Five-step approach to pallet labelling

Supplier: insignia By: insignia
06 January, 2011

Many large Australian retailers are cracking down on SSCC labels and returning goods to the manufacturer if they do not scan first time; insignia explains how to avoid this from happening.

Step one –Get a number from GS1
Apply for your unique GS1 Company number (GS1 Company Prefix) by going to

This number is the basis for all your product barcode numbers. This number is used for all your barcodes in the retail sector e.g. Product Barcode (GTIN-13), Carton Barcode (GTIN-14), Pallet Barcode (SSCC)
Step two – Shopping list: labelling software, label printer, roll of labels
Purchase labelling software that is capable of generating GS1 Barcodes e.g. Bartender by Seagull Scientific. There are a number of label printers available for different levels of pallet labelling. These range from entry level printers through to fully automated print and apply printers. One very critical element to pallet labelling is choosing the correct label for the pallet. The standard pallet label size is generally 105 x 148 (4” x 6”). Label stocks are not as simple as you may think. There are a range of materials (paper, synthetic, thermal direct) and adhesives (freezer grade, permanent, removable). Choose the right labels for the job. 
Step three – Create product list
Most companies have more than one product they manufacture. The easiest way to manage your product information is to centralise the data into a single location. This may sound complicated but can be as basic as storing the product information in an Excel spreadsheet You may already have this information stored in current database software such as Navision, SAP or other ERP software. 
Step four – Design SSCC label
Using your newly purchased labelling software, it’s now time to design your SSCC label to the GS1 specifications. Rather than reinvent the wheel, speak to the company that you purchased the software from, as they may have a GS1-approved SSCC label designed. This can be emailed to you or installed by a service provider. 
Step five – Print the label and apply the label
After all your hard work, it is VERY important that you apply the label to the correct sides and height on the pallet. Be sure not to put pallet wrap around the label and that the label is not damaged in any way. If the pallet is labelled incorrectly, this can lead to rejection at the major retail distribution warehouses.
Finally – Maintain and Service
Now that you have your pallet labelling system in place, it is important to make sure that the system continues to run smoothly and correctly. For instance, if you add or modify your product information, be sure this is inputted correctly. And look after your label printer by keeping it clean and having your service provider do yearly checkups on the printer to ensure perfect pallet label printing into the future. If you can’t print your label, you can’t ship your goods! Make sure your operators are trained on how to use and maintain the software and printer.
About insignia

insignia can provide you with the support and equipment to cover all of your GS1 requirements. We’ve worked hard to develop our reputation for top-quality products and outstanding service, and are extremely proud of the successes we’ve achieved. From premium product labels and blank labels to barcode and laser labels, we’ve got a solution to suit every application. We also offer our clients a variety of labelling equipment, including printing and applicator systems, and provide support from installation right through to ongoing maintenance and repairs. By developing close partnerships with our customers and by working with them to create unique solutions for their businesses, we’ve fostered relationships that go beyond mere sales and transactions. We’ve created relationships based on a rarity in many industries: trust. It’s this trust that has led to the development of our brand essence and ultimately our strapline “tried&true”. Tried & true represents our brand’s journey over the years. Every facet of our business has been put to the test time and time again, and we’ve continued to remain solid, yet flexible, and true to our values.
Contact them on 1 300 467 446, [email protected] or visit our website at