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The Supply Chain requires transparent data. In addition to EDI messages, this mainly includes delivery documents (unfortunately still necessary) and labels on containers to capture container information through scans. It is also crucial in day-to-day operations to be able to read what exactly is in each container.

In the automotive industry, the standard for this label has been the VDA (German Association of the Automotive Industry) Goods Label, known as VDA4902, since 1994. As the requirements have changed since then, and numerous variants of the VDA4902 label have emerged, discussions about its successor began about 10 years ago. The result is the Global Transport Label (GTL) according to VDA4994 or Odette LL08, which can also be used in international supply chains if the customer has already accepted it.

A unique feature of the GTL is the 2D Data Matrix Code, which allows for the encryption of much more useful data than was possible with the up to 7 1D barcodes used previously. This opens up many possibilities for implementing individual digitalization solutions, from capturing the full container during goods receipt or storage to identifying an empty container for transport.

Another significant introduction is the Pack Piece ID. This globally standardized identification enables the identification of the pack piece from the supplier through the entire supply chain to the consumer. The various identifiers make it possible to use the GTL outside the automotive industry, as other sectors will benefit from its capabilities.

Since the GTL needs to be applied to practically “every” container, it was considered from the beginning that modern automotive logistics now use very complex packaging scenarios. Therefore, the GTL is specified in all conceivable sizes and is available in 7 variations from DIN A6 to blister.

LABAL GmbH, represented by Alois Labermeyer, had the opportunity to contribute to the development and rollout of the GTL standard from the beginning and is familiar with the intricacies involved. If you are considering implementing the GTL to improve your logistics processes or if you, as a supplier in the supply chain, are expected to use the GTL for your customer, feel free to contact us.

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