Global Identification Number for Consignment

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The Global Identification Number for Consignment (GINC) is part of the GS1 system of standards. It is a simple tool used to identify goods in world trade.


The GS1 Identification Key is used to identify a grouping of goods, with one or more physical items, that has been consigned to a freight forwarder and is intended to be transported as a single group. The key is composed of a GS1 Company Prefix and Consignment Information’ 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 to one another or boxed together. A consignment/shipment number identifies a logical grouping. The consignment number simply indicates 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 given.


The consignment number identifies a logical grouping of goods (one or more physical entities) that has been consigned to a freight forwarder and is intended to be transported as a whole. The consignment number must be allocated by a freight forwarder (or a carrier acting as a freight forwarder) or a consignor, but only if prior agreement of the freight forwarder is given. Typically AI (401) encodes a House Way Bill (HWB) Number. According the Multi Industry Scenario for Transport (MIST), a freight forwarder is a party that arranges the carriage of goods, including connected services and/or associated formalities, on behalf of a shipper or consignee. A carrier is a party that undertakes the transportation of goods from one point to another. A consignor is the party that sends the goods.


The SSCC is the identification of a single logistic unit, The GINC 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 GINC were stored in the same data field number clashes might occur.

GINC structure[edit]

GINCs are composed of an Application Identifier (401), a GS1 Company Prefix of the carrier and the actual consignment information. The structure of the consignment information following the GS1 Company Prefix is left to the discretion of the user of the Element String.

Format of the element string[edit]

Consignment Number
GS1 Company Prefix Consignment
4 0 1 N1 ... Ni Xi+1 ... variable length Xj (j<=30)
Company Prefix
A globally unique number assigned to a GS1 member company.
Consignment Information
The number assigned by the member company to the consignment.

The data transmitted by the bar code reader means that the Element String denoting a consignment number has been captured. The consignment number may be processed as stand-alone information where applicable or with other identification data appearing on the same unit. The data carrier used to represent the GS1 Consignment Number is the GS1-128 Bar Code Symbology.

Note: If a new consignment is created, previously consignment number bar code symbols must be removed from the physical units.


A GINC may be used identify any consignment shipment 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