Barcodes are how scanners read and capture the information assigned to a barcode number or GTIN, so they play a crucial role in supply chains.
They enable retailers, manufacturers, transport providers and hospitals (and many others) to automatically identify and track products as they move through the supply chain.
We have a whole family of barcodes that can be used for different sectors and in different scanning environments, but these are the ones used most often.
Types of barcodes
Barcodes for retail
Used on retail point of sale items and also in general distribution. It encodes Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN-13) and is usable worldwide, including in the US.
The barcode symbol typically used by US companies for retail point of sale items. It encodes GTIN-12s.
Barcodes for very small items
Used on small items that cannot accommodate an EAN-13 barcode at the minimum recommended size, like small cosmetics and confectionery.
If you need EAN-8 barcodes you can apply for single or multiple GTIN-8s.
Barcodes for logistics
Used to barcode product packaging like cases or cartons. It lends itself well to being printed directly onto low quality material like cardboard, and it encodes the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN).
Barcodes on pallets
Holds different types of GS1 identifiers, such as GTIN and SSCC, as well as information like best before dates, batch/lot numbers, and serial numbers. This barcode is commonly used on healthcare items, logistics units, and is often a retailer requirement for cases of short-shelf-life products.
Two-dimensional (2D) barcode
GS1 Data Matrix
A two-dimensional (2D) barcode, which can hold lots of data in a small symbol. It is primarily used for healthcare applications including, barcoding patient wristbands, marking medical devices and pharmaceuticals, and tracking assets. Image-based scanners are needed to scan the GS1 Data Matrix.
The benefits of barcodes
Barcodes are the backbone of supply chain automation, allowing your items to be processed as quickly as possible.
GS1 barcodes are technology-agnostic, which means you can use the printing method and scanning solution that‘s right for you and your business.
GS1 barcodes are a global standard, so trading partners all over the world know what to expect and can be confident that it will work with their systems.