Europe picks GS1 container code guideline for international parcels

Australian Freight Labelling Guideline used as basis for similar CEN initiative

Europe picks GS1 container code guideline for international parcels
Bonnie Ryan hails Europe’s acceptance of the standard guideline


The European Union has taken Australia’s lead on cross-border parcel identification through standardised labelling.

More than a year after GS1 Australia and the Australian Logistics Council unveiled the Australian Transport Standards for Freight Labelling and EDI and the GS1 Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC), the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) has chosen the SSCC to help transform international parcel deliveries to and from Europe.

Based on GS1 global supply chain standards and best practice, the Australian Freight Labelling Guideline provides guidance to industry on how to physically identify and label logistics and transport units to support efficient transport management processes from point of origin to destination.

The Technical specification (TS 17073) for Postal Services – Interfaces for cross-border parcels released by the CEN, and the Australian Freight Labelling Guideline released by GS1 Australia and the Australian Logistics Council (ALC), both use the SSCC as the primary identifier for freight units to provide efficiency, interoperability and visibility across the supply chain.

"GS1 Australia has been actively working with the local trade and transport industry for many years to improve the efficiency, security and visibility of freight using GS1 standards," GS1 Australia trade, transport and heavy industry senior manager Bonnie Ryan says.

"The Australian Freight Labelling Guideline was provided and referenced in the guideline published by the CEN, highlighting that our advanced work in standardisation of freight labelling is ahead of Europe."

The aim is to transform cross-border parcel delivery services using a single, common parcel label that includes a parcel identification code.

"The CEN parcel label and SSCC introduces exciting possibilities for online retailers that want to offer consumers an exceptional delivery experience, and at less cost,"GS1 president and CEO Miguel Lopera says.

The GS1 SSCC exists for importing and exporting to Europe and will help to increase value by enabling more delivery options and reduce costs by increasing efficiency in the value network.

The announcement by CEN is the result of a collaborative effort by representatives from postal organisations, online retailers, couriers, express and parcel service providers. It is part of the European Commission’s strategy, Digital Single Market: Bringing down barriers to unlock online opportunities.

"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," Walter Trezek, co-chairman of the e-Logistics Working Group of Ecommerce Europe and leader of CEN’s work on the standardised label, says.

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