GS1 Terms: GLN and GTIN

What is a Global Location Number?

Global Location Numbers, or GLN’s were designed to improve the efficiency of communication with trading partners, adding detailed information such as the physical location and legal entity of an item. Basically, a GLN is a 13 digit number composed of a GS1 company prefix that identifies the organization, a location reference that is allocated by the company, and a check digit calculated with an algorithm based on the previous numbers. Rather than relying on internal numbers, GLN’s offer a method of identifying locations within and outside their company that are unique, multi-sectoral, and international.

What is a Global Trade Item Number?

A Global Trade Item Number, or GTIN is a unique GS1 System Identification Number used for products and services and can be 8, 12, 13, or 14 digits in length. Their key benefit is that information about the item with a GTIN can be retrieved when it is read in a GS1 Barcode symbol. In addition, the GTIN:

  • Faciliates the flow of products and services and the information associated with them in electronic commerce.
  • Uniquely identifies items at every level of packaging
  • Allows accurate macine reading of items when placed in barcodes
  • Delivers product information in a consistent format
  • Aids and simplifies supply chain management