Amazon requires drop testing to ensure product containers and packaging can withstand transportation stress during shipping. The overall goal is to enhance the customer experience. Durable containers and packaging help to prevent product spillage and damage.
Amazon packaging requirements and testing change from time to time. Currently, the Amazon Quick Reference Packaging and Shipping Guide is one of the best resources to understand what products should withstand drop testing. We are going to point out some tips for drop testing and common products that should be drop tested.
What is a Drop Test?
A drop test is used to determine if packaging and containers can withstand multiple drops from different angles. These drop variations help to simulate transportation to customers. The image below details how a drop test should be conducted and what must happen for the products to pass the drop test.
Liquids – Containers and packaging with liquids inside should be drop tested to ensure durability during transit. Other items within the shipping box can be damaged if a liquid is able to escape from the container.
Secondary packaging is required to keep liquids from spilling throughout boxes. Amazon requires a primary packaging container to hold the liquids with a secondary packaging around the container to keep spills from spreading throughout the shipping box if the primary container fails. Commonly used secondary packaging materials to keep spills contained are poly bags and shrink wrap.
Fragile Items – Items that can easily break, chip, or crumble during transit should be checked with a drop test as well. The exterior packaging should catch particles from the broken item without allowing spillage throughout the shipping carton.
The best way to keep fragile items from breaking and chipping during transit is by cushioning and securing items inside the container. Void fill is used to keep products from moving within the shipping container and provides cushioning. Amazon lists paper, bubble wrap, air pillows, and foam sheets as permitted packaging materials to use for void fill. We recommend recycled Kraft paper with a minimum of a 40# paper weight. Kraft paper can be continually recycled and is more environmentally friendly than the other options listed. It also works great!
Bulk Packed Items – Multi-packed items should be able to pass a 3 ft. drop test as well. The drop test is to ensure the items will stay as one unit during transport. Bulk packaged items can be bundles of two products to dozens of items bundled together.
The secondary packaging holding the items together should be able to withstand 5 drops from multiple different angles. A great example of this is multi-packed tea lights. Packs often contain up to 12 tea lights. Multiple individual units can easily shift and move during transit. The video below shows multi-packed tea lights and other products drop tested for Amazon packaging.
The packaging requirements set forth by Amazon are easy to test and help ensure customers get undamaged products time after time. We recommend a yardstick or tape measure and a solid surface that can get dirty in case testing fails. We also recommend continuing past the 5 required drops by Amazon to find the breaking point of the packaging.
Feel free to call 1-800-441-5090 if you have questions about packaging materials or machines that can withstand drop testing.