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What does frustration-free packaging mean? – With the increase in online sales, it is increasingly common for companies like Amazon to receive criticism about the product they have received at home. This, to a greater extent, is due to the packaging of the products: either it is too large, complicated to open, or even the product it contains has arrived damaged after distribution. This has incentivized Amazon to establish the so-called Frustration-Free Packaging Program. It consists of a new packaging system that will reduce packaging to a minimum. It will be more functional for the customer and bring better product protection.

Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging will be recyclable and will come without excess packaging. Customers will receive the same product they can find on a store shelf, but with new packaging. With this new initiative, Amazon pursues three clear objectives: first, to obtain a superior technical design to differentiate and optimize the customer experience; second, to minimize the environmental impact, by reducing the packaging waste, as well as third, to develop packaging at a lower cost for the entire supply chain.

Amazon Certified Frustration-Free Packaging

Suppliers will need to enroll their products/packages in Amazon’s Frustration Free-Packaging certification program (Tier 1-FFP or Tier 2-SIOC) and submit ISTA Ships in Own Container (SIOC) test method results by August 1, 2019.

To obtain Amazon-certified Frustration-Free Packaging, testing must be performed according to the International Safe Transit Association’s test methods: ISTA (SIOC) used for Level 1 (FFP) and Level 2 (SIOC) testing, or the ISTA Over-Boxing procedure used for Level 3 (PFP). These ISTA tests were developed along with Amazon as simulations that challenge the ability of the package and product to withstand common transportation conditions.

Through this video, Amazon exposes the process and benefits of the new Frustration-Free Packaging:

Benefits of the new packaging system

According to the Frustration-Free Packaging Program Certification Guide, this new initiative will have certain benefits for the industry:

  • Reduce or eliminate Amazon preparation fees: When an Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) is certified as Tier 1 (FFP), Tier 2 (SIOC), or Tier 3 (PFP), Amazon will ensure that additional Amazon preparation does not apply. This means savings for suppliers in preparation costs.
  • It is an opportunity to reduce packaging costs. The packaging is designed to bring the attention of a customer through the use of vivid colors. Oversizing techniques are designed to gain a better presence on the shelf or other characteristics that make packaging more complex. By optimizing product packaging and eliminating unnecessary and complex features of use, suppliers can reduce excess packaging waste, improve sustainability and reduce costs.
  • It is an opportunity to reduce transportation costs. When a product’s packaging, meets Amazon’s new requirements, it will be better prepared for the entire distribution chain. Small packages mean lower transport costs, so both the supplier and Amazon manage to save costs.

Real cases

Fisher-Price’s pirate ship was the first product to be launched with Frustration-Free Packaging. With this new packaging system, Fisher-Price has reduced packaging components and package volume and air.

Other companies have already designed their products applying this new initiative of Frustration-Free Packaging, such as Hasbro, with Galactic Heroes, Hill’s Premium, with Dog Food, or Norelco, with One Blade.

Safe Load Testing Technologies’ Amazon Lab

Safe Load Testing Technologies offers a set of machines known as innAmazon capable of performing the procedures described in ISTA and ISTA InnAmazon comprises five pieces of equipment: a clamp machine, inclined impact machine, compression meter, vertical vibration machine, and drop machine. All these pieces of equipment also comply with the safety standards of the CE Mark.

  • Clamp machine: Designed to measure the protective capacity of product packages when exposed to horizontal pressures and vertical movement during automatic storage.
  • Drop machine: Simulates falls and rotational impacts that can affect packages and products during handling and distribution of up to 1,000kg. This solution is designed to simulate flat, edge, and corner drops.
  • Compression tester: Designed to test the compressive strength of the package and the creep test.
  • Vertical vibration: Designed to simulate the vertical vibrations suffered by the load during handling and transport (road, train, air, or sea).
  • Inclined impact: it simulates horizontal shocks and hits that affect the stability and safety of the load. Which is produced during handling and transport.

At Safe Load Testing Technology, we can help you perform the ISTA procedures to comply with the Frustration-Free Packaging program. If you need more information, do not hesitate to contact us.


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