DO YOUR PACKAGING TESTS LEAD TO HIGHER SHIPPING COSTS? It may seem counterintuitive, but the shortcomings that are present in today’s packaging tests can actually increase your costs and lower your profits.
By Kevin Howard
he most obvious cost related to packaging is direct material, but the largest cost associated with packaging size is transportation. This is especially true for products shipped in large volumes and subjected to dimensional weight calculations. There are many contributing factors to package size, such as product size/fragility, marketing demands, and supply chain hazards. Perhaps
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the number one reason for inappropriately large package size is the type of laboratory drop tests employed. Overly harsh laboratory tests (ones that don’t accurately reflect the true hazards found within your supply chain) can cause excessive packaging, thus increasing packaging and logistics costs. If your company uses any of the well known distribution simulation tests from the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA), American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), FedEx, and others, then you may well be contending with excessive damage, packaging, and logistics costs, or, sadly, a combination of all these conditions simultaneously. If tests are overly harsh in some regards, yet completely miss certain damaging inputs commonly found in distribution, then one ends up with both high damage rates and excessive packaging. To top it all off, none of these standards help limit excess packaging. Many companies employ tests like ISTA 3A (Packaged Products for Parcel
PARCEL September/October 2019