“Can my product packaging withstand the vibration and impacts seen in the transportation environment?” is a question that is often overlooked or addressed much too late in the product development process. Also often overlooked is how your new product will be staged in a warehouse.
Damage prevention is essential on a number of fronts, namely cost control, sustainability, and customer satisfaction. When damage occurs, it not only doubles the carbon output in product packaging materials and transportation, but also disappoints your customer and increases your costs. How can you avoid damages? Involve your third-party logistics (3PL) services provider in pre-testing your packaging design.
Pre-shipment testing is the best way to measure if a product package can travel through a given supply chain safely and arrive in good condition. It is also critical in determining the most efficient product package. Optimizing the product-to-package ratio will help reduce cost, but packaging must be tested to ensure that the product can get to the end customer undamaged.
Pre-shipment testing is also a way to reduce your company’s carbon output. Removing carbon wasters, such as damages, unused box space, and bad material selection from packages, can cumulatively add up to significant changes to your supply chain’s carbon output.
UPS engineers have endorsed the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) 3A standard simulation test for small parcel shipping. This simulation uses actual data recorded in the small package shipping environment, which is the same environment used for consumer electronics.
Today, there are hundreds of package labs all over the world. Your 3PL may have its own package lab, or at least easy access to one to assist you in testing. Access ISTA’s database of lab locations for a package lab near you.
Usually for a nominal fee compared to the cost of lost inventory, package labs provide invaluable information about the strengths and weaknesses of your packaging throughout the supply chain.
The goal is to apply the science of package design and testing BEFORE the product hits the market. This upstream approach to package design contributes directly to successful product launches, including improved customer satisfaction, maintained brand image, profitability, and reduced carbon output.