Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC)

What are SSCCs?

SSCCs can be used by companies to identify a logistic unit, which can be any combination of trade items packaged together for storage and/or transport purposes; for example, a case, pallet or parcel.


Business Benefits of Using SSCCs

■ Uniquely identifies logistics units for tracking and identification
■ Provides virtually unlimited numbering capacity
■ Integrates with all GS1 supply chain processes
■ Can be barcoded or encoded in EPC/RFID tags for simple scanning or reading
■ Links barcoded or EPC/RFID tag information to electronic communications
■ Enables fast lookup of transactional data
■ Facilitates simple electronic messaging between companies
■ Can be used at any stage in the supply chain for tracking
■ May specifically identify a dispatch, a journey, or an arrival either within or between companies
■ Applies to the entire supply chain, from raw materials supplier to manufacturer to distributor/wholesaler to end user/retailer
■ Applies to both inter-company and intra-company transactions
■ Encompasses a common vendor numbering scheme that uses the GS1 Company Prefix so that the number cannot be duplicated

 How are SSCCs used?

The SSCC can be encoded in a GS1 barcode or EPC/RFID tag, ensuring the logistic unit can be accurately and easily identified as it travels between trading partners, anywhere in the world.

When SSCC data is shared electronically via EDI or EPCIS, this enables companies to share information about the status of logistic units in transit, and reliably link it to related transport information such as shipment details.

The SSCC enables companies to link to additional information about the logistic unit. This information can be communicated via a Despatch Advice or Advanced Shipping Notice (ASN) prior to the logistic unit’s arrival. Upon receipt the SSCC will be scanned, providing the required information to speed up the receipt of goods as well as the subsequent invoicing process.

Creating SSCCs


The 18-digit numbers are created as follows:

GS1 Company Prefix: This will be allocated to you by GS1 Saudi Arabia and will vary in length from seven to nine digits. The physical builder or the brand owner of the logistic unit is responsible for the GS1 Company prefix used in the SSCC and makes the SSCC unique worldwide but does not identify the origin of the unit.

Serial reference: This is assigned by you, and we recommend that you begin with zeroes and increase the count sequentially. The structure and content of the serial reference is at the discretion of owner of the GS1 Company Prefix to uniquely identify each logistic unit. We recommend that this number should have any meaning in it.

Check digit: This is calculated using the first seventeen digits of the number. A check digit calculator is available.

The GS1 Application Identifier (00) indicates that the GS1 Application Identifier data field contains an SSCC). The extension digit is used to increase the capacity of the serial reference within the SSCC. It is assigned by the company that constructs the SSCC. The extension digit ranges from 0-9.

SSCC-18 Barcodes

  • Application Identifier (AI)

The AI “00” indicates the SSCC-18 data structure will follow.

  • Extension Digit

The Extension Digit has no defined logic and is used to increase the capacity of the Serial Reference

  • GS1 Company Prefix

GS1 Company Prefixes are 7-10 digits. Serial Reference Numbers are 6-9 digits.

Serial Reference

  • The Serial Reference number is assigned by the holder of the GS1 Company Prefix to uniquely identify a shipping container (logistic unit). A Serial Reference cannot be reused for a minimum of 12 months. The combined length of the GS1 Company Prefix and Serial Reference is always 16 digits.

Check Digit

Calculated using the Modulo 10 algorithm. Use a free Check Digit Calculator offered by Bar Code Graphics.