Definition, meaning, and explanation of

GTIN - Global Trade Item Number

What is GTIN?

The Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is an internationally recognized system for uniquely identifying products in the supply chain. It’s used to encode information such as the item’s manufacturer and the product itself.

Components and Structure of GTIN

Standard Formats

Includes various formats like UPC (12 digits), EAN (13 digits), and ITF-14 (14 digits).

Unique Identification

Each GTIN is unique, ensuring precise identification of products globally.

Benefits of GTIN

1. Global Standardization: GTIN enables consistent product identification worldwide, streamlining international trade and e-commerce.

2. Supply Chain Efficiency: Facilitates precise inventory tracking and management, reducing errors and improving logistics operations.

3. Enhanced Point of Sale Operations: Speeds up retail transactions by enabling quick and accurate product scanning and inventory updates.

Types of GTIN

The Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is used worldwide for the unique identification of products and is available in various types, each tailored to different packaging levels and regional requirements. The main types of GTIN include:

1. GTIN-12 (UPC-A): 

  • Predominantly used in North America.
  • Contains 12 digits and is widely recognized in the retail sector, especially for scanning at points of sale.
  • Also known as the Universal Product Code (UPC).

2. GTIN-13 (EAN-13): 

  • Commonly used globally, especially in Europe.
  • Comprises 13 digits and is used for retail products.
  • Known as the European Article Number (EAN), but its use extends beyond Europe.

3. GTIN-14: 

  • Used for items in larger quantities or cases.
  •  Contains 14 digits and is typically used for boxes or cartons of products.
  • Useful for managing inventory at a wholesale or logistics level.

4. GTIN-8 (EAN-8): 

  • A compact version containing 8 digits.
  • Used for smaller items where a full GTIN-13 barcode would be too large to display.

Each type of GTIN serves a specific purpose, from individual item identification at the retail level (like GTIN-12 and GTIN-13) to the management of larger shipping units (like GTIN-14), ensuring a standardized, global system for tracking and selling products across different markets and supply chains.

Related terms in the

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