EU common parcel label standard approved with GS1 SSCC

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A new parcel label using GS1 open, global standards will transform deliveries in the UK and across Europe and has been approved by the EU. The new label specifications for cross-border parcels is an important step towards the EU goal to transform parcel delivery services using a single, common parcel label.

The use of a single, common parcel label includes a common parcel identification code and the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) have chosen the GS1 Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) as this code.

“Uniquely identifying all parcels with a single code will enable interoperability between all parties in the parcel delivery network. The GS1 SSCC is a natural choice since millions of companies already use it globally, alongside many other GS1 standards in their businesses.”
– Gary Lynch, CEO at GS1 UK

Implementing the new CEN parcel label will mean formerly closed networks will be able to connect to create an end-to-end delivery network. Senders of parcels will be able to use the same label type for all parcels. All handlers of the parcel will be able to use the SSCC to easily track the parcel’s journey from sender to customer and, if needed, back to the sender for a customer’s return.

Common Parcel Label benefits

The real benefits for retailers (and service for consumers) is that you’ll be able to produce one standard parcel label regardless of which carrier you use. Then, once you’ve shipped your item with a courier using SSCC there will be no more “Your parcel has left the UK” or “Your parcel has been handed over to x courier”. Tracking will be carrier agnostic and will work across the entire EU, regardless of who the originating carrier in the UK is and which carrier performs the final mile delivery elsewhere in the EU.

Software solution providers will also have an easier integration task once using a single specification for the parcel identification code and a common parcel label.

“This is a major step forward to truly innovate cross-border parcel delivery services in Europe. One of the main causes of difficulties in parcel delivery is closed standards, leading to proprietary networks and resulting in unfavourable market conditions for online merchants.”
– Walter Trezek, co-chairman of the e-Logistics Working Group of Ecommerce Europe and leader of CEN’s work on the standardised label

One Response

  1. Sounds like a great idea. Wonder if it will still happen in the UK as we are leaving the EU?


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