Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC)

An SSCC (Serial Shipping Container Code) is used to provide a unique number for logistic units. An SSCC enables manufacturers, suppliers, carriers and buyers to track a logistic unit from production to end customer. This can be used to trace goods, for warehouse management and for efficient handling in transport.

Create an SSCC

An SSCC consists of 18 digits. You create an SSCC using an extension digit, a GS1 Company Prefix, a sequence number and a check digit.

  • The extension digit is a number between 0 and 9.*
  • A GS1 Company Prefix consists of 6-9 digits.**
  • The sequence number consists of a different number of digits depending on the length of the company prefix. We recommend that you number items so that the first item gets sequence number “...001”, the second item gets number “...002”, and so on.
  • You can calculate the check digit using a tool on our website.

Here is how to create an SSCC using a GS1 Company Prefix of 9 digits:

If the company prefix has fewer than nine digits, you create the SSCC in the same way but the sequence number will be more than seven digits.

* The extension digit is a number between 1 and 9. Previously, only the digit 3 was used, so there may exist logistic and transport-related systems that only permit the use of SSCCs that begin with 3. Note that if an SSCC is created based on the company registration number, the extension digit must always be 3. For more information see “Creating an SSCC based on company registration number” below.

** If you subscribe to a “Single number” from GS1 Sweden, special terms apply. For more information see “Creating an SSCC using a “Single Number” below.

Encode an SSCC in a barcode or RFID/EPC tag

The usual symbology for encoding an SSCC is GS1‑128. This barcode is often printed on a pallet or transport label (GS1 Logistics Label), but it is also possible to use an RFID/EPC-tag.

GS1‑128 includes Application Identifiers (AI). These describe what type of information is in the barcode. An application identifier consists of two to four digits and is printed in parentheses below the barcode together with information it describes. The application identifier for SSCC is “00”.

Reusing previous SSCCs

The same SSCC may not be used on two different logistic units, neither during transport nor when they are handled in the warehouse of the transport buyer or goods recipient. This means that the life span of an SSCC, that is the period until the unit is unpacked or repacked, can be from a few to many years.

The transport industry recommends that an SSCC should be available for re-use after 18 months, but only if it is certain that the SSCC is no longer in use. To estimate how many SSCCs your company needs, you can for example use the number of logistic units handled in the most recent one or two year period.

Creating SSCCs based on “Single Number”

In exceptional cases your company can subscribe to a “Single Number” in order to create SSCCs. A “Single Number” works like a GS1 Company Prefix of 12 digits but can only be used to create one GTIN, one GLN and/or 100,000 SSCCs.

A single number cannot be used to create any of GS1’s other identifiers. If your company needs to use any of GS1’s other identifiers, for example GSIN, GINC, GRAI or GSRN, or if your company needs to number more than one item of location, then you will need to order a subscription to a GS1 Company Prefix.