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The importance of drop testing for ships-in-own-packaging durability

The Finnish Packaging Association’s magazine, Pakkaus (7/23 p. 8), published an interesting article about Amazon’s online purchases being delivered to people at home in Sweden without a shipping box.

Thousands of products, ranging from kitchenware to sports equipment, have been chosen to be sent in their own packaging. Of particular interest is the mention that all these products have passed drop tests.

Amazon is working to increase the number of products shipped without a box or bag. This method aims to reduce costs, waste, and CO2 emissions. Currently, globally, around 11% of Amazon’s products are delivered without additional packaging, and the company plans to increase this number. It plans to expand its Ships in Product Packaging program significantly in 2024. Known cost savings are also associated with certified packaging.

Testing needs will increase significantly

As a result, the need for packaging testing will grow remarkably, as shipping costs and materials are reduced in the name of competitiveness and sustainable development by abandoning shipping packaging.

The original packaging must be more robust to adequately protect its contents. This can be ensured by pre-testing the packages in a laboratory. Validation can be conducted using ISTA – International Safe Transit Association pre-shipment tests, developed specifically for this purpose. Test protocols include various methods, but let’s focus here on the drop testing mentioned earlier.

What exactly are the functions of drop testing? Why is drop testing crucial, and what does it ensure?

1. Simulation of real-world conditions

Drop testing can simulate various situations and conditions that packages may encounter during handling, transport, and delivery. These can include different types of shocks, drops, bumps and impacts.

With a drop tester (picture below), the package can be precisely dropped onto the platform of the tester from different heights and angles. For reliable, repeatable and comparable testing, a drop tester is the right tool.

kvalidrop pudotustesteri drop tester

2. Ensuring product protection

By testing the packaging’s ability to withstand drops, it’s possible to identify and reinforce sensitive parts of the packaging and ensure that the product inside is adequately protected from damage.

Different products have different protection needs. Drop testing helps develop and customize packaging solutions to meet their specific requirements.

3. Adherence to standards

Many industries have standards for packaging durability, and drop testing is an integral part of meeting these standards. It demonstrates that the packaging is effective, safe, and suitable for its intended purpose.

To achieve certifications and maintain compliance, laboratories must prove their ability to perform drop tests.

4. Customer satisfaction and brand reputation

Comprehensive drop testing reduces the likelihood of product damage, thereby improving customer satisfaction. Investing in the quality of packaging can enhance a brand’s image and reputation for reliability, especially when products reach their end-users intact and in perfect condition.

5. Cost-effectiveness and sustainability

Ensuring that packaging is durable and provides sufficient protection can reduce the costs and hassle associated with returns, exchanges and damaged products.

Drop tests can help determine the necessary amount of material for product protection, thus reducing both costs and packaging waste. When sustainability is a core operation value, drop testing helps ensure it.

6. Innovations and market changes

Continuous testing challenges and encourages the development of more efficient materials and packaging solutions. Having a drop tester in your own laboratory allows for almost endless testing at your convenience. Particularly in the product development phase, and when packaging or materials change, it’s beneficial to conduct extensive tests. Purchasing your own drop tester can be a cost-effective investment.

As consumer expectations and package delivery methods evolve, drop testing helps companies stay current with market trends and new technologies.

The drop tester helps make your packages more reliable

The Ships in Product Packaging -type approach aims for more sustainable use of packaging materials. This leads not only to a reduction in packaging materials but also to more robust packaging, delivering direct value to the consumer.

Essentially, a package drop tester is not just a tool for evaluating pack durability; it’s crucial for ensuring product protection, adherence to standards, customer satisfaction, cost minimization, and the promotion of packaging innovations.

For any package testing lab that aims to get comprehensive and reliable results, owning a drop tester is invaluable. Drop testers are relatively inexpensive and easy & fun to use.

✅ And why do we seek comprehensive and reliable results? Because they enable us to make better decisions about packaging.

Interested in drop testing?

At Kvalitest, we have over 100 years of comprehensive experience with test equipment – from building entire test laboratories to individual packaging testers. We are happy to assist with your testing needs!

Additionally, we have a well-equipped ISTA-certified packaging testing laboratory in Muurame, Finland, equipped with a drop tester. If purchasing equipment is not currently an option, we can also conduct tests for you.

Want to know more? If yes, drop us a message: