A concern that our clients have is the safety of the promotional merchandise during handling and shipment. They worry that the products will get damaged when it reaches them and will be unsellable. It will also bring lots of inconvenience to both buyer and seller. Hence, to avoid the problem, we will conduct stringent quality control checks, which includes a packaging drop test.

What is a Packaging Drop Test?

A Packaging Drop Test imitates drops and rotational impacts that packages may experience during shipping and handling. The test result will show how improper handling could damage the contents and forecast any potential damage to the products.

Packaging Drop Test

Packaging Drop Test

It helps evaluate the quality of the product packaging, whether it will keep the contents protected.  This test can also help us and the client identify which is the best and most cost-effective packaging option.

How is the Packaging Drop Test Being Conducted?

These are the variables that we use to determine how the test is conducted:

  • Height of the Drop: To imitate what happens when workers handle the products.
  • Position or Angle of Box which it will be dropped: It is to assess the more common areas where impacts may affect the products.  Usually, we will test the base or its corners and edges.
  • Number of DropsIdeally 6-10 times

How the carton should be dropped:

Packaging Drop Test

Packaging Drop Test

  1. the most fragile face corner
  2. the shortest edge radiating from the corner tested
  3. the next longest edge from the corner tested
  4. the longest edge radiating from the corner tested
  5. one of the smallest flat faces
  6. the opposite small face, flat
  7. one of the medium faces, flat
  8. the opposite medium face, flat
  9. one of the largest faces, flat
  10. the opposite large face, flat

After dropping the carton a number of times, we will first identify if there are any significant damages to the export carton and record them down in a checklist. However, we are more focused on whether there are any damages to the contents inside, such as dents, scratches, cracks, deformities.

If the products do not pass the drop dest, we will have to re-evaluate the type of packaging for the product and do the test again

Also, we might reconduct the test upon the buyer’s request by adjusting some variables such as dropping from greater heights and from different angles.


Developing the Packaging for Promotional Products

There are various types of protective packaging options. These products help to absorb shock and prevent contents from moving, vibrating and sliding. Here are the more common ones:

  • Cardboard can prevent bending and dents for lightweight products.  They are eco-friendly as it can be reused and recycled. With choosing cardboard, there are different types of thickness. The thicker the cardboard is, the higher the level of protection is. However, will be slightly more expensive.
Packaging Drop Test

Packaging Drop Test

  • Foam is available in a variety of densities, so it is important to choose the option that is the most appropriate and cost-effective one that meets the requirements of your products.
  • Loose fills/ Peanuts have the ability to interlock and act as a soft cushion when pressed. They bounce back once the pressure is off. It provides protection against bounce, shock, jostling, sliding, and dropping.
  • Bubble Cushioning offers great protection for shipping and storing fragile items. These air cushions are evenly distributed, which protects fragile items from shock and vibration. It can also be made from biodegradable plastic
  • Paper is crunched into cylindrical shapes to provide excellent protection for your products. It can also be easily recycled. They are great for lightweight products.

Case Study: Shipping Acrylic Sneeze Screens

Packaging Drop Test

Packaging Drop Test – Branded Protective Screen

We are planning to ship these Branded Protective Screens to our client in the UK safely. A concern we have is that the PMMA/acrylic product is rather brittle and may break during shipment. Therefore, we come up with 3 product packaging solutions for the client.

These are the 3 options:

  1. Little protection, just putting the item in the box. This is the cheapest option.
  2. Medium protection
  3. The engineered solution to maximize protection. However, is the more expensive option.
Packaging Drop Test

Packaging Drop Test

The protective edges for option C are designed through 3D computer-modeling. In addition, we opt for cardboard rather than styrofoam is because it is cheaper and more environmentally-friendly. We also choose E-flute for edge protection as the engineer suggested it is more cost-effective. After doing the test, we may upgrade to a thicker one if it is needed.

The lead time taken to manufacture the cardboard edges is 2 to 3 days, whereas for the foam it is 3 to 4 days.

Then, we will conduct packaging drop tests for each packaging solution to determine the best one. We would be dropping them from a 1m height. We will start with Option C followed by B and A.

Conducting the Drop Test

The drop test passed for Option C. Meanwhile, it failed for Option B as we noticed that there were some cracks on the sneeze screen. Hence, Option C is the best and safest packaging option for the product.

Our Takeaways

Conducting a drop test to determine the effectiveness of the packaging is crucial before shipping, to prevent likely damages. Furthermore, it is important for you to evaluate the best inner packaging options that will keep the products safe. We recommend that you check with your supplier on the options available.

How ODM Can Help

If you are planning to manufacture in China or Vietnam, then, the ODM group is your preferred buying agent. We can help you source for the best suppliers who can provide the best prices. We offer factory selection and auditing services to find a factory that complies with the requirements and ethical standards, and also is efficient in its process. Furthermore, we offer quality control services to ensure that the products meet your standards, and accuracy and quality are not compromised.

Also, we have a design agency in Vietnam, called Mindsparkz, who can help you with any product or packaging design needs. They can help to brainstorm and ideate unique products and design ideas to help you stand out from the competition.

Do not hesitate to contact us today!

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