In this example we have used the fictitious company Exotic Fruits to demonstrate how item numbering works and how to create package hierarchies.

The newly-started company Exotic Fruits sells for the time being just three different products: tins of pineapple slices in fruit juice, pineapple slices in syrup, and peach halves in fruit juice. The company ordered a GS1 Company Prefix and was allocated the prefix 735005385.

Number and barcode consumer packages

To get a good overview of their article database they choose to number the items sequentially, that is “...001”, “...002” and “...003”. This makes it easy to see which numbers are in use and which are free. The consumer packages, that is the tins, therefore get the item numbers:

GTIN‑13 for pineapple slices in fruit juice:

  • 07350053850019

GTIN‑13 for pineapple slices in syrup:

  • 07350053850026

GTIN‑13 for peach halves in fruit juice:

  • 07350053850033

In their article database they store the full 14-digit item number, but when they barcode the packages with EAN‑13 they remove the leading zero.

Number outer packages and pallets

When Exotic fruits sell their tins of pineapple slices in fruit juice they pack them 12 tins to an outer package and then stack 81 outer packages on a pallet. The outer packages and pallets must, just like the tins, each have a GTIN.

The company chooses to use the contained item’s GTIN‑13 to create GTIN‑14s for the outer package and pallet, as in Alternative 1. They could equally well number all three packaging levels with GTIN‑13, as in Alternative 2.

  Alternative 1 Alternative 2
Consumer package GTIN-13: 07350053850019 GTIN-13: 07350053850019
Outer package GTIN-14: 17350053850016 GTIN-14: GTIN-13: 07350053850040
Pallet GTIN-14: 27350053850013 GTIN-14: 07350053850057

Barcode outer packages and pallets

Exotic fruits choose to mark their outer packages with GS1‑128 barcodes. In addition to the outer package’s GTIN‑14, they put the batch number in the barcode for traceability.

They could have chosen to mark the outer packages with ITF‑14, but then they would only have been able to put the item number and not the batch number in the barcode. If they had chosen to number the outer packages with GTIN‑13 then they could also have chosen an EAN‑13 barcode.

To be able to keep pallets of different types of tins separate in the article database, they identify the pallets with a GTIN‑14. They do not need to put this item number in a barcode unless the pallet is an orderable unit. On the other hand, they must mark each individual pallet with a GS1 Pallet Label.

The pallet label must include the pallet’s SSCC in a GS1‑128 barcode. Exotic fruits use the same GS1 Company Prefix to create SSCCs as they use to create GTINs. One pallet is identified with 173500538500000016 and another with 173500538500000023.

  Item number Barcode
Consumer package GTIN-13 EAN-13
Outer package GTIN-13 GS1-128, ITF-14 or EAN-13
GTIN-14 GS1-128 or ITF-14
Pallet GTIN-13 GS1 Pallet label
GTIN-14 GS1 Pallet label

Send Trade Item Information to customers

Exotic fruits will send trade item information their customers. So that their customers can reliably know who the information is coming from, the company identifies itself using a GLN. Exotic fruits have chosen GLN 7350053850002 from their number series. When Exotic fruit’s customers key this number into GS1’s number information service they will get address and contact information.