Article | October 19, 2017

Retailer Myth: Drop Tests Mean No Transit Damage

Source: More from Less

As a retailer, if you’re thinking about preventing product damage given the rigorous demands of ocean and parcel shipping, you are probably thinking about test protocols that inform your design specifications.  But don’t be lured into thinking a positive test result is the silver bullet to ensure your product is fully protected from damage.

Tests carried out on packed product are commonly called ‘drop tests’ - but the ‘drop’ is only part of the process.  These tests should more accurately be referred to as packaging performance tests.

Rather than one of the final steps of the process, packaging performance tests should be an integral part of the product development and modification process.

  • The ability of the product itself to withstand the rigours of distribution is as important as the packaging. External packaging may not be able to prevent internal damage to products which have not been appropriately designed.
  • The right packaging design should be aligned with the specific nature of the product and supply chain through which it will ship

Packaging performance tests offer no guarantees - but they are a decision-making tool that can give confidence that the risk of serious damage during transportation has been minimized.

However, to select the appropriate tests, the decision maker needs to understand as much as possible about the distribution process and to identify the specific potential hazards that may exist.