Shipping Container Barcodes - Some questions answered

What is a SCC?


A SCC is a Shipping Container Code. It is a type of Interleaf 2 of 5 symbol. It consists of 14 digits: a packaging indicator, a space holding zero, a UPC number and a check digit. The space holding zero is included because the SCC is an Interleaf 2 of 5 bar code and it must have an even number of digits in it.


What is a SCC used for?


The SCC is used for cartons. The UPC number for the items inside is incorporated into the SCC number. The packaging indicator is the designation of the levels of packaging. For example, if you have the individual items in one box, several of that box placed in a larger carton, and several cartons on a pallet, each of those; the box, the carton and the pallet, would need to have a separate packaging indicator so that when scanned, the warehouse / distributor would know exactly what level was being scanned. The following numbers are available for use as packaging indicators: 0 is used when the carton is also sold through point of sale; this would mean that the SCC and the UPC must appear on the same carton. You may pick from 1-7 for packaging indicators for cartons that have fixed contents. 8 is reserved and not available for use. 9 is used when the carton has variable contents.


Where is the SCC most commonly used?


The SCC is most commonly used in various distribution networks.


Do I need to register the SCC numbers before using them?


You need to register the SCC numbers you use with anyone else who must scan the numbers (those in the distribution network, and retailers carrying your products for example).


What other bar codes are used in similar circumstances as the SCC?


Other bar codes used in similar circumstances as the SCC are Code 39 and the UCC/EAN 128 Shipping Container Code.


Can I encode all characters in a SCC?


In a SCC the characters must all be numeric.


What are some characteristics of a SCC?


Some characteristics of a SCC are as follows: it is not a very secure code, so it is recommended that you use bearer bars around the symbol. That way, you will not be in danger of misreads or partial reads. Since the SCC is a type of Interleaved 2 of 5 code, it has a ratio between wide and narrow bars like Code 39 bar codes. In the case of the SCC, the ratio has been designated to be 2.5:1. Again, it can only encode numbers, and there must be an even number of characters in the bar code.


Can I just use a bar code font to make a SCC?


Bar code fonts do not create the high accuracy required to guarantee scannability at point of sale. Creating bar codes requires maintaining a tolerance of +0.0002" (2/10,000 of an inch). This is not possible using bar code fonts.


It is highly recommended that specific software such as Bartender or Easylabel be used in conjunction with a thermal printer to create bar code labels.


Are there any restrictions with using a SCC?


An SCC must be numeric, it must have an even number of characters, it must have a packaging indicator, and contain the UPC number system character, manufacturer code and product code for the items inside.


What is the smallest/largest SCC I can have?


Unlike UPC/EAN symbologies, the SCC does not have a specific smallest/largest designation. The most common size used for large cartons is the 100% size with full bearer bars, requiring an area of approximately 152mm (6”) wide by 50.8mm (2”) in height.


What does SCC stand for?


SCC stands for Shipping Container Code.


How many digits can I encode in a SCC?


In a SCC, 14 digits are encoded.


Do I need to have the bearer bars / border around my code?


It is highly recommended to have the bearer bars/border around the SCC. Bearer bars are borders which are put around the perimeter of the bar code, forming a box around it, or sometimes in the case of smaller codes (those below 70% magnification) only on the top and bottom of the code. The horizontal bearer bars (on the top and bottom of the code) must touch the bars of the code. The vertical bearer bars must maintain the quiet zone requirements of the bar code. It is strongly recommended that I 2 of 5 bar codes have at least the bearer bars on top and bottom to help insure that either the code reads correctly, or doesn’t read at all, preventing partial reads which result in a misread by the scanner.

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