CEN – postal services standardisation

The European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) has published the Technical Specification (TS 17073) for Postal Services – Interfaces for cross-border parcels.

The specification is part of the European Commission’s strategy, “Digital Single Market: Bringing down barriers to unlock online opportunities”.

Walter Trezek, co-chairman of the e-Logistics Working Group of Ecommerce Europe and leader of CEN’s work on the standardised label, commented: “This is a major step forward to truly innovate cross-border parcel delivery services in Europe. One of the main causes of difficulties in parcel delivery is closed standards, leading to proprietary networks and resulting in unfavourable market conditions for online merchants.”

According to Ecommerce Europe: “The ultimate goal is to transform cross-border parcel delivery services through the use of a single, common parcel label that includes a parcel identification code.

“GS1 is pleased the CEN has designated the GS1 Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) to uniquely identify parcels and enable interoperability between all parties in the parcel delivery network.

“The GS1 SSCC is a natural choice since many companies already use it and other GS1 standards in their businesses.

“By implementing the new CEN parcel label that uses open global standards, formerly closed networks may now be connected to create an end-to-end delivery network.

“Senders of parcels will be able to use the same label for all parcels. All handlers of the parcel will be able to use the SSCC to more easily track the parcel’s journey from sender to consumer and, if needed, back to the sender for a consumer’s return.”

Miguel Lopera, president and CEO at GS1, said: “The CEN parcel label and SSCC introduces exciting possibilities for online retailers that want to offer consumers an exceptional delivery experience, and at less cost.”

Chairman GS1 in Europe, Bruno Aceto, added: “By using the same label and the SSCC, parcel delivery companies can easily collaborate to meet their customers’ expectations in terms of service options, flexibility, visibility and reliability. Furthermore they will eliminate various costly activities that do not add value for their customers.”

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