The GS1-128 Barcode Label Explained (Quick Guide)

Otherwise known as the UCC-128 barcode, the GS1-128 lets companies define and track products as they transfer through the supply chain. They’re used on everything from entire pallets to single cartons. But it’s no secret that their implementation and advantages can be hard to spot.

In the following sections of our guide to the GS1-128 barcode, you’ll learn everything you need to know about its uses, benefits, and creation process.

What Is a GS1-128 Barcode?

On the surface, a GS1-128 barcode might look like a random number. But that’s far from the truth. In reality, it holds a myriad of helpful information, such as


  •  GTIN (Global Trade Item Number)
  •  Serial numbers
  •  Batch and lot numbers
  •  Product dates
  •  Origin and destination of the product
  •  Nature of the product

The Benefits of Using a GS1-128 Barcode

Barcodes are valuable for businesses to share information according to GS1 open standards. While the regulations have advanced since their creation, the general usage remains the same — using a single, common language that allows global exchange.

Utilizing a GS1-128 barcode allows supply chains to run seamlessly, ensure fewer errors, improve efficiency, and use less paper. With that in mind, the primary advantages are:

  • Advanced product traceability 
  • Greater customer satisfaction thanks to improved inventory visibility
  • Lower safety stock levels
  •  Automated receiving processes

How Do GS1-128 Barcodes Work With EDI?

EDI barcode

UCC-128 labels are necessitated for compliance with EDI by grocers’, distributors’, and retailers’ suppliers. It’s normally used alongside ASN (Advance Shipment Notice) documents.

Here’s how it works:

  1.  The shipper sticks a barcode label on every pallet or carton.
  2.  The product receiver scans the barcode, which allows them to immediately understand the shipment without opening the pallet or carton.
  3.  The product receiver routes the shipment efficiently and adds it to the inventory without manually entering the information.

How Do You Make a GS1-128 Barcode Label?

Before you can start making your own GS1-128 barcodes, you’ll need to contact GS1 to acquire a GS1 US GTIN or GS1 Company Prefix. The code identifies your particular business and the products you are shipping and selling
Once you’ve received the identifier, you need to encode it using the standard GS1-128 barcode symbology to create the label.
There are many online tools designed to help you make the barcodes. However, it might be worth looking for an automation solution to save time if you’re dealing with labels for multiple product types or destinations. Finding a provider you trust saves time and energy.

Do You Need Assistance with Your GS1-128 Barcode Label? You’re In the Right Place!

The GS1-128 barcode label unlocks various trading avenues. However, incorrect labels can lead to costly consequences, so getting it right is key.
Luckily, we’re experts in barcodes. So, if you need help with GS1-128 barcodes, don’t hesitate to get in touch! Our dedicated team is always happy to help.