In the distribution and logistics of many types of products, track and trace or tracking and tracing, concerns a process of determining the current and past locations (and other information) of a unique item or property.
Barcoding is a common and cost-effective method used to implement traceability at both the item and case-level. Variable data in a barcode or a numeric or alphanumeric code format can be applied to the packaging or label. The secure data can be used as a pointer to traceability information and can also correlate with production data such as time to market and product quality.
Consumers can access web sites to trace the origins of their purchased products or to find the status of shipments. Consumers can type a code found on an item into a search box at the tracing website and view information. This can also be done via a smartphone taking a picture of a 2D barcode and thereby opening up a website that verifies the product.