Global Identification Number for Consignment (GINC)

GINC (Global Identification Number for Consignment) is a globally unique number which is used to identify goods which are being transported together.

How to create a GINC

A GINC is up to 30 characters long and consists of the GS1 Company Prefix and a serial number.

  • The GS1 Company Prefix consists of 6-9 digits.
  • The serial number can consist of digits and letters. The serial number is a variable length and consists of up to 21 characters.

How to create a GINC with a GS1 Company Prefix that consists of nine digits:

If the company prefix consists of more than nine digits you create the number as above, but the serial number can consist of more than 21 digits.

Putting a GINC in a barcode or a RFID/EPC tag

The most common barcode for GINC is GS1-128, but it also possible to use a RFID/EPC tag.

GS1-128 contains so-called application identifiers (AI). They describe the information in the barcode. The application identifiers consist of two to four digits and are put in brackets under the barcode together with the information they are describing. The application identifier for GINC is 401.

Using GINC to identify a consignment

It is possible to goods, which are part of the same shipment, to be reloaded during transport and split across different transport methods or transport routes before they reach the consignee.

Those logistic units which must be transported together can be identified with a GINC. This allows the forwarder to keep the units together when they are transported from one point to the next.

GINC identifies a consignment of logistic units during transport or transport stage. GSIN (Global Shipment Identification Number) is used, in contrast to GINC, to identify a shipment from a consignor to a consignee. Logistic units retain the same GSIN during the entire transport, but are identified with different GINCs during each transport stage to the consignee.

Normally it is the forwarder who identifies the consignment with a GINC. Following agreement with the forward, the carrier or consignor may also allocate the GINC.

Example: Consignor A is sending two pallets of goods to consignee B. The loads on each pallet have been identified with two different SSCCs (Serial Shipping Container Code). Since the two pallets are part of the same shipment, the consignor identifies the two pallets with the same GSIN allowing the shipment to be tracked from A to B.

In figure 1 the two logistic units are transported together and the forwarder identifies the consignment and its two units with the same GINC.

Figure 1

In figure 2 the two logistic units are transported by different methods. When the two logistic unit are transported together, the forwarder identifies these as one consignment with the same GINC. When the two units are no longer transported together or change transport method, they are considered new consignments each with a new identity. Note that even if the two pallets are not being transported together, they are still part of the same shipment and retain the same GSIN.

Figure 2


Consignor - the party sending the goods.
Consignee - the party receiving the goods.
Forwarder - the party planning the transport on behalf of the consignor or consignee.
Carrier - the party transporting the goods between two points.