MHI provides this first-stop resource to material handling related standards. Standards help people and organizations work with a common understanding of products and processes to promote safety, efficiency, interchangeability, and reliability.

Purchase Standards

This guide is a summary of building codes, available standards, and pertinent regulations related to material handling equipment. Published codes, standards and regulations cover many of the issues related to the installation and utilization of equipment. Where codes and standards do not exist, manufacturer’s specifications and generally accepted best industrial practice address the issues. Compliance with codes, standards, and regulations can help to prevent injuries and minimize the company’s exposure to liabilities.


A DI is a specified character or string of characters that defines the general category or intended use of the data that follows. DIs can be used in automatic identification and data capture (AIDC), Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, or other similar applications. DIs described in this document consist of a capital letter (A through Z), optionally preceded by one-, two-, or three digits (0 through 9). DIs are succeeded by a string of letters, numbers, and/or symbols of a length and composition that can vary from DI to DI, which encode specific information pertinent to the item being encoded.

DIs are specified as a method of identifying encoded data in ISO/IEC 15418, Information Technology – GS1 Application Identifiers and ASC MH Data Identifiers and maintenance, which can be purchased here.

DIs are published in the American National Standard ANSI MH10.8.2. This standard is maintained continuously and updated whenever a new DI or standard revision is approved.

The latest version of the standard can be downloaded here.

ANSI MH10.8.2 is maintained by MH10 Subcommittee 8, Coding and Labeling of Unit Loads, and is approved by the MH10 Committee on Unit Loads and Transport Packages.

Apply for a new DI or request a DI Interpretation: Apply for New Data Identifier.

Revisions to the standard and requests for new DIs and membership in the MH10 committees and subcommittees can be made by contacting the MHI Director of Standards at .

MH10’s scope is to facilitate freight movement within transportation and distribution systems by providing standards for transport-packages and unit-loads, including their dimensions, definitions, terminology, coding, labeling, and performance criteria.

MH10 consists of the main committee and two subcommittees:

  • Subcommittee 8, Coding and Labeling of Unit Loads
  • Subcommittee 10, Labels and Label Materials

MH10 is responsible for the following standards:

For information about the standards or joining the MH10 committee or subcommittees, please contact the MHI Director of Standards at .

MH1’s scope includes standardization of nomenclature, types, sizes, materials, and components of pallets, slip sheets, and other unit load bases, including sampling, inspection, and test methods.

ANSI MH1-2021 – Pallets, Slip Sheets, and Other Bases for Unit Loads

The MH1 committee also serves as the U.S. Technical Advisory Group for ISO/TC 51, Pallets for unit load method of materials.

For information about the MH1 standard or committee, please contact the MHI Director of Standards at .

ANSI-accredited standards developers are required to ANSI’s Essential Requirements for due process. MHI adheres to this requirement by administering its standards development activities in accordance with the enclosed procedures documents. The MHI Canvass Procedures pertain to standards activities implemented by MHI Industry Groups and the ASC MHC Procedures pertain to the MH1 and MH10 Committees.

Procedures for the Development and Coordination of American National Standards

MHI Procedures for the Development and Coordination of American National Standards

Why have standards?
A standard is a document that helps to demonstrate that a product, service, or process is suitable for its intended use or meets applicable contractual or regulatory requirements. Standards provide a voluntary means to achieve a desired outcome. Standards can become enforced by law when adopted by a regulatory agency or are referenced in a contract.

How are standards accredited?
Standards are developed under the auspices of an accreditation organization who provides guidance on the standards development process.

  • In the United States, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) ( is the accreditation organization for American National Standards.
  • The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) ( is an accreditation organization for international standards.

How are standards developed?
Standards are developed by committees of stakeholders representing diverse interest categories (such as product manufacturers, users, government officials, academia, suppliers, etc.) under the auspices of an accreditation organization such as ANSI or ISO. Standards are updated periodically to ensure their guidance is relevant and timely.

What are some of the core tenets for developing standards?
Diverse interests: standards benefit from soliciting input from a diversity of stakeholders representing different interest categories. In the case of ISO standards, diversity among national interests is also incorporated.

Lack of dominance: No one interest category can have a majority interest in a standards development committee.

Consensus: Standards committees need to come to a consensus on the content of a standard. Consensus means a generalized agreement, free from sustained opposition. Consensus does not imply unanimity.

Openness: Participation in Standards development activities is open to any interested party. Public comments are sought.

In the United States, standards development activities are subject to the requirements set forth in ANSI Essential Requirements: Due process requirements for American National Standards (

For ISO, standards development activities are subject to the requirements in ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1, Consolidated ISO Supplement – Procedures specific to ISO (

How do MHI Industry Groups develop standards?
Several MHI Industry Groups develop standards relevant to the products addressed by the group. These include:

MHI industry groups are responsible for proposing the development and initial drafting of standards. However, since their membership lacks the balance requirements for standards, they assemble consensus bodies called Canvass Committees who are responsible for reviewing and approving new or revised standards.

For the purposes of MHI industry group standards, Canvass Committees require participation from individuals representing the following interest categories:

  • Association
  • Distributor
  • General Interest
  • Government
  • Manufacturer
  • User

Canvass Committees are assembled when a new draft standard has been published and are disbanded after the balloting and review of the standard are complete.

Participation in a Canvass Committee is open to all persons who are materially affected by the standard in question. Contact the MHI Director of Standards at to participate or for more information.

Does MHI have procedures for development of standards?
MHI has two sets of procedures that are approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). One set of procedures is focused on the standards that are developed by groups of reviewers that are formed each time a standard is created, revised, or reaffirmed (reapproved as is). The second set of procedures is focused on the operation of standing committees that develop and maintain a variety of standards (currently the MH10 Committee on Unit-Loads and Transport-Packages, and the MH1 Committee on Pallets, Slip Sheets and Other Bases for Unit-Loads). For international standards administration focused on developing US opinions on international standards, MHI follows ANSI model procedures available on the ANSI site.