What is a Global Shipment Identification Number?

The Global Shipment Identification Number (GSIN) is the GS1 Identification Key used to identify a logical grouping of logistic units for the purpose of a transport shipment from the seller to the buyer. The unique identifier is comprised of a GS1 Company Prefix, a Shipper Reference, and a Check Digit.

What is a Global Shipment Identification Number Used For?

 It identifies the logical grouping of one or several logistic units each identified with an separate SSCC and containing trade items as being part of a specific seller / buyer relationship and that travels under one dispatch advice and/or Bill of Lading.



Key Attributes of the Global Shipment Identification Number

The GSIN will identify any shipment grouping of logistic units uniquely, ensuring that it is always identified correctly anywhere in the world.

The shipper reference component of the GSIN provides virtually unlimited number capacity, simplifying number allocation and guaranteeing unique identification. A GSIN can be assigned by a GS1 Company Prefix licensee anywhere in the world and can be used throughout the world.

Business Benefits of Using GSINs

There are a number of benefits to using the GSIN for building a business-to-business tracking system, whether for finished goods or for raw materials. The structure of the GSIN and its assignment rules are administered by GS1®, a not-for-profit standards organization that is supported by implementation guidance, business examples, and maintenance.

In addition, the GSIN:

  • ·         ·Uniquely identifies groupings of logistics units for tracking and identification

·         ·Provides virtually unlimited numbering capacity based on the length of your GS1 Company Prefix

·         ·Integrates with all GS1 supply chain processes

·         ·Links barcoded information to electronic communications (i.e., a Bill of Lading Number)

·         ·Enables fast lookup of transactional data

·        ·Facilitates simple electronic messaging between companies

·         ·May specifically identify a dispatch, a journey, or an arrival either within or between companies

·         ·Applies to the entire supply chain, from raw materials supplier to manufacturer to distributor/wholesaler to end-user/retailer

·         ·Encompasses a common vendor numbering scheme that uses the GS1 Company Prefix so that the number cannot be duplicated


1. USE YOUR GS1 COMPANY PREFIX. Your GS1 Company Prefix is the globally unique number assigned to your company by GS1 US™ or another GS1 Member Organization. GS1 Company Prefixes are assigned to companies in varying lengths. Some GS1 members may have a prefix license certificate that shows only a U.P.C. Company Prefix (formerly a UCC Company Prefix). A U.P.C. Company Prefix must be converted to a GS1 Company Prefix for use in the GSIN.

This is accomplished by adding a zero to the front of the U.P.C. Company Prefix. The following table illustrates the conversion of a U.P.C. Company Prefix to a GS1 Company Prefix for use with GSINs.

2. CREATE THE SHIPPER REFERENCE. This number is assigned by you, the holder of the GS1 Company Prefix, one-by-one to create a globally unique GSIN. The Shipper Reference length varies as a function of the GS1 Company Prefix length.

3.  CALCULATE THE CHECK DIGIT. The Check Digit is a calculated one-digit number used to ensure data integrity.