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Clarifying the difference between the 14 digit SCC and the 18 digit SSCC

Older pre-2005 Question: I am confused about the SCC-14 and the SSCC-18 codes. Can you explain the difference?

Answer: Itís easy to get confused between the 14 digit Shipping Container Code (SCC-14) and the 18 digit Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC-18) because their names are similar and both can be applied to the outside of shipping containers.

The SCC-14 and the SSCC-18 are both applied to cartons and shipping containers but they serve two different purposes. The SCC-14 is assigned to a particular product and package quantity. All identical products in the same package quantity are assigned the same number. The SCC-14 number means a specific product and package quantity.

Scanning the SCC-14 identifies the product and quantity but not which purchase order it should be applied against. The SCC-14 number can be printed as soon as the product is manufactured without regard for who it is going to or the need to link a particular carton to a particular purchase order. All cartons containing the same product and the same package quantity will have the same SCC-14.

The SSCC-18, on the other hand, is different for each carton and shipping container, regardless of its contents. The SSCC-18 can be applied in addition to the SCC-14 or, if the customer allows it, instead of the SCC-14. The SSCC-18 is especially useful for tracking cartons containing custom quantities of mixed products. The SSCC-18 is normally not printed until the customer and destination for that particular carton is known. Generally, this means printing after the picking process and before the shipping process.

Current Question #1: What is the relationship between GTIN and SCC-14? Answer: Actually, GTIN-14 is the same as the former SCC-14.

Current Question #2: How is SSCC related to the GTIN numbering system? Answer: SSCC is not a GTIN. It is actually acts as a license plate to track each carton in a shipment of goods through the supply chain. In fact, GTIN information is part of the ASN (Advanced Shipping Notice) which, when linked to the associated SSCC numbers in the shipment provide the complete information package for the receiving company.


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