Meat & Livestock News

Exploring Barcodes as Shipping Marks for US Exports: AMPC’s Innovative Approach

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The Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC) is examining the potential for using existing product label barcodes as shipping marks for US exports. This initiative could lead to significant savings for the industry by reducing shipment rejections and easing the administrative workload.

Ann McDonald, AMPC Program Manager, is optimistic about the project’s prospects. The US has already approved barcodes on pallets for shipments containing a single product type.

However, this method is not feasible for mixed consignments due to the inability of a single barcode to represent multiple products.

The current focus is on the feasibility of recognising carton label barcodes, which are standard from processing facilities, as shipping marks. This would eliminate the need for manual application of additional stickers or stamps on every carton.

AMPC is also assessing how these barcodes can be linked to government health certificates. Initially, this connection will be made through Meat Messaging, but the ultimate aim is for a direct link to the certificate, creating a more streamlined and reliable process.

Meat Messaging currently handles 80% of US exports and has already addressed many issues associated with traditional shipping labels, such as peeling, blurring, or being obscured.

Using the label barcode as the shipping mark is seen as a progressive step that could remove manual elements from the shipping preparation process and simplify the verification of consignments upon arrival at the destination.

The project, involving seven processors, is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

Set of Facts:

  • AMPC is exploring the use of product label barcodes as shipping marks for US exports.
  • The initiative could reduce the number of rejected shipments and administrative tasks.
  • The US has approved barcodes on pallets for single-product shipments.
  • The challenge remains for mixed consignments which require multiple product representation.
  • The project aims to link barcodes directly to health certificates, streamlining the export process.
  • Meat Messaging is currently used for the majority of US exports, improving label reliability.
  • The project is set to conclude by the end of the following year.