Bar codes on transport packages

Markings on transport packages decrease remarkably the amount of unnecessary mistakes that burden the entire supply chain.

Alko requires that all transport packages made of cardboard must be provided with a bar code which can be read with a handhold scanner at Alko shops. Marking the transport packages with Alko’s product number is recommended, but not obligatory.

If possible,the transport package code should be indicated already on the offer, then we will get it automatically into all our systems. We recommend the following forms of bar codes, as they function well on the scanners that we use:

  • ITF-14, which is also known as a DUN code

  • EAN-13, but when using this code it must differ from the EAN code of the consumer package (e.g. bottle), because the scanner concludes from this code also the quantity of consumer packages.

Other forms of bar codes can also be acceptable, but their functionality must be separately checked out. This can be done by sending an original size scanned image of the code to Alko’s Material Flow Control Centre ( for checking. The scanners at Alko shops recognize with certainty only the bar codes with numbers, so letters and special characters (including the brackets) should be avoided.

Package markings of other transport packages
The requirement of using a bar code which identifies the transport packagedoes not concern packages where the product code can be scanned directly from the consumer package. Such packages are e.g. cages, dollies or shrinkwrapped products. But even on these packages it is permitted and recommended to use a separate transport package identification bar code.

If the transport package has no pre-printed bar code, then the cartons must be provided with a bar code sticker before delivering them to the shops. If ITF-14 code is used on the stickers, then the code can be formed for example as follows:

  • The first number of the code shows the number of consumer packages inside the transport package:

    1= 6 bottles/packages
    2= 10 bottles/packages
    3= 12 bottles/packages
    4= 20 bottles/packages
    5= 24 bottles/packages
    8= dolly (regardless of the number of bottles/packages)
    9= other than above mentioned package size
  • The next 12 numbers come from the first 12 numbers of the EAN code of the consumer package that is inside the transport package so that the last number of the EAN code (control number) is left out.

  • The last digit is a control number that will be calculated automatically based on the code’s earlier digits

Also take note of these when using bar codes:

  • The leading zeros have to be notified and entered into the systemas it requires them.

  • If the carton has several different bar codes, all of them can be linked to the product which facilitates the work at the shops.

  • If the package size changes e.g. from 6 bottles to 12 bottles, then also the DUN code must be changed, because the system recognizes also the package size by a bar code.

  • The recommended color of the bar code is black. Also blue, green and dark brown are acceptable. Red should never be used because the scanner has a red beam and then the contrast is insufficient.

  • For the background color it’s recommended to use white, yellow, orange or red. Never use blue, green, brown or gold as a background color.

The dimensions of the code are indicative. Deviations are acceptable e.g. due to package limitations.