Global Shipment Identification Number

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The Global Shipment Identification Number (GSIN) is part of the GS1 system of standards. It is a simple tool to identify shipments and can uniquely identify shipments where required. GS1 is a non-profit organization establishing standards for World Trade.

Definition of a GSIN[edit]

The GS1 Identification Key used to identify the shipment identification number (bill of lading) is a number assigned by a consignor. It provides a globally unique number that identifies a logical grouping of physical units for the purpose of a transport shipment. The key is composed of a GS1 Company Prefix, Shipper Reference, and Check Digit’ Shipments and consignments can comprise one or many logistic units. If the shipment/consignment comprises more than one physical object there is no requirement that they are attached together. A consignment/shipment number identifies a logical grouping. When a shipment or consignment number is read the message is that this physical unit should be associated with any other physical units carrying the same shipment or consignment number. Individual physical units carry the SSCC as described in the previous section.

Benefits of using a GSIN[edit]

The world customs organisation (WCO) has published guidelines for the unique consignment reference (UCR) in 2004. These guidelines require the sender (consignor) of goods to identify physical grouping of several transport or logistic units to be identified with a single UCR. This UCR is used by customs authorities to identify these groupings of transport units when undergoing import or export processes. The UCR is an integral part of the customs declaration messages. The requirements to a complex scenario are that the UCR has to identify several transport or logistic units that travel under one single customs declaration (or despatch advice). The GS1 Application Identifier that meets the WCO requirements is AI 402. The SSCC is the identification of a single logistic unit, The Shipment Identification identifies a grouping of such units. When storing the information in transaction files, users should foresee two different data fields. This should not be a problem because the two keys identify different things and therefore need to be stored in different places because if the SSCC and GSIN were stored in the same data field number clashes will occur.

GSIN Structure[edit]

GSINs are composed of an Application Identifier (402), a GS1 Company Prefix, a shipper reference number and a check digit.

Format of the Element String[edit]

Shipment Identification Number
Application
Identifier
GS1 Company Prefix
(var. length)
Shipper
Reference
Check
Digit
4 0 2 N1 N2 N3 N4 N5 N6 N7 N8 N9 N10 N11 N12 N13 N14 N15 N16 N17
Company Prefix
A globally unique number assigned to a GS1 member company
Shipper Reference number
The number assigned by the member company to the shipment. It is assigned by the consignor, and should be sequentially allocated.
Check Digit
A modulo-10 number calculated across the preceding digits to ensure data integrity.

The data carrier used to represent the GS1 Consignment Number is the GS1-128 barcode symbology.