delivery not before/not after) and the contents (e.g., Product ID Keys, type of goods, transaction values) available to the various stakeholders in the transport & logistics network.
The semi-circle in the bottom half of the figure below shows a number of common stakeholders involved in the T&L network.

The seller hands over the Transport Units to the first carrier

Carrier/s and other T&L service providers execute their part of the activities necessary to move the goods smoothly to final recipient (buyer shown on the right-hand side of the Figure). These parties should use the standardised GS1 Transport/Logistics label and the Transport Unit ID Key (SSCC) assigned by the seller for the execution of their activities.

All T&L service providers could make information on progress available using the Transport Unit ID Key assigned by the seller.

Figure 42 GS1 Vision - Common ID and Label end-to-end

Note: For clarity, the vision is described from seller to buyer.
However, the process would be the same for transportation from any source to any destination.

This vision clearly addresses the issues we have identified for the current logistic networks operations:

  1. All stakeholders work with a common ID Key (SSCC) and common label.
    This means stakeholders may easily hand over transport units without increasing risk of errors or incurring non-value add activities such as relabelling.
  2. The logistic service providers (especially those working for many customers) can more easily handle transport units coming from different sources.
    They may even be able to justify investing in more automated sorting solutions because the automated solution can process many more transport units if they all use common standard ID Key and carry labels with the same layout.
    This would improve both efficiency, accuracy and speed (reduction in lead times) within the hubs, depots and networks as a whole.
  3. Using the same ID Key (SSCC) for the transport unit allows all parties to gain access to the relevant information for the unit (as and when they need it). Access options include EDI and online/Web services.
  4. The commonly used ID Key and labelling combined with information exchanges based on the commonly used ID Key enable achieving the paramount requirement of persistent location awareness.
  5. In addition, having access to transport process information assists the logistic service providers to plan in advance.
  6. It also enables improvements in the administrative procedures among the stakeholders engaged in logistic services transactions.
  7. In cases where the transport units cross borders, the relevant border authorities may use the access to electronic (advance) data to more quickly process the declarations related to these transport units (and even clear them before they reach the border, ensuring no delays at the border crossing).

4.5 The challenges

The vision outlined above clearly requires at least one of two main conditions to be met:

  • Parties have somehow exchanged relevant data for the Transport Unit in advance;
  • Party handling the Transport Unit has access to the relevant data in an Information System at the moment they handle the transport unit.

Unfortunately, transport & logistics networks are not likely to meet these requirements consistently due to the physical and organisational characteristics of transport & logistics.

The first challenge is caused by the very high levels of fragmentation in the transport & logistics industry.

A recent analysis of the German transport service provider market found that less than one percent of companies employ over 250 people, while 72 percent have fewer than ten employees. In France 96% of the companies employ less than 50 people and 88% less than 10 people. Furthermore, an article on Freightwaves in 2019 stated that 91 percent of fleets in the U.S. have eight or less trucks.

Additionally, the transport & logistics environment is a low margin business. In France the average margin is 1% Therefore, these smaller companies have limited funds to invest in Information Technology (IT). Especially when they are working for several customers, the revenue/margin they make for an individual customer is so low, that they cannot justify investing in electronic data exchanges with individual, especially small customers.

In fact, another recent study identified that transport services buyers also rely on manual processes with “Twenty-four percent of buyers still using manual methods (e.g., pen and paper) to handle transportation management needs”. In France 33% of the companies are using EDI to exchange data most of them employing more than 100 people.

In short, meeting the requirement of electronic data exchanges in advance among all stakeholders given current approaches in the transport & logistics networks is not consistently possible.

Now consider the second requirement of access to relevant data on an IT system at the moment the service provider handles Transport Unit.

When scanning an ID Key/SSCC, the device used by the operator must be able to connect to the IT system to retrieve the data in that system.

However, there are large geographies around the in the world where reliable access to networks in a cost-effective manner is not guaranteed.

These types of issues exist in geographies like Latin America, Africa and more remote areas of China, Russia, Australia, USA, and Canada.

There are ongoing initiatives that hold the promise of access to a mobile network anywhere in the world. For the moment, it is unclear whether any of these initiatives will deliver that ubiquitous coverage.

Additionally, even if persistent connectivity were available, due to the service nature of transportation, this business sector will likely require a contingency to ensure expedient and reliable transport.

Therefore, the operator must have immediate access to relevant data from the Transport Unit itself in order to be able to execute the handling of the transport unit in an efficient and effective manner.

To enable the operators of the logistic service providers to access information needed we describe in this Implementation Guideline a method to include standardised data in a 2D barcode. That 2D barcode should be generated at source and then be used by any and all stakeholders handling the transport unit.

To enable this, we describe the content and structure of the 2D barcode unambiguously and we will provide guidance rules to enable all stakeholders to implement the creation and use of the 2D barcode consistently across all stakeholders.

That way we can ensure true interoperability among all stakeholders and achieve many of the objectives, we identified for the Vision for Transport & Logistics networks.

4.6 How would 2D barcodes help?

Note that the preferred way to handle the transport unit is to use the SSCC of the transport unit to access the latest available information for that transport unit and then decide what to do with the transport unit. Traditionally, the transport unit handler retrieves this information from his own IT system, which received the information via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

More and more, it is becoming necessary to change the handling (e.g., routing) of the transport units dynamically in order to meet the requirements of todays and future value chains.

A 2D barcode generated at source contains the information that was relevant and accurate at the time the 2D barcode was created. Information sent initially via EDI is often not updated either. therefore, the information may no longer be accurate at the time the operator handles the transport unit later in the transport & logistics network.

Relying only on the data included in the 2D barcode could be misleading in those scenarios.

Therefore, the 2D barcode must include the ID key for the transport unit to enable the operator to access the latest available information (assuming connectivity to an up-to-date IT system is available).

When an operator must rely on the content of the 2D barcode on the transport unit only, one must scan the barcode with a device and read the relevant data into a pertinent IT application on that device.

The application on the operator’s device will process the relevant data and instruct the operator how to handle the transport unit.

  • Note: The 2D barcode will deliver operational benefits only in those cases where the operator uses a device with basic IT capability installed.
    In a purely manual process (not using any kind of IT), the 2D barcode cannot help improve operational effectiveness or efficiency.
  • First and Last Mile activities:
    First and Last Mile drivers are often sub-contractors for multiple transport companies. Like a postal worker, these companies have a regular route and can pick-up freight without any electronic transaction between the shipper and the Logistics Service Provider. The barcode is used to capture the address and other essential information to book the transport task in the Logistic Service Provider’s System. Similarly, the last mile drivers drive for multiple companies and will pick up freight from various depots. They use the barcode to capture the complete ship-to address into their application to enable route optimization and record handling instructions.
  • Sortation activities:
    While a postal code can be used in some geographies to sort freight, there are countries around the world where the postal code can range between 0.56sq km to 634,000 sq. km and therefore not granular enough to sort freight. While a GLN could be used to sort freight, implementation of the GLN is not widespread enough (e.g., B2C deliveries) for Logistic Service Providers to rely upon when sorting freight. Subsequently, the full address, from country right down to street number needs to be captured in a barcode to enable sortation process.
    Furthermore, access to the data linked to the GLN may not be available (or too slow) at the time of sorting.
  • Administration activities:
    Logistic Service Providers (i.e. sub-contractors) can be paid based on the number of transport units, the weight of the transport unit and distance the transport unit travels. Subsequently, they need to be able to capture the information from a barcode (in case there is no advance electronic record containing the information) to simplify the administration process and enable them to be paid (more quickly).
  • Redundancy:
    With the millions of freight units moving through a single depot daily, Logistic Service Providers rely on being able to capture the complete address information through a barcode in the event they have not received the transport instruction via EDI or have lost access to/do not have access to business systems allowing them to look-up the information.

5 Content principles

5.1 Data necessary for correct handling

A critical principle to ensure many stakeholders will implement the standardised 2D barcode is to keep the content of the barcode simple, meaning limiting the number of data elements included in it.

At the same time, the information in the barcode must be sufficient for an operator to handle the transport unit accurately. The full content of the 2D barcode is intended to be used only in cases when there is no access to information from an IT system or business process demands immediate action based on local information.

To achieve these goals the standard utilises existing GS1 data elements (Application Identifiers).

5.2 Expressing data using GS1 Application Identifiers

GS1 Application Identifiers enable a set of attribute:value pairs of data to be encoded in a data carrier. Each attribute within a pair is a GS1 Application Identifier (AI) expressed as a numeric string, e.g., ‘00’ is the AI corresponding to the SSCC, ‘420’ is the AI for the ship-to / deliver-to postal code. The value is the corresponding value for each GS1 Application Identifier.  For example, ‘106141412345678908’ is an example value for the SSCC where the attribute / AI is ‘00’.

In GS1 barcodes such as GS1 DataMatrix and GS1 QR Code, such attribute:value pairs are expressed as element strings that are concatenated according to rules defined in sections 7.8 and 7.8.5 of the GS1 General Specifications.

GS1 Digital Link URI is a “pilot-level” syntax (not implemented widely to date) that was tested for encoding transport process information. As a forward-looking approach there was recognition that GS1 Digital Link URI syntax is expected to offer benefits (real time information) if broad adoption were to occur. This approach is not yet approved by GS1 as an open Application Standard nor subject to conformance. The results of the GS1 pilot study and details on GS1 Digital Link URI syntax will be available at https://www.gs1.org/industries/transport-and-logistics/scan4transport.

Figure 5-1 illustrates the element string notation used in GS1 data carriers such as GS1 DataMatrix and GS1 QR Code.

Figure 5‑1 Element string notation example

DataMatrix ECC 200 and QR Code are 2D symbologies not reserved exclusively for GS1 use. 

GS1 has a specific encoding within DataMatrix and QR Code symbologies, which it uses exclusively for encoding element string syntax. GS1 refers to these data carriers as GS1 DataMatrix and GS1 QR Code. Symbology identifier ]d2 indicates GS1 DataMatrix, while symbology identifier ]Q3 indicates GS1 QR Code. 

Symbology

Symbology Identifier

Use

GS1 DataMatrix

]d2

Encode GS1 element string syntax.

Reserved for exclusive use by GS1

GS1 QR Code

]Q3

5.2.1 Application identifiers for transport processes

The tables below list the most commonly used Application Identifiers available to support this Implementation Guideline. For a full list of AIs, see https://www.gs1.org/standards/barcodes/application-identifiers

Table 5-1 General Application Identifiers recommended for logistic and transport process information

Application Identifier

Data Content

Format

FNC1 Required (1)

00

Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC)

N2+N18

 

330n

Logistic weight, kilograms

N4+N6

 

331n

Length of first dimension, metres

N4+N6

 

332n

Width, diameter, or second dimension, metres

N4+N6

 

333n

Depth, thickness height, or third dimension, metres

N4+N6

 

336n

Logistic volume, cubic metres

N4+N6

 

401

Global Identification Number for Consignment (GINC)

N3+X..30

X

402

Global Shipment Identification Number (GSIN)

N3+N17

X

403

Routing Code

N3+X..30

X

410

Ship-to / Deliver-to Global Location Number

N3+N13

 

413

Ship for - Deliver for - Forward to Global Location Number

N3+N13

 

420

Ship-to / Deliver-to postal code within a single postal authority

N3+X..20

X

(1) The indicated GS1 Application Identifiers SHALL be separated by a separator character unless this element string is the last one to be encoded in the symbol.

  • Note: The * in the table below indicates the Application Identifiers that may require non-Latin characters. To encode non-Latin characters within the alphanumeric value, use percent-encoding as defined in RFC 3986. A space character SHOULD be encoded as a single plus symbol, +.

Table 5-2 New GS1 Application Identifiers created for encoding transport process information

Type

Application Identifier

Data Content

Description

Example

Address Information

4300*

Ship-to / Deliver-to Company Name

Name of the company receiving the freight unit

Company XYZ

4301*

Ship-to / Deliver-to Contact

Name of the person receiving the freight unit

Jane Doe

4302*

Ship-to / Deliver-to Address line 1

Receiving company / residential street address (Line 1)

Nexus Business Park

4303*

Ship-to / Deliver-to Address line 2

Receiving company / residential street address (Line 2)

8 Nexus Court

4304*

Ship-to / Deliver-to Suburb

Receiving company / residential Suburb

Mulgrave

4305*

Ship-to / Deliver-to Locality

Receiving company / residential Locality (town, city)

Melbourne

4306*

Ship-to / Deliver-to Region

Receiving company Region (state)

Victoria

4307

Ship-to / Deliver-to Country Code

Receiving company / residential Country

AU

4308

Ship-to / Deliver-to telephone number

Contact phone number for the receiver of the freight unit.
Used to populate the system when no EDI has been received

316091234567

4310*

Return-to Company Name

Company name for the return to address

 

4311*

Return-to Contact

Name of the contact freight unit is to be returned to

 

4312*

Return-to Address line 1

Return to company / residential street address (Line 1)

 

4313*

Return-to Address line 2

Return to company / residential street address (Line 2)

 

4314*

Return-to Suburb

Return to company / residential Suburb/Town/City

 

4315*

Return-to Locality

Return to company / residential Locality (town, city)

Mulgrave

4316*

Return-to Region

Return to company / residential Region (state)

Victoria

4317

Return-to Country Code

Return to company / residential Country

AU

4318

Return-to Postal Code

Return to company / residential Postcode

 

4319

Return-to telephone number

Contact phone number for the Return to company for the freight unit.

 

Transport Task

4320*

Service code description

Freight service code specifies if it is a standard, express, overnight, same day service, etc.  This will be unique text from the shipper.

Express

Freight Unit

4321

Dangerous Goods Flag

A flag to indicate if the freight unit contains Dangerous Goods

0 (=NO) or 1 (=YES)

Boolean Indicator

4322

Authority to leave

This indicates to the operator that he/she may leave the transport unit at the destination location. Implies the operator does not need to hand the transport unit over to a person.

Also implies no signature from recipient is required.

0 (=NO) or 1 (=YES)

4323

Signature Required Flag

This indicates to the operator that the operator must get a signature from the recipient for having delivered the transport unit to the intended destination.

This implies that delivery must be made to a person.

0 (=NO) or 1 (=YES)

Delivery Instruction

4324

Not before Delivery Date Time

In transportation, it is a common business requirement to not deliver before a set date.

YYMMDDHHMM

4325

Not after Delivery Date Time

In transportation, it is a common business requirement to deliver before a set date.

YYMMDDHHMM

4326

Release date

Sometimes transport service providers are required to “hold” transport units for a while before these transport units are allowed to be sent out to recipients.

YYMMDD

  • Note: FNC1 is required as a field separator for all GS1 Application Identifiers beginning with 43 unless the element string is the last one to be encoded in the symbol.

5.3 Using transport data elements

To support an application and ensure data is available where and when it is needed, one must consider the different transport activities related to the first and last mile of a delivery, sortation, and administration related to transportation and logistics.

5.3.1 Transport Unit information

A transport unit will have sets of information related to the unit:

  • Identification Keys for the Transport Unit; We distinguish two types of Transport Unit ID Keys:
    • The GS1 SSCC (Serial Shipping Container Code) as a globally unique unambiguous ID Key.Any stakeholder creating transport units may assign an SSCC. The SSCC is guaranteed to be unique regardless of who assigned the SSCC.
    • Carrier specific ID keys. Carriers currently often uses proprietary ID Keys that are unique within their own network. That enables them to handle the transport units throughout their own network using their own (sophisticated) IT systems. For example, the global postal networks use the so-called “S10” ID Key to identify postal transport units uniquely (the Universal Postal Union calls them postal items) across all postal operators participating in the UPU network.
  • Physical characteristics of the Transport Unit. Information regarding dimensions (width, height and length), volume and weight.
  • Service indicator. Transport service providers organise and sell their services along a number of different options (e.g., Air vs land transport, expedited vs deferred service, groupage versus parcel, tracked vs non-tracked). Operators handling the transport units may use the service indicator to determine the appropriate way to process the transport unit (both physically and in terms of information they need to capture for the unit).
  • Carrier specific handling information. Many carriers require a so-called “routing code” to be included on the transport label. They may use this routing code as (additional) information to enable them to handle transport units in their own network efficiently and effectively.

Using this information an operator may confirm they are handling a transport unit they are supposed to handle as well as determine how/when to handle it (e.g., heavy or bulky transport units may need to be handled with certain equipment and/or first/last).

  • Note: When the operator uses a device to scan the 2D barcode, which is then processed by an application installed on the device, this application may provide relevant instruction to the operator based on business rules configured in the application.

5.3.2 Address information

Information regarding addresses related to the Transport & Logistics services that are applicable for the transport unit are also needed.

Two different addresses are relevant and may be included in the barcode:

  1. The ship-to / deliver-to address; Identifies the location of the destination for the transport unit as precisely as possible.
  2. The return-to address; In case a transport unit cannot be delivered (or is refused), the transport unit may be returned to a location determined by the sender of the transport unit.

An address (be it ship-to or return-to) consist of several logical components. The representation of an address (based on these components) varies widely across different countries in the world.

The Universal Postal Union has done a lot of good work on analysis of and design for addresses, which they incorporated in global postal standards. This Implementation Guideline leverages the UPU standards.

Here are the components (data elements) that may make up an address for transportation purposes.

  • Party name (Party may be a company or a consumer) E.g., Chris Foster
  • Address lines. In Scan4Transport, we allow for up to two address line fields. E.g., 22 Quebec Street. Always use address line 1 first, and then address line 2 (if needed).
  • Postal Code (e.g.,V5T 1G7)
  • Country Code according to ISO 3166 Alpha-2 standard (e.g., CA “Canada”). Always include this data element.
  • Region – e.g., British Columbia, Bavaria 
  • Locality – e.g., Vancouver, Munich
  • Suburb – e.g., Mount Pleasant
  • Contact information. This consists of the following data elements:
    • Contact name; Information on whom to contact for further enquiries. E.g., “Chris Foster”;
    • Contact Phone: E.g.,“+1 123 456 7890”.
  • Note-1: There is a logical hierarchy across four of the above data elements for geographical areas that all stakeholders must consider to ensure all stakeholders will interpret these data elements consistently.

That is a pre-requisite to all operators handling the transport unit being able to handle it correctly. Data element “Country Code” covers the largest geographical area. The data element “Region” describes an area within the country specified in data element “Country Code”. The “Locality” represents a smaller area within the “Region”. The Suburb represent a smaller area within the Locality. Therefore, in order of decreasing geographical size we have “Country Code”, “Region”, “Locality” and “Suburb”. Figure below illustrates this hierarchy.

Figure 5-2Geographical hierarchy

  • Note-2: Address formats vary widely from country, so do the minimum data-elements that need to be available to accurately deliver. Data elements available in many countries do not exist in others (e.g., postal codes). Many other data elements are ambiguous if used on their own. E.g., same street address may appear in a different locality, same locality may exist in different regions.
You will generally need combinations of data elements to ensure uniqueness.
Examples:

1) In many geographies, users should represent the address by the following:
Country Code + Post Code + Street address line 1.
2) In the absence of Postal Codes, you probably need
Country Code + Region + Locality + Street address line 1 (maybe even also street address line 2).

5.3.3 Goods related information

The nature of the goods that are inside the transport unit may significantly affect how to handle the transport unit properly.

The following data elements are valuable to assist operators in determining if they should handle the transport unit at all and if so, how:

Dangerous Goods indicator.
Transporting Dangerous Goods is subject to legal requirements that can be highly detailed and prescriptive. In many cases, transport operators need specific licenses to handle specific types of dangerous goods. Most logistic service providers are not allowed by law to handle dangerous goods (for lack of proper licenses).
The indicator in a 2D barcode would enable the operator to determine quickly whether he/she runs the risk of handling transport units that they are not allowed to handle.

Service code description.
The type of service or handling expected for the transport unit is described in this text field of the barcode. The description is determined by the shipping company.

5.3.4 Delivery Instructions

A group of data elements that relate to the activities (business requirements) that the operator needs to consider when dropping off the transport unit at the final destination.

We distinguish the following data elements for delivery instructions:

  • Signature Required.
    This indicates to the operator that the operator must get a signature from the recipient for having delivered the transport unit to the intended destination.
    This implies that delivery must be made to a person.
  • Authority to leave.
    This indicates to the operator that he/she may leave the transport unit at the destination location. Implies the operator does not need to hand the transport unit over to a person.
    Also implies no signature from recipient is required.
    However, this and the above instruction are independent business requirements.
    For a specific transport unit we may specify “Signature Required” is no and we may also specify “Authority to leave” is no.
    In that case, the operator must still hand over the transport unit to a person at the destination location (even though the person does not have to sign for receipt).
  • Not after Delivery Date Time.
    In transportation, it is a common business requirement to deliver before a set date. Additionally a latest time for the delivery may be specified.
  • Not before Delivery Date Time.
    In transportation, it is a common business requirement to not deliver before a set date. Additionally an earliest time for the delivery may be specified.
  • Release date.
    Sometimes transport service providers are required to “hold” transport units for a while before these transport units are allowed to be sent out to recipients.
    E.g., when a new product is released and Customers have pre-ordered, the seller may have promised Customers that orders will be shipped from a specific date onwards.
    The seller may in fact already have pre-positioned those Customer Orders (shipments) in several “holding” location in the Delivery networks to ensure speedy delivery to those Customers that have pre-ordered.
    They will then specify to the LSP responsible for those locations that those Orders/Shipments may not be despatched from those holding locations until the date they communicated to the market.
    In this Implementation Guideline, we refer to such a date as the release date.

5.3.5 Transaction Information

Transportation is always executed as a result of one or several transactions among stakeholders.
To be able to link the transport execution back to the relevant transactions, we need to be able to include Identification Keys for the transport units that comprise those transactions.

There are two identifiers that are relevant:

  • Shipment Identification.Shipment refers to the transport units that fulfil the trade transaction between the buyer and seller. All the transport units that comprise a particular shipment are assigned the same GSIN (Global Shipment Identification Number), and this GSIN remains the same regardless of the different consignments that these transport units may also comprise.
    • The GSIN is assigned by the seller.

 

  • Consignment Identification. Consignment refers to the physical transport of the transport units by a logistics service provider by one transport movement. Each of the transport units that comprise a consignment is assigned the same GINC (Global Identification Number for Consignment). Each different logistics service transaction will require a different GINC.
    • The GINC is assigned by the logistics service provider.
  • Note: These identifiers are used by any of the parties to access extra information from their IT systems, and to provide information about the transport process.

5.3.6 Overview of main delivery scenarios

In various places in this Implementation Guideline, we have indicated that the transport & logistics (T&L) network used for the end-to-end journey of shipments from seller to buyer may take quite different forms.

The configuration of the T&L network affects the way the transport unit labels (and 2D barcodes on them) may be used at the different stages in these T&L networks.

So let us look at the most common T&L network configurations and their main characteristics:

  1. An integrated network under the total control of a single Logistic Service Provider and little or no outsourcing to subcontracted logistic service providers.
    Some Courier, Express and Parcel carriers claim to operate networks of this kind.
    In fact, they do run parts of their networks like that in a number of geographies (but they do not in every geography they operate in).
    All administrative processes (including financial settlement) for the shipments are handled between the single LSP and the Logistic Services Client (LSC).
  2. A network operated under the direction of a lead Logistic Service Provider.
    This kind of network is virtually integrated. The lead Logistics Service Provider (LLP) subcontracts significant parts of the network to other logistic services providers.
    The LLP takes responsibility towards his Logistics Services Client (LSC) to manage the transportation end-to-end and provide information on progress of transport execution across the entire virtual network for the shipments of the LSC.
    All administrative processes (including financial settlement) for the shipments are handled between the LLP and the LSC.
    The LLP takes care of all administrative processes related to the subcontracted logistic services (consignments) with the subcontracted LSPs.
    A good example is the global Postal network.
    The LSC hands the transport unit over to the Postal operator in the origin country. This origin postal operator arranges transportation to the destination country. This operator also “books” the delivery transport movement with the Postal Operator in the destination country.
    The LSC interacts with the postal operator at origin only: booking, paying, tracking end-to-end is all between the two of them.
  3. A network operated under the direction of the seller (sender of the goods)
    In this type of network, the seller takes care of all interactions with the Logistic Service Providers (LSP) handling the transport units over the lifecycle of the transport units.
    The Sender selects which LSP to use for each transport movement required to transport the goods efficiently and effectively from seller to buyer.
    The seller books the transport movements (consignments) with the selected LSP.
    The LSP will execute the transportation. The seller needs to receive the relevant information on progress of the transport execution.
    The seller will also take care of all the administrative processes (including financial settlement) with the LSP for services rendered,
It will be clear that the business requirements for the transport unit labels (and thus for the 2D barcodes on those labels) will be quite different in each of those types of networks.

5.3.7 Mapping to GS1 identification keys

It is important that we properly understand the main concepts that we use ID Keys for such as shipment, consignment and transport unit.

The figure below illustrates the concepts of shipment and consignment (as defined by UN/CEFACT, UBL, GS1 and others) and how each of these are identified using the GS1 standards.

Figure 5-3 Consolidated fulfilment – shipment vs consignment

The figure shows transport units are assigned both GSINs and GINCs. There are two trade transactions, one between seller A and buyer A, and the other between seller B and buyer B. All the transport units that comprise each trade transaction are identified as GSIN A or GSIN B.

Those two trade transactions (shipments) result in five transport movements (consignments), each one arranged by a logistics service provider. As the transport units move from one consignment to another, they are assigned a new GINC. As each transport unit travels through the supply chain, it is identified with its own SSCC, and with its relevant GSIN and GINC.

The transport units that fulfil each trade transaction (the shipment) are identified by the same GSIN.

The transport units that comprise each consignment are identified with the same GINC.

The figure also shows various kinds of packaging used to transport the goods in the five consignments, e.g., pallets and different sizes of boxes.

Within the context of this Implementation Guideline, we will use the term “Transport Unit” (which is in line with ISO/IEC 15459-1) to refer to an item of any composition established for transport, which needs to be managed through the supply chain. Transport units take many forms, a single box/parcel containing a limited number of products (in e‑commerce often just one), a pallet of multiple products, or an intermodal container containing multiple pallets.

The GS1 ID Key for a transport unit is the Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC).

Transport units must be labelled to enable handling them efficiently and effectively.
As indicated in the Vision section above, once a transport unit has been labelled, all stakeholders handling the transport unit should use that label over the life of the transport unit.

The figure below shows a sample label with a linear GS1-128 barcode and a 2D barcode (compliant with this Implementation Guideline).

For this label, take note of several points:

  • At the bottom of the label, there is the GS1-128 barcode (linear barcode) that contains the SSCC, which unambiguously identifies the unit over its entire lifetime.
  • The middle of the label contains a GS1 2D barcode, which also contains the SSCC. This is valuable because scanning the 2D barcode can capture all relevant data elements in a single scan.
  • Not all stakeholders may be able to scan and use 2D barcodes. Providing a linear barcode with the SSCC ensures the transport unit may be handled effectively and efficiently.
  • Note: The sample label shown here was taken from the GS1 Logistics Label Guideline (Release 1.3). Please always refer to the current GS1 Logistic Label guideline when designing and programming the creation of labels attached to transport units.

PART II - RULES

6 Identification rules

6.1 Identification keys

A key is an attribute (or group of attributes) of an entity that serves to uniquely identify that entity, within some specified domain of entities.

6.2 SSCC

The Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) provides functionality to support the management (tracking, tracing, storage, etc.) of logistic units through the supply chain. To ensure global uniqueness and traceability, the physical builder of the logistic unit or the brand owner of the logistic unit is responsible for the allocation of the SSCC.

6.3 GSIN

An individual Global Shipment Identification Number (GSIN) is a unique number, which remains the same for the life of the grouping of logistics or transport units to which it is assigned. When assigning a GSIN, the rule is that an individual GSIN number must not be reallocated within ten years of the shipment date from the seller or third party logistics provider (sender) of the GSIN to a trading partner buyer (recipient) to comply with the regulations of the World Customs Organisation (WCO). GSIN meets the requirements for UCR (Unique Consignment Reference) according to the WCO. For goods that circulate within one country (domestic transport), the period of reuse is based on either governmental, industry or the discretion of the seller (sender) of the goods. The GSIN SHALL be assigned by the seller of the goods.

6.4 GINC

An individual Global Identification Number for Consignment is a unique number, which remains the same for the life of a grouping of logistics or transport units to which it is assigned. When assigning a GINC, the rule is that an individual GINC number must not be reallocated within one year of the shipment date from the freight forwarder assigning the GINC to a transport. However, prevailing regulatory or industry organisation specific requirements may extend this period.

The GINC SHALL be assigned by the LSC or by the LSP involved in the Logistic Services transaction.

6.5 GS1 Company Prefix (GCP)

The GS1 Company Prefix is included at the beginning of the GS1 identification keys and so establishes global uniqueness (see section 9 for more information).

  • The GS1 Company Prefix SHALL only be used to issue keys by or on behalf of the company that is the licensee of the GS1 Company Prefix, in accordance with the key allocation rules specified in GENSPECS section 4 Application rules and management practices.
  • When the ownership or legal structure of the company that assigned the key changes, for example due to a merger, acquisition, split or spin-off, the responsibility for the GS1 Company Prefixes SHALL be re-arranged according to the rules in GENSPECS section 1.6 Allocation.

7 Scan4Transport label rules

7.1 Creating the Scan4Transport label

Only the seller (sender) of the goods, who creates the transport units when packing the goods into those units for transport, knows the relevant set of information. For that reason, the sender should allocate the SSCC and generate the label for the transport unit.

7.2 Minimum data elements

When creating a Scan4Transport compliant transport label an SSCC (00) is the required identifier. 

If the 2D barcode is intended to support ship-to address information, the following data elements are recommended as a minimum:

  • SSCC (00)
  • Ship-to / Deliver-to address line 1 (4302)
  • Ship-to / Deliver-to postal code within a single postal authority (420)

Other data elements may also be included as a transport company deems necessary for a particular transport service, customer, or geographical destination. The Implementation Guideline defines these other data elements and allows for a user to include those data elements necessary to support their business.

  • Note: Adding many data elements to the 2D symbol may create a barcode that is larger than a transport label can accommodate. Implementers should evaluate the benefit of encoding additional data elements against the additional space the symbol may require on a label.

7.3 Additional barcodes

A Scan4Transport label SHALL include a GS1-128 barcode encoding the SSCC along with the two-dimensional barcode containing Scan4Transport data elements.

PART III – IMPLEMENTATION

8 Scan4Transport

When implementing Scan4Transport, user organisations use the GS1 2D barcodes (GS1 DataMatrix and GS1 QR code). Data elements encoded within these barcodes must comply with the current rules for GS1 barcodes.

To ensure global use of Scan4Transport, Non-Latin characters and a space character may be included in the barcode using the percent encoding approach described in section 10. These “special characters” are characters that are not included in the character set allowed for the specific type of barcode.

9 Mapping address data elements to Application Identifiers

Address formats vary widely from country to country. Local conventions for writing are different e.g., some countries will generally write the house number before the street name whereas in other countries people will always write the house number after the street name. Many more local variations related to other data elements that make up an address exist.

For correct interpretation by systems, we need to provide unambiguous standard ways to structure the components of an address in order for the Scan 4 Transport approach to work well across large numbers of stakeholders implementing the S4T approach.

In this chapter, we have included a number of sample addresses from various parts of the world and indicated which GS1 Application Identifiers should be used to identify each of the address data elements.

The guidance provide here is based on globally widely accepted and implemented approaches such as those followed by the UPU (Universal Postal Union) and schema.org.

  • Note: In below examples we consistently use AI 420 (Postal Code) and AI 4307 (Country Code) to include these two data elements separately rather than using AI 421 which combines country code and postal code. We recommend user organisations implementing Scan4Transport adopt this as common practice. The main reason for this is that many (even most) transportation is within a single country. For domestic transport, we can then suffice with including AI 420 (and omit AI 4307), making the QR code smaller or allowing more other data elements to be included.

9.1 Sample addresses

GS1 Japan
Place Canada, 7-3-37 Akasaka, Minato-ku,
Tokyo JAPAN 107-0052,

Data Element

Representation

Description

Example

Context

Ship-to / Deliver-to Company

4300

Name of the company and/or per receiving the freight unit

GS1 Japan

Japan

Ship-to / Deliver-to Address line 1

4302

Receiving company/residential street address line 1

Place Canada, 7-3-37 Akasaka

Japan

Ship-to / Deliver-to Suburb

4304

Receiving company/residential Suburb

Minato-ku

Japan (City)

Ship-to / Deliver-to Locality

4305

Receiving company/residential Locality

Tokyo

Japan (Prefecture)

Ship-to / Deliver to postal code within a single postal authority

420

Ship to / Deliver to postal code

107-0052

Japan

Ship-to / Deliver-to Country Code

4307

ISO 3166 Alpha-2 code for the Country

JP

Japan

 
GS1 France
21, boulevard Haussmann,
75.009 PARIS FRANCE

Data Element

Representation

Description

Example

Context

Ship-to / Deliver-to Company

4300

Name of the company and/or person receiving the freight unit

GS1 France

France

Ship-to / Deliver-to Address line 1

4302

Receiving company/residential street address line 1

21, boulevard Haussmann

France

Ship-to / Deliver-to Suburb

4304

Receiving company/residential Suburb/Town/City

Paris

France (City)

Ship-to / Deliver to postal code

420

Ship to - Deliver to postal code

75009

France

Ship-to / Deliver-to Country Code

4307

ISO 3166 Alpha-2 code for the Country

FR

France

 
Transport LAMBOLLEY
Zone Industrielle des Feuilles zone A
21 Rue des Entrepôts
SEYSSUEL
(FR) 38200 France

Data

Representation

Description

Example

Context

Ship-to / Deliver-to Company

4300

Name of the company and/or per receiving the freight unit

Transport LAMBOLLEY

France

Ship-to / Deliver-to Address line 1

4302

Receiving company / residential street address line 1

Zone Industrielle des feuilles, Zone A

France

Ship-to / Deliver-to Address line 2

4303

Receiving company/residential street address line 2

21 Rue des entrepôts

France

Ship-to / Deliver-to Suburb

4304

Receiving company / residential Suburb

SEYSSUEL

France

Ship-to / Deliver to postal code

420

Ship-to / Deliver-to postal code

38200

France

Ship-to / Deliver-to Country Code

4307

ISO 3166 Alpha-2 code for the Country

FR

France

 
GS1 Ireland
2nd Floor, The Merrion Centre
Nutley Lane
Donnybrook, Dublin 4
County Dublin, D04KF62 Ireland

Data Element

Representation

Description

Example

Context

Ship-to / Deliver-to Company

4300

Name of the company and/or per receiving the freight unit

GS1 Ireland

Ireland

Ship-to / Deliver-to Address line 1

4302

Receiving company/residential street address (Line 1)

2nd Floor, The Merrion Centre

Ireland

Ship-to / Deliver-to Address line 2

4303

Receiving company/residential street address (Line 2)

Nutley Lane

Ireland

Ship-to / Deliver-to Suburb

4304

Receiving company/residential Suburb/Town/City

Donnybrook

Ireland (City)

Ship-to / Deliver to Locality

4305

Receiving company Region – Territories

Dublin 4

Ireland

Ship-to / Deliver-to Region

4306

Receiving company/residential State/Locality

County Dublin

Ireland

Ship-to / Deliver to postal code

420

Ship to - Deliver to postal code

D04KF62

Ireland

Ship-to / Deliver-to Country Code

4307

ISO 3166 Alpha-2 code for the Country

IE

Ireland

 
GS1
300 Charles Ewing Blvd
Ewing Township, NJ 08628 USA

Data Element

Representation

Description

Example

Context

Ship-to /Deliver-to Company Name

4300

Name of the company and/or per receiving the freight unit

GS1

USA

Ship-to /Deliver-to Address line 1

4302

Receiving company/residential street address line 1

300 Charles Ewing Blvd.

USA

Ship-to /Deliver-to Suburb

4304

Receiving company/residential Suburb

Ewing Township

USA (Town)

Ship-to / Deliver-to postal code

420

Ship-to / Deliver-to postal code

08628

USA

Ship-to / Deliver-to Country Code

4307

ISO 3166 Alpha-2 code for the Country

US

USA


GS1 Australia Melbourne Office
Nexus Business Park 8 Nexus Court,
Mulgrave Victoria 3170 Australia

Data

Representation

Description

Example

Context

Ship-to / Deliver-to Company

4300

Name of the company and/or per receiving the freight unit

GS1 Australia Melbourne Office

Australia

Ship-to / Deliver-to Address line 1

4302

Receiving company/residential street address (Line 1)

Nexus Business Park

Australia

Ship-to / Deliver-to Address line 2

4303

Receiving company/residential street address (Line 2)

8 Nexus Court

Australia

Ship-to / Deliver-to Suburb

4304

Receiving company/residential Suburb/Town/City

Mulgrave

Australia (City)

Ship-to / Deliver-to Locality

4305

Receiving company/residential State/Locality

Melbourne

Australia

Ship-to / Deliver-to postal code

420

Ship to - Deliver to postal code

3170

Australia

Ship-to / Deliver-to Region

4306

Ship to - Deliver to

Victoria

Australia

Ship-to / Deliver-to Country Code

4307

ISO 3166 Alpha-2 code for the Country

AU

Australia

10 Support for space character and non-Latin characters

Many of the data elements that the S4T approach created new AI for, will contain characters that cannot be included in the Scan4Transport barcode as-is.

Common examples of such characters are “space” and so-called non-Latin characters such as ä, Ü, ñ, Ô, ç and entire languages (e.g., Korean, Thai, Chinese).

All of the address examples in the previous chapter included “space” characters.

One of the French address examples above included ô (21 Rue des Entrepôts


The characters that can normally be encoded within a barcode are those appearing in the invariant subset of ISO/IEC 646, as shown in Figure 7.11-1 of the GS1 General Specifications. This does not include any non-Latin characters.

Fortunately, the global Unicode standard UTF-8 is widely used in the World Wide Web to define how these so-called “special characters” may be expressed using hexadecimal characters ( 0-9 and A-F ) to identify such characters within the Unicode character code tables. By using UTF-8 in combination with Percent-encoding defined within RFC 3986, it is possible to express any "special" character within a Web URI or within in the string of “allowed” characters that may be encoded in the barcode. This approach ensures that anybody who reads the barcode and decodes it will be able to recreate the correct content for each data element in the barcode even if those data elements contained “special characters”. For this reason, the GS1 General Specifications will note that percent-encoded values may appear within the encoding of GS1 Application Identifiers 4300-4306, 4310-4316 and 4320 – and that if such percent-encoded sequences appear, they should be decoded to the corresponding special characters.

10.1 Percent encoding of symbol characters and space

Although space characters frequently appear within address information, the 82-character invariant subset of ISO/IEC 646 (GS1 GENSPEC Figure 7.11-1) does not include the space character.

A space character can be percent-encoded as %20, although URL encoding often makes use of + as an alias alternative for %20. The use of + instead of %20 will reduce the number of symbol characters, potentially resulting in a smaller barcode. Because of the special use of + and % in percent-encoding, additional care needs to be taken if a literal plus or percent symbol need to appear as data in elements such as a company name or address.

As explained in figure 10-1, a literal plus symbol and percent symbol need to be percent-encoded as %2B and %25 respectively, while a space character needs to be expressed as + or %20.

Table 101 Encoding graphic symbols within transport process element strings

Graphic Symbol

Symbol name

When used within element string for GS1 AIs (4300)-(4306), (4310)-(4316) and (4320) encode as follows

!

Exclamation mark

!

Quotation mark

%

Percent sign

%25

&

Ampersand

&

Apostrophe

(

Left parenthesis

(

)

Right parenthesis

)

*

Asterisk

*

+

Plus sign

%2B

,

Comma

,

-

Hyphen/Minus

-

.

Full stop

.

/

Solidus

/

:

Colon

:

;

Semicolon

;

Less-than sign

=

Equals sign

=

Greater-than sign

?

Question mark

?

_

Low line

_

 

Space

+ or %20

The correct sequence for making these substitutions is critical, to avoid encoding twice. For encoding in GS1 element strings the following steps should be followed:

  • Every literal % SHALL be replaced with %25
  • Every literal + SHALL be replaced with %2B
  • Space characters SHALL be replaced with + or %20

For example, if GS1 AI (4320) is meant to express “Parcels+ 30% cheaper”, this must be written within an element string as 4320Parcels%2B+30%25+cheaper<GS>. When decoding, every + must be replaced with %20 before using an appropriate URL decode function.

10.2 Percent encoding of Non-Latin characters (RFC 3986)

RFC 3986 defines how Percent Encoding can be used to represent non-Latin characters within URIs.  Each non-Latin character is first converted to UTF-8 and then encoded using percent encoding, where each byte is expressed as a literal percent symbol followed by two hexadecimal characters.   RFC 3629 defines UTF-8.

Example:
“Café Niçoise” would be encoded as
Caf%C3%A9+Ni%C3%A7oise

The “é” is encoded as “%C3%A9”,
the “ç” is encoded as “%C3A7” and
the space character may be encoded as “%20” or “+” as a special alias for “%20” as per RFC 3986.

  • Note: Most programming and scripting languages provide built-in commands that support for URL / URI encoding / decoding. These commands take care of percent encoding, although there may be variations in how these work across programming languages. Typically, these built-in functions don’t express space as ‘+’ but instead use %20 – although' ‘+’ is more compact.

The following GS1 Application Identifiers may use percent encoding to express values containing non-Latin characters: 

  • 4300-4306,
  • 4310-4316 and
  • 4320.

Example Address:

R. Henrique Monteiro 79
Sala 3
Pinheiros
São Paulo, SP CEP 05423-020

Ship-to / deliver-to Address one: R. Henrique Monteiro 79

Ship-to / Deliver-to address two: Sala 3

Ship-to / Deliver-to Suburb: Pinheiros

Ship-to / Deliver-to Locality: São Paulo (ã encoded as %C3%A3 )

Ship to / Deliver-to Region: SP

Ship-to / Deliver-to postal code within a single postal authority: 05423-020

  • Note: To encode an actual “+” character, this should be done using percent encoding with the string %2B.

10.3 Handling of percent encoding in programming.

Many programming languages provide built-in functions for percent-encoding and percent-decoding, as indicated in the table below:

Programming language

Function for percent-encoding

Function for percent-decoding

JavaScript

encodeURIComponent(str)

decodeURIComponent(str)

Java

java.net.URLEncoder.encode(str, StandardCharsets.UTF_8)

java.net.URLDecoder.decode(str, StandardCharsets.UTF_8)

Python

urllib.parse.quote(str)

urllib.parse.unquote(str)

.Net

Uri.EscapeDataString(str)
OR
HttpUtility.UrlEncode(str)

Uri.UnescapeDataString(str)
OR
HttpUtility.UrlDecode(str)

  • Note: The table contains some of the most popular programming environments, but is not intended to be comprehensive. Consult the manuals / help-functions of your programming environment to determine the appropriate functions to us within your environment.

11 Using GS1 barcode based approach

In this approach, user organisations will use GS1 2D barcodes on the Logistic Label.

All data elements encoded have to comply with the current rules for the GS1 barcodes.
One of those rules is that user organisations must use the GS1 element string rules and then encode the information in the GS1 2D barcode.

As explained in section 10, GS1 Application Identifiers 4300-4306, 4310-4316 and 4320 support non-Latin characters within their values provided that these are encoded using percent-encoding.

11.1 Permissible data carriers

Permissible data carriers are detailed in section 2.6.14 Encoding transport process information of the GS1 General Specifications.

11.2 Example S4T logistic label (using GS1 barcodes)

The image below shows a Logistic Label using GS1 (2D) barcodes approach to implement Scan4Transport.

The label still shows the SSCC in the GS1-128 linear barcode format as mandated by GS1 General Specifications and the Logistic Label Guideline.
This means more traditional stakeholders in the supply chain may still use the linear barcode to access information regarding the transport unit.

The label also includes a GS1 DataMatrix encoding the following information:

  1. AI 00 – SSCC, 931234500000000012
  2. AI 4307 – Ship-to/Deliver-to Country Code, AU
  3.  AI 420 – Ship-to/Deliver-to Postal Code, 3170
  4.  AI 401 – GINC, 93123458430GR
  5. AI 403 – Routing Code, MEL

Stakeholders able to process the S4T barcode may suffice with scanning the 2D barcode only.

They would be able to access additional information regarding the transport unit based on the SSCC.
Alternatively, they may use the other data elements in the S4T barcode for handling the transport unit correctly (e.g., during sorting using automated systems).

Figure 11‑1 S4T label using GS1 barcodes

12 Labelling Options

To cater for various labelling requirements across the supply chain, there are three transport labelling scenarios outlined in this guideline:

  • Standalone Transport Label
  • Two-part Transport & Logistics Label
  • Consolidated Transport & Logistics Label

12.1 Standalone Transport Label

Used to uniquely identify the transport units when the goods receiver does not require a GS1 Logistic Label to receipt the goods. If the shipper is not a GS1 Member the Logistic Provider must allocate the unique Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) for the Transport Unit using their GS1 number range.

   

Top 2D barcode:
GS1 DataMatrix symbol containing AIs
00 – SSCC
330n – Logistic Weight (kilograms)
336n – Logistic volume (cubic metres)
401 – GINC
403 – Routing Code
420 – Ship-to / Deliver-to postal code
4300 - Ship-to / Deliver-to company name
4301 - Ship-to / Deliver-to contact
4302 - Ship-to / Deliver-to address line 1
4303 - Ship-to / Deliver-to address line 2
4304 - Ship-to / Deliver-to suburb
4306 - Ship-to / Deliver-to region
4307 - Ship-to / Deliver-to country code
4308 - Ship-to / Deliver-to telephone number
4310 - Return-to company name
4311 - Return-to contact
4312 - Return-to address line 1
4313 - Return-to address line 2
4314 - Return-to suburb
4316 - Return-to region
4317 - Return-to country code
4318 - Return-to postal code
4319 - Return-to telephone number
4320 - Service code description
4322 - Authority to leave
 

Bottom Linear barcode:
GS1-128 Symbol containing AI
00 - SSCC

12.1.1      Standalone Transport Label Positioning on pallets

LEGEND:

T = Transport Label

 

The Transport label is to be positioned on the far left of the pallet between 400-800mm from the floor (where possible) and 50-100mm from the edge of the pallet.

12.2 Two-part Transport & Logistics Label

Used when the freight has already been labelled with a GS1 Logistic Label containing a Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC). This can occur when the freight is labelled with a GS1 Logistics Label at the time of production, however the final destination of the freight (e.g. customer) or transport requirements (i.e. service or routing information) is not known. An additional label following the two part transport & logistics label approach, containing the relevant information required by the Logistic Service Provider is added to the freight to facilitate the transport process.
 

   

GS1 TRANSPORT LABEL

2D barcode:
GS1 DataMatrix containing AIs
00 – SSCC
330n – Logistic Weight (kilograms)
336n – Logistic volume (cubic metres)
401 – GINC
403 – Routing Code
420 – Ship-to / Deliver-to postal code
4300 - Ship-to / Deliver-to company name
4301 - Ship-to / Deliver-to contact
4302 - Ship-to / Deliver-to address line 1
4303 - Ship-to / Deliver-to address line 2
4304 - Ship-to / Deliver-to suburb
4306 - Ship-to / Deliver-to region
4307 - Ship-to / Deliver-to country code
4308 - Ship-to / Deliver-to telephone number
4310 - Return-to company name
4311 - Return-to contact
4312 - Return-to address line 1
4313 - Return-to address line 2
4314 - Return-to suburb
4316 - Return-to region
4317 - Return-to country code
4318 - Return-to postal code
4319 - Return-to telephone number
4320 - Service code description
4322 - Authority to leave
 

GS1 LOGISTIC LABEL

Top Linear barcode:
GS1-128 Symbol containing AIs
02 – GTIN contained in a logistic unit
10 – Batch or lot number
17 – Expiration date
37 – Count of trade items in a logistic unit
 

Bottom Linear barcode:
GS1-128 Symbol containing AI
00 - SSCC

12.2.1      Two-part Transport & Logistic Label Positioning on pallets

LEGEND:

T = Transport Label

L = Logistics Label

 

The Transport label is to be positioned on the far left of the pallet between 400-800mm from the floor (where possible) and 50-100mm from the edge of the pallet.

The Logistics Label is to be positioned on the far right of the pallet between 400-800mm from the floor (where possible) and 50-100mm from the edge of the pallet.

Note: The Transport label is not to be put over the top of the logistics label.

12.3 Consolidated Transport & Logistics Label

Combines the labelling requirements of both the goods receiver (e.g. retailer requiring a GS1 Logistics Label to receive the goods) and the Logistics Service Provider in one label. The consolidated Transport & Logistics label can only be applied when the shipper knows the transport details and GS1 Logistic Labelling requirements of the goods receiver at the time the freight is constructed.

The top half of the label contains the transport information required by the Logistic Service Provider and the bottom half contains the logistics information required by the freight receiver.

2D barcode:
GS1 DataMatrix containing AIs
00 – SSCC
330n – Logistic Weight (kilograms)
336n – Logistic volume (cubic metres)
401 – GINC
403 – Routing Code
420 – Ship-to / Deliver-to postal code
4300 - Ship-to / Deliver-to company name
4301 - Ship-to / Deliver-to contact
4302 - Ship-to / Deliver-to address line 1
4303 - Ship-to / Deliver-to address line 2
4304 - Ship-to / Deliver-to suburb
4306 - Ship-to / Deliver-to region
4307 - Ship-to / Deliver-to country code
4308 - Ship-to / Deliver-to telephone number
4310 - Return-to company name
4311 - Return-to contact
4312 - Return-to address line 1
4313 - Return-to address line 2
4314 - Return-to suburb
4316 - Return-to region
4317 - Return-to country code
4318 - Return-to postal code
4319 - Return-to telephone number
4320 - Service code description
4322 - Authority to leave
 

Top Linear barcode:
GS1-128 Symbol containing AIs
02 – GTIN contained in a logistic unit
10 – Batch or lot number
17 – Expiration date
37 – Count of trade items in a logistic unit
 

Bottom Linear barcode:
GS1-128 Symbol containing AI
00 - SSCC

12.3.1      Consolidated Transport & Logistic Label Positioning on pallets

LEGEND:

C = Consolidated Label
 

The Consolidated Transport & Logistics Label is to be positioned on the far right of the pallet between 400-800mm from the floor (where possible) and 50-100mm from the edge of the pallet.

13 Frequently Asked Questions

13.1 Do Logistic Service Providers need a Global Company Prefix?

To be able to allocate globally unique Consignment Numbers (GINC), Global Location Numbers (GLN) for Transport Hubs and Transport Unit Identifiers (SSCC), Logistic Service Providers need to obtain a Global Company Prefix.

13.2 Why can’t I use proprietary numbers to identify Transport Units instead of a SSCC?

As a Transport units can pass through multiple parties in a supply chain, it needs to be identified with a globally unique number that can be used across the entire supply chain. This is to avoid a Transport Unit being identified with a different number by each party in the supply chain, causing inefficiencies, confusion and reduced visibility.

13.3 Whose company prefix is used to create the SSCC?

A SSCC should be allocated to a Transport Unit as early as possible in the supply chain. Ideally the initial shipper of the freight uses their Global Company Prefix to generate the SSCC. If the shipper does not have a Global Company Prefix, the Logistic Service Provider should use their Global Company Prefix to allocate a unique SSCC to the Transport Unit.

13.4 Where do I obtain a Global Company Prefix?

You can obtain a Global Company Prefix from GS1 Australia, the Australian Licensor of the GS1 System of Standards.

Contact GS1 Australia on 1300 BARCODE (1300 227 263) or www.gs1au.org.

13.5 Where can I find solutions that can create/scan the Scan4Transport Label?

GS1 Australia has a program which tests the labels created by solution providers in relation to the standards outlined in this guideline. To view a list of Certified Solutions, go to: https://www.gs1au.org/scan4transport/.

14 How to implement

To implement the standards outlined in this guideline, the following steps will be required:

14.1 Shippers

Step 1 - Contact GS1 Australia if you have any questions regarding this guideline

If you have any questions regarding the standards outlined in this guideline, please contact GS1 Australia on 1300 BARCODE (1300 227 263) or email freight.logistics@gs1au.org.

Step 2 - Obtain a GS1 Company Prefix (GCP)

You can either identify Transport Units with a Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) allocated by your Logistic Service Provider (using their GS1 Global Company Prefix) or you can allocate the SSCC using your own GS1 Global Company Prefix. If your Logistic Service Provider doesn’t have a GS1 Global Company Prefix or you prefer to be in control of allocating the SSCC regardless of which Logistic Service Provider you use, you will need to obtain your own GS1 Global Company Prefix.

To obtain your own GS1 Global Company Prefix from GS1 Australia, go to:

www.gs1au.org/resources/application-forms-and-fees/

Costs to participate are not prohibitive; it encompasses a member joining fee and an annual subscription fee.

Step 3 - Identify which label scenarios you are going to use and how you are going to create it.

You will need to identify at what stage in your process the labels will be produced and how you are going to produce them.

If you need assistance, software or hardware to create the label, there is a list of Certified Solution Providers available at:

www.gs1au.org/scan4transport/

Step 4 - Get your Transport Label checked

Make sure that you get your Transport label checked by your Logistic Service Provider and/or GS1 Australia to ensure they scan correctly. For more information about GS1 barcode testing services, go to www.gs1au.org/our-services/barcode-check/.  

Step 5 – Talk to your Logistic Service Provider

Make sure that you advise your Logistic Service Provider that you plan to start using the Scan4Transport Label for your shipments with them and confirm a date to go live with the new label.

Step 6 - Take advantage of your membership

Take advantage of your GS1 Australia membership; you will have access to many resources including how to guides, customer care support, training, professional services and more.

14.2 Logistic Service Providers

Step 1 - Contact GS1 Australia if you have any questions regarding this guideline

If you have any questions regarding the standards outlined in this guideline, please contact GS1 Australia on 1300 BARCODE (1300 227 263) or email freight.logistics@gs1au.org.

Step 2 - Obtain a GS1 Company Prefix (GCP)

Not all of your customers will have their own GS1 Global Company Prefix to allocate a Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) to each transport unit. Subsequently, Logistic Service Providers should obtain their own GS1 Global Company Prefix to allocate a SSCC to any Transport Units missing a SSCC.

You will also use the GS1 Global Company Prefix to generate the Global Identification Number for Consignment (GINC), Global Location Numbers (GLN) and Global Individual Asset Identifiers (GIAI) for your assets.

To obtain your own GS1 Global Company Prefix from GS1 Australia, go to:

www.gs1au.org/resources/application-forms-and-fees/

Costs to participate are not prohibitive; it encompasses a member joining fee and an annual subscription fee.

Step 3 - Identify the data your business needs to perform the transport task and how you are going to capture it from the Scan4Transport Label.

You will need to identify all the data your business needs to perform the transport task and verify that the Scan4Transport Label contains everything you need. You may need to capture additional data electronically via the Australian Transport EDI Guidelines (e.g. EDI Transport Instruction).

If there is any essential data missing from the standards outlined in this guideline, email freight.logistics@gs1au.org.

Step 4 - Identify how your customers will create the Transport Label

There are many ways shippers can create Transport Labels. Some may use their own software, while others will use your website or custom software. Subsequently, you will need to manage the update of these systems to support the Scan4Transport standards. You may also need to contact your key solution providers to discuss your requirements.  

Step 5 - Identify how you are going to recreate the Transport Label if required (i.e. damaged)

You need to determine how you are going to create/recreate a Scan4Transport Label in the event a transport unit has not been identified with a SSCC or the label of a Transport Unit identified with a SSCC is damaged. As the visibility of a freight unit is effected when the ID is changed as it moves through the supply chain, it is important that you are able to recreate the Scan4Transport label if required.

Step 6 - Advise your trading partners (Transport Customers and subcontractors)

Make sure that you advise GS1, your transport customers and subcontractors that you are supporting shipments using the Scan4Transport Standards.

Step 7 - Take advantage of your membership

Take advantage of your GS1 Australia membership; you will have access to many resources including how to guides, customer care support, training, professional services and more.

If you need any software, hardware or technical assistance, there is a list of Certified Solution Providers available at:

https://www.gs1au.org/scan4transport/   

A Abbreviations

Abbreviation

Full term

2D

Two dimensional

AI

GS1 Application Identifier

AIDC

Automatic Identification and Data Capture

EPC

Electronic Product Code

GCP

GS1 Company Prefix

GLN

Global Location Number

HRI

Human Readable Interpretation

LSC

Logistic Services Client

LSP

Logistic Services Provider

S4T

Scan for Transport

SSCC

Serial Shipping Container Code

T&L

Transport and Logistics

B Glossary of Business Terms

Please refer to the www.gs1.org/glossary for the latest version

Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC)

A technology used to automatically capture data. AIDC technologies include barcodes, smart cards, biometrics and RFID. [GENSPECS]

GS1 identification key (ID Key)

A unique identifier for a type of objects (e.g., logistic units) or an instance of an object (e.g., a location or a transport unit).

GS1 ID key issuance and allocation

Issuance is the generation of a GS1 Identification Key (ID Key), based on the format and syntax for that key and on the issuance policy of the managing entity.

Allocation is the association of the issued GS1 Identification Key with an object of the type supported by the GS1 Identification Key in accordance with the GS1 rules.

Different entities may be involved in each process. For example, a computer program could be used to do the issuance and a human could be used to do the allocation.
A classic example of this is one where the IT department prepares a spreadsheet of available SSCCs (Serial Shipping Container Codes) for use by the Logistics department. Each SSCC in the spreadsheet is issued, but until the Logistics department actually assign it to a specific logistic unit, it is not considered to be allocated.

GS1 Prefix

A unique string of two or more digits issued by GS1 Global Office and allocated to GS1 Member Organisations to issue GS1 Company Prefixes or allocated to other specific areas. [GENSPECS]

GS1 Company Prefix

A unique string of four to twelve digits used to issue GS1 identification keys. The first digits are a valid GS1 Prefix and the length must be at least one longer than the length of the GS1 Prefix. The GS1 Company Prefix is issued by a GS1 Member Organisation. As the GS1 Company Prefix varies in length, the issuance of a GS1 Company Prefix excludes all longer strings that start with the same digits from being issued as GS1 Company Prefixes. [GENSPECS]

GS1 Application Identifier

The field of two or more digits at the beginning of an element string that uniquely defines its format and meaning.[GENSPECS]

GS1 Digital Link

The expression of the GS1 System of Identifiers on the World Wide Web as defined in the GS1 Digital Link standard.[DIGLNK]

C Measuring transport unit dimensions

This Implementation Guideline includes separate data elements for dimensions of the transport unit.
Data titles for these data elements are Height (AI 333n), Width (AI 332n), and Length (AI 331n).

To ensure an unambiguous understanding of these data elements please follow the guidelines in this Annex.

These guidelines do not (yet) cover all possible shapes and sizes of transport units, but they provide some rules that should work for most transport units.

The starting point for determining height, width, and length is agreeing on the orientation of the transport unit before starting to determine the values for the dimensions.

Ensure the unit is upright before measuring it, this may be shown by arrow markings such as the graphic below or by readable text on the packaging.

In the absence of such marking or text, there may be other clear indications of the top.
E.g.,:

  • A beer-keg will have its opening (for filling and connecting to the beer-pump) on its top (or very near to that).
  • Cardboard boxes are often closed by adhesive tape over the top opening.
  • Text printed on the side (e.g., “Fragile”) is easily read when the transport unit is on its down-side. Clearly, the top of the unit is in the opposite direction.

Once the Transport Unit is in the upright position, we can measure the dimensions.
Below we will assume the Transport Unit is on a horizontal plane when doing the measurements.

As mentioned above there are many different shapes a Transport Unit may take.
Nevertheless, we can apply the below rules to all of those shapes:

  1. Measure Height (H) from the horizontal plane up to the highest point of the Transport Unit;
  2. Measure Width (W) and Length (L) parallel to the horizontal plane;
  3. Width and Length are the greatest distance measured from one side of the transport unit to the opposite side (as projected on the horizontal plane);
  4. The Width dimension contains the smaller of the two measurements for Width and Length;
  5. The Length dimensions contains the larger of the two measurements for Width and Length

Below example for rectangular objects (e.g., cardboard box or standardised pallets) will assist in understanding how to apply the generic rules.


The X and Y-axes represent the horizontal plane. The Z-axis represents the vertical direction.

In the above illustration, we determined the orientation of the Transport Unit by positioning the “opening” of the box in the direction of the Z-axis. This will be the most common scenario when the goods are packaged in transport units before despatch from seller/shipper.

The opening is the top of the Transport Unit.

Now that we know the top, we can easily determine the three dimensions of this rectangular object

  1. Measure the Height (H) along a vertical rib of the Transport Unit;
  2. Measure the Width and Length along two perpendicular ribs in the horizontal plane;
  3. Assign the lower of the values measured to the Width dimension and the higher to the Length dimension;

For cylindrical transport units (like kegs), you measure the Height in the same way as for the rectangular transport units. The Width and Length will be the same and equal to the diameter of the cylinder.

For oval-shaped transport units, the width dimension will be the shortest measurement across and the length will be the largest measurement across (both measured along the horizontal plane).

Clearly, there are many more shapes. We should also acknowledge the “ideal” shapes described above, may not always present themselves exactly like that in actual practice.
In those instances, you apply rule 3 mentioned on previous page.

 

Release 1.0, Ratified, Aug 2021

Ⓒ 2021 GS1

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