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New parcel label using GS1 open, global standards will transform deliveries in the UK and across Europe

European Committee for Standardisation publishes new specifications for a single, common parcel label

The European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) has just published new specifications for cross-border parcels, an important step towards the goal of transforming parcel delivery services using a single, common label. Postal organisations, online retailers, couriers, express and parcel service providers in the UK and across Europe all collaborated on the new specifications (TS 17073), which forms part of the European Commission’s strategy, “Digital Single Market: Bringing down barriers to unlock online opportunities.”

The use of a single, common parcel label includes a common parcel identification code. GS1 UK is pleased the CEN has chosen the GS1 Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) as this code.

“Uniquely identifying all parcels with a single code will enable interoperability between all parties in the parcel delivery network. The GS1 SSCC is a natural choice since millions of companies already use it globally, alongside many other GS1 standards in their businesses,” explains Gary Lynch, CEO at GS1 UK.

Implementing the new CEN parcel label will mean formerly closed networks will be able to connect to create an end-to-end delivery network. Senders of parcels will be able to use the same label for all parcels. All handlers of the parcel will be able to use the SSCC to easily track the parcel’s journey from sender to customer and, if needed, back to the sender for a customer’s return.

“The CEN parcel label introduces exciting possibilities for online retailers that want to offer consumers an exceptional delivery experience, and a lower cost,” says Gary. “By using the same label with the SSCC, parcel delivery companies can collaborate to meet their customers’ expectations in terms of service options, flexibility, visibility and reliability, while eliminating costly activities that add no value for their customers.”

“This is a major step forward to truly innovate cross-border parcel delivery services in Europe. One of the main causes of difficulties in parcel delivery is closed standards, leading to proprietary networks and resulting in unfavourable market conditions for online merchants,” explains Walter Trezek, co-chairman of the e-Logistics Working Group of Ecommerce Europe and leader of CEN’s work on the standardised label.

GS1 is participating in CEN’s initiative to transform cross-border parcel management and welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with Ecommerce Europe and other organisations to jointly promote the common parcel label. GS1 UK is currently working with industry to help implement the new parcel label, for the benefit of all parties.

See how SSCC’s are used today to identify pallets


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