What is the Global Location Number (GLN)?

The Global Location Number (GLN) is a 13-digit numerical identifier standardized by GS1 (a non-profit for improved business communication). The GLN was made with an aim to improve the efficiency and visibility of business supply chains by helping to better identify:

  • Legal entities (e.g., an entire company, an IDN, or a distributor)
  • Functional entities (e.g., purchasing departments within a legal entity)
  • Physical entities (e.g., warehouses, hospital wings, or supply cabinet shelves)

Why is the Global Location Number (GLN) important?

While a company could create their own internal supply chain coding and tracking system, taking advantage of a standardized system, like the GLN, ensures that tracking is simple to understand while remaining scalable for business growth needs.

Using a standardized coding system also promises that two or more trading partners in a given supply chain do not use the same code to identify a location. This makes integrating new business partners quicker and managing inventory more efficient.