What is an SSCC number in Pharma

[Blog] SSCC – the power of standardization in the pharma industry


In the complicated world of pharmaceutical logistics, precision and traceability are crucial. You have probably heard the acronym SSCC. Certainly, you ask yourself or google what does SSCC stand for? The acronym is short for Serial Shipping Container Code.


This barcode emerges as a pivotal player in enhancing efficiency within the pharmaceutical supply chain. This article delves into the specific relevance of SSCC codes in the pharmaceutical industry.







What is an SSCC number


SSCC is an 18-digit numerical number, defined by GS1. It can be used by companies to identify a logistic unit, which can be any combination of trade items packaged together for storage and/or transport purposes. This packaging level is marked with a SSCC linear barcode on a label affixed to the packaging.


SSCC barcode is a unique identifier that finds resonance in the pharmaceutical sector. Tailored to meet the strict demands of this industry, the SSCC label is crucial in logistics as it uniquely identifies each case or pallet shipped and its contents.


In the pharmaceutical realm for labeling logistic units with SSCC, it is recommended to employ GS1-128 linear barcodes.

SSCC number

Examples of an SSCC with a 7-digit GS1 Company Prefix


Examples of an SSCC with a 9-digit GS1 Company Prefix

Examples of an SSCC with a 9-digit GS1 Company Prefix


This specialized encoding ensures that critical information about pharmaceutical shipments is seamlessly incorporated into the barcode, allowing for precise data capture and processing.



For what the SSCC barcode is used for in Pharma industry


Within the pharmaceutical logistics landscape, the SSCC, following GS1 standards, serves as a distinctive marker for individual units, such as:

  • bundles;
  • cases;
  • pallets;
  • air cargo containers.


This granular identification is instrumental in maintaining the integrity and security of pharmaceutical goods during transit and storage.



Benefits of SSCC codes for pharmaceuticals


The benefits of SSCC codes in the pharmaceutical industry extend beyond mere identification. They play a crucial role in logistics operations, contributing to faster and error-free processing of pharmaceutical shipments.


SSCC codes provide the necessary framework for traceability processes, offering pharmaceutical companies a tool to comply with regulations and quality control standards.


This, in turn, translates to enhanced efficiency and adherence to regulatory standards.


The global nature of the pharmaceutical industry demands not only precision but also standardized practices. The SSCC codes fosters consistency in pharmaceutical logistics globally, ensuring that pharmaceutical shipments can be tracked and managed seamlessly across borders.


As pharmaceutical logistics continue to evolve, the role of GS1 standards and defined by them identification keys such as SSCC is becoming increasingly vital, contributing to the integrity, traceability, and the efficiency of pharmaceutical supply chains worldwide.