SSCC-label-and-when-to-use-oneWe take a look at what SSCC stands for, and whey you need to know about it. A Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) barcode is a unique label that identifies a freight item or logistics unit (pallet, container, etc) with important delivery information. Put simply, it provides all the information you need, presented in one label, on the outside of your pallet or container and provides freight visibility throughout the supply chain. 

How does it work? The SSCC label identifies each carton or pallet shipped and its contents, consolidating information from a range of sources, including your order summary, inventory data, transport data and tracking and more. 

The unique freight information is condensed into a label with barcodes, numerical codes and text. It's a lot of information, and the elements are segmented into various zones of the label, in order to be easily read and interpreted throughout the supply chain. This way, personnel at any stage of your freight distribution journey can scan and identify your freight, what is inside and where it is going. 


Remember, an SSCC label provides a single point of truth for your freight. It outlines what the order is, who is sending it and where it is going; in a universal layout that can be read throughout the logistics supply chain. 


Ensure labelling consistency across a global logistics industry  

Why do I need an SSCC label?

The main benefit of using SSCC labels is providing consistent freight information throughout the entire logistics supply chain, ensuring suitable handling, identification of sender, and clarity on delivery. From end to end, the SSCC Label will remain the same throughout the life of the logistic unit, meaning the pallet can change hands and pass through various supply chain links with one barcode detailing the inventory and distribution information.

Logistics providers rely on scanning and reading SSCC labels to accurately process the inbound freight, and to automate incoming freight data into the warehouse management system (WMS).

This allows trading partners to easily access information, and also enables automation through barcode scanning, enabling faster processing and turnaround time. The SSCC label is also accepted globally, symbolizing the freight adherence to the GS1 standards (find out more about getting your GS1 Company Prefix below). 


When do I use an SSCC label?

The SSCC label is a logistics label that is recognised internationally as a shipping and freight code for containers and pallets. Each pallet in freight is to be assigned a unique SSCC label, with specific text and barcodes displaying the freight information for the lifetime of that freight.

Put simply, SSCC labels are labels that are used by freight handlers, to identify logistic units during shipping and dispatch. Attaching an SSCC label to your freight means you have a logistics label that is recognised internationally, throughout the logistics industry.


What is the difference between an SSCC barcode and what is a Logistics label? 

The Logistics label, or pallet label, is often referred to as an SSCC label, and you may have heard these terms used interchangeably at times. The SSCC barcode is a part of the SSCC label, or Logistics label.

In fact, the SSCC label includes a number of different barcodes and identifiers, each outlining various different information that is required for logistics handlers throughout the supply chain to handle that specific item of freight. The SSCC barcode is one section of this label which allows each item of freight to be individually tracked and traced throughout distribution and transport.

How to read an SSCC label 

Like other stock barcodes, you can scan SSCC barcodes on incoming freight to access inventory information. Using your warehouse of transport barcode scanners, you can simply scan the SSCC barcode on the pallet label and view the order details. 

Each SSCC label will include information including product description, number of cartons, sender details and order information, used by warehouse or transport companies to identify the next steps for this freight.

How do you generate an SSCC barcode? 

Also referred to as a GS1-128 barcode, your SSCC barcode will typically contain information including the Purchase Order, sender details, distribution location and item information. 

How do you create an SSCC Barcode? The SSCC-18 barcode is an 18-digit number generated into an SSCC barcode for automated scanning and sorting.The universal design of the SSCC ensures each logistics item can be tracked throughout distribution, from the sender to the end receiver. 

The 18-digit number includes numerical identifiers for the following areas; 

  • Application Identifier (indicated the SSCC structure)
  • Extension digit (0 is used to increase the capacity of the Serial Reference, but has no defined logic otherwise)
  • GS1 Company Prefix (a globally unique code required for each company, before they can start using GS1 identification standards)
  •  Serial Number (assigned by the GS1 Company Prefix to uniquely identify a shipping container, containing the inventory details, and can be used for up to 12 months). 

example SSCC barcode

How to create an SSCC label 

The SSCC label is made up of various zones, with different supply chains using different versions based on their specific needs. When generating an SSCC label, the bottom zone of the SSCC label (Zone I) is generally where the SSCC-18 barcode is placed. 

Keep in mind, to generate an SSCC barcode and SSCC label, you first need to ensure your company is registered with a GS1 Company Prefix.

Create SSCC labels with CartonCloud logistics software 

It’s important to get your SSCC label right, to avoid costly mistakes including freight rejection or delays. There are two ways to generate an SSCC label; when stock is received as a Purchase Order, or when stock is packed as a Sales Order.

CartonCloud supports GS1-compliant SSCC label generation and scanning, and provides easy to follow, step by step instructions detailing how to create SSCC labels through your WMS or TMS software in their knowledge base. If you are a CartonCloud customer and have questions about how to generate your SSCC label or SSCC barcode generation, get in touch with the CartonCloud team for more information. 

To find out more about how to create SSCC barcodes and Logistics labels through your WMS or TMS software, contact the friendly team at CartonCloud for a free demo today. 

Find out more about SSCC barcodes

There are over 100 GS1 MemberOrganisations in countries all around the world. You can find out more information on SSCC-18 barcodes at GS1-128 Info and GS1 barcodes and shipping labels here


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