What is a GLN?

Use a Global Location Number (GLN) to maximize supply chain visibility and traceability efficiency

What is a GLN?

Powered by GS1 Standards, the Global Location Number (GLN) provides businesses the ability to know who is involved in transactions and where things are located throughout the supply chain. By uniquely identifying parties and locations, GLN helps with tracking products, optimizing processes, and providing greater visibility to transactions taking place around the world. GLN does for parties and locations what barcodes do for products.

What is a GLN

Why use a Global Location Number (GLN)?

There is a continued need for greater accountability, efficiency, and visibility along the supply chain. GLNs help take the confusion out of sharing important information about companies and locations.

The GLN can also help:

  • Have a consistent, standardized way to identify parties and locations
  • Increase efficiency through quick, accurate, and actionable data exchange
  • Create a single source of truth for reliable party and location information, such as name, address, and purpose
  • Use the same identifier throughout markets and channels, allowing you and your trading partners to readily communicate information across systems
Common Terms

Common Terms

party is an entity that needs to be represented in a business-related transaction. A GLN identifying a party answers the question of “who”. This may be a legal entity or function.

  • Legal Entity: any business, government body, department, individual, or other institution that has standing in the eyes of the law and has the capacity to enter into agreements or contracts.
  • Function: a department performing specific tasks, such as an accounting department, purchasing department, etc.

location is a particular place or position. A GLN identifying a location is used to answer the question of “where” something has been, is, or will be and can be physical or digital in nature.

  • Physical Location: a tangible place that may be represented by an address, coordinates, or other means. Examples include a manufacturing facility, distribution center, dock door, farm, or bin location.
  • Digital Location: an electronic (non-physical address) such as an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) gateway.

GLNs are globally unique and interoperable. They use a common language that can be shared across trading partners to accurately and uniquely identify company or specific locations. Using GLNs can help improve visibility into your products’ location at any point in the supply chain.

Improve Track & Trace Capability by Improving Supply Chain Visibility

Improving visibility to enable track and trace within the supply chain

Global Location Number

The Global Location Number (GLN), together with the Global Trade Item Number® (GTIN®) and other GS1 Standards, creates a clear window into where and how your products move along the global supply chain.

With GLNs, you can promote a more efficient exchange of party and location information. This saves time and minimizes errors that can negatively impact your business and your customers.

The Global Location Number (GLN) enhances traceability throughout the supply chain by:

Better manage your party and location data to minimize the costs associated with missing or inaccurate data. Unique identification will help make everything possible. Learn how to get a GLN today!

Need a hand?

If you need help getting started or support with any aspect of your GS1 US membership, please get in touch.