Electronic Data Interchange – EDI

What is the GLN code for and why is it relevant to your business?

Global Location Number

The GLN, a 13-digit number that is specific to each company, is a crucial tool for streamlining intercompany transactions and logistics. Through their electronic management systems or applications, it simplifies communications between trading partners and makes it easier to find a lot of important information.

In the modern business world, all businesses exchange EDI data both internally and externally. Orders, delivery confirmations, bills, shipping labels, etc. Companies may be given a "electronic address" to help unify exchanges and quickly identify the parties involved. Global Location Number, or GLN, is the address that all businesses worldwide use. Here's how it functions and why your business needs it.

GLN, Global Location Number for your company

The GLN (Global Location Number), or operating point, is a global code that identifies physical locations, legal entities, and operations centers.

The information associated with the GLN is the company name, VAT ID, location, address, telephone, email, contact persons, billing information, etc.

The use of a GLN is essential in any information exchange within the supply chain.

It has a significant advantage in streamlining business relationships and logistics because it is the first step towards EDI communication with your trading partners. The goal is to be able to clearly and specifically identify a physical location (such as a warehouse, factory, store, etc.).

Orders, delivery notes, logistical labels, and invoices are all types of EDI data that are exchanged between internal and external parties by all businesses. Companies are given a "Digital ID": the GLN, to standardize these exchanges and quickly identify the partners.

Each business must establish a set of operational points to identify all the physical locations, legal entities, or administrative structures involved in its commercial transactions, according to the standards set forth by the international organization GS1.


Messages pertaining to the purchase and sale of goods and services are transmitted through EDI, or electronic data interchange. To enable accurate identification, each business and product has a unique GS1 code that is sent along with it in communications. All commercial information must be transmitted using these codes, and EDI is the system that is used to guarantee safe and error-free communication.

The GLN is essential for the identification of commercial and logistical transactions. It allows the identification of different locations, such as a warehouse, a dock, a section, or a specific department. In this way, the parties involved in a business relationship can be sure that transactions have been carried out between the correct parties, without errors.

Prior to beginning an EDI communication, each company must identify itself with a GLN code. This code serves as a locator that is inserted as a line of code in the structured information of the EDI message and prevents duplication of locations.

How can I obtain a GLN?

GS1 International is an international non-profit association whose objectives are focused on harmonizing the value chain of all industries through the implementation of electronic standards that unify business relationships worldwide. It was formed in 2005 from the merger of EAN (European Article Number) and UCC (Uniform Code Council).

GS1 manages and develops product coding standards. This provides the market with a common language for the marketing and procurement of products worldwide. This data is conveyed in commercial documentation (orders, shipping notices, invoices, etc.) and is vital to ensure the smooth running of supply processes.

GS1 supports different types of coding: barcodes, GLNs and GTINs (product identifiers). In the supply chain, smooth communication between all players is essential to ensure that the product reaches the end customer in the right form and at the right time, an issue that has recently become crucially important with the standardization of e-commerce and the proliferation of marketplaces such as amazon.

Using these standards, it is also possible to detail the movement of goods and know their location in real-time. Each product is associated with its own unique identification to facilitate its location at any time during delivery. Knowing the status of goods from shipment to delivery and throughout the transportation process is key information for customer service.

All companies can obtain a GLN by applying to the GS1 organization in their country. Once you have your GLN, your company is ready to implement EDI software in your regular business and logistics management. From then on, you will benefit from the digitalization brought about by using an EDI system capable of integrating the message exchanges you have with suppliers, logistics operators, and administrations, with any application you use in your usual management operations. All that remains is to choose an EDI service provider capable of adapting to your business model.

Adopt the GLN system and introduce your company to the world of EDI with EDICOM.

With more than 25 years of experience, our cloud solutions facilitate the exchange of more than 500 million transactions per year thanks to a robust SaaS infrastructure with guaranteed maximum availability and 24x7 monitoring.

Our EDI SaaS solution is constantly evolving to offer our customers security, scalability, and traceability in communications with their partners.

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