Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) can be used by a company to uniquely identify all of its trade items. GS1 defines trade items as products or services that are priced, ordered or invoiced at any point in the supply chain. ~ GS1
GTIN is one of the more common data structures used in retail shipping and trade. Often, a 14-digit GTIN will be required when moving your products from place to place; this allows products to be tracked at each step in the trade process. Those 14 digits may include your 11- or 12-digit UPC number, plus two leading zeros. If the spec you're working with requires this, then your UPC number '123456789098' can easily be made into GTIN '00123456789098'.
If you build your own GTINs, be sure to save your numbers as text. This sounds counterintuitive but many computer programs strip zeros from the beginning of numbers; if you save your numbers as 'numbers', your carefully-created GTINs may end up looking like your original UPC numbers. So in your database, spreadsheet, report or document, save those GTINs as text. You'll be glad you did.
GTIN and UPC
Do you need your first UPC barcodes for your products? Here’s a primer on getting started.
As the de facto barcode and data structure standards body,GS1 is an invaluable resource for questions about standards, specs, and other requirements.
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