3PL Barcode Scanning: Unlock the Power of Your Warehouse

Find out how you can efficiently and accurately track inventory, orders, and shipments.

April 26, 2023

3PL Barcode Scanning in the warehouse

In the competitive world of logistics, it is essential to have an efficient and effective barcode scanning system in place. That’s why 3PL barcode scanning has become such an essential component of the supply chain. In this article, we’ll explore what 3PL barcode scanning is, the different types of barcodes, and the benefits of using 3PL barcode scanning. We’ll also discuss shipping carriers, barcode scanners, and tips for optimising 3PL barcode scanning.

3PL Barcode Scanning on a box

How Does Barcode Scanning Work?

Barcode scanning is a simple but powerful tool businesses can use to keep track of their inventory and shipments. You know those little lines you see on product packaging? Those are magical barcodes because they contain information about the product or shipment. When you scan the barcode with a special scanner, the information is sent to a computer system where it can be used to track the product or shipment.

In the UK, the use of barcodes has been on the rise in recent years. According to a report by GS1 UK, the organisation that manages the barcode system in the UK, the number of barcode numbers issued in the UK has increased by over 50% in the past five years. This shows that more businesses increasingly recognise the benefits of using barcodes to manage their supply chain.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you run a company that sells sports equipment. You receive an order for 100 footballs from a customer in Manchester. You use a barcode scanner to scan the barcode on each football before it gets packed up and shipped out. The scanner sends the information to your computer system, which records the product name, manufacturer, and location. It also records the shipment information, including the delivery date, location, and status. With this information, you can track the soccer balls throughout the supply chain, from your warehouse to the customer’s doorstep in Manchester.

Our 3PL clients at Clarus WMS love using barcode scanning because it’s easy to use and saves them a ton of time. They no longer have to manually input information about each product or shipment, which can be a real pain. Plus, they can quickly and easily check the status of a product or shipment at any time, which helps them keep their customers happy.

What are the Different Types of Barcodes?

When it comes to 3PL barcode scanning, businesses can use a few different types of barcodes. The most commonly used barcode is the Universal Product Code (UPC). This 12-digit code is printed on product packaging and is used to identify the product.

But there are other types of barcodes as well. For example, the European Article Number (EAN) is a 13-digit code used primarily in Europe. Some of our European clients prefer to use the EAN since it’s the standard barcode for that region. The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a 10- or 13-digit code for identifying books. If you run a bookstore or library, you’ll want to use the ISBN to keep track of your inventory. And finally, the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is an 8-digit code used to identify magazines and other periodicals.

No matter what type of barcode you use, the important thing is that it helps you keep track of your inventory and shipments. In the UK, the use of barcodes has become increasingly popular in recent years. According to GS1 UK, the number of barcodes issued in the UK has increased by over 50% in the past five years. This trend is likely to continue as more and more businesses recognise the benefits of using barcodes to manage their supply chain.

Benefits of Using 3PL Barcode Scanning

If you’re looking to streamline your supply chain operations, you might want to consider 3PL barcode scanning. It’s a game-changing technology that offers a host of benefits. Here are just a few:

First, 3PL barcode scanning can help reduce costs and minimise the risk of human error. Instead of manually tracking inventory and shipments, you can scan a barcode and access all the relevant information in seconds. This saves time and reduces the likelihood of mistakes.

Our clients at Clarus WMS have found that barcode scanning can also help to improve accuracy and efficiency. By automating the tracking process, they can provide better service to their customers and reduce delays. This, in turn, can help to boost customer satisfaction and increase loyalty.

Another benefit of 3PL barcode scanning is that it can help to reduce inventory levels and improve overall inventory management. With real-time visibility into your inventory, you can make more informed decisions about what to order and when. This can help to reduce waste and save money in the long run.

Lastly, 3PL barcode scanning can help improve supply chain visibility. Using barcodes lets you quickly and efficiently track products throughout the entire supply chain process. This helps to ensure that orders are delivered on time and that there are no errors or delays in the process.

Tips for Optimising 3PL Barcode Scanning

Businesses can optimise their 3PL barcode scanning system by following simple tips. Firstly, it’s vital to ensure the barcodes are placed correctly. This means putting them on the outside of the package, as well as on the inside, and ensuring they are clear and easy to read. By doing this, errors can be minimised, and accuracy can be improved.

The second tip is to ensure the barcode scanner is calibrated correctly. This will ensure that the scanner reads the barcodes accurately and that the data is sent correctly to the computer system. Regular barcode scanner maintenance is also crucial to keep it working correctly.

Another way businesses can optimize their 3PL barcode scanning system is to use a warehouse management system, such as Clarus WMS. This system can help automate tracking inventory, orders, and shipments while improving supply chain visibility. In the UK, research has shown that warehouse management systems can help increase productivity by up to 20%, reduce errors by up to 70%, and decrease lead time by up to 30%.

Optimising 3PL barcode scanning is essential for businesses to improve accuracy and efficiency and reduce costs associated with manual tracking. By implementing these tips and using a warehouse management system, businesses can streamline their supply chain and improve customer satisfaction.


In today’s supply chain, 3PL barcode scanning is a crucial tool that allows businesses to quickly and accurately track their inventory, orders, and shipments. By using barcodes, businesses can quickly identify their products and track them throughout the entire supply chain process. This helps to reduce costs associated with manual tracking and lowers the risk of human error.

When selecting a barcode scanner, businesses should consider the type of barcodes they need to scan and the size of their shipments. It’s also crucial to place the barcodes in suitable locations and ensure the barcode scanner is correctly calibrated and well-maintained.

Using a warehouse management system, such as Clarus WMS, can also be incredibly beneficial for businesses looking to effectively manage their 3PL barcode scanning system. This software can automate the tracking process of inventory, orders, and shipments, thereby reducing errors and improving accuracy and reducing costs associated with manual tracking.

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