Nowadays, the priority for major transport companies is to guarantee that the safety of their products will not be compromised during the distribution cycle.

Shocks, drops and vibrations can threaten the goods in transit, leading to unnecessary costs and an unhappy end customer. In order to prevent this, transport companies such as UPS have decided to implement procedures, such as the UPS drop test, which is key to ensure the safety of the loads.

UPS shipments undergo a protocol and are regulated so as to offer the highest safety to the goods through the optimization of UPS shipping boxes and the various UPS tests. In this post we will tell you more about it.

 

UPS shipment characteristics

The UPS transport giant performs 15.5 million shipments per day and has become one of the main advocates of optimized packaging. This is an asset for companies, who see a lower risk in their shipments.

For this, it acts at a supply chain level, but also through packaging tests, and encourages the companies to reduce damages in their goods through transport and storage simulation procedures.

UPS shipments benefit from UPS’ testing and packaging design laboratory, which brings together experts in packaging optimization to secure the goods before they are shipped.

The UPS testing procedure includes compression, impact, vibration and drop tests, which makes it possible to prevent the contingencies that take place during the distribution cycle and design a packaging accordingly.

The optimization of the packaging therefore goes through several phases in order to achieve the end customer’s satisfaction: on one hand, it is necessary to have a package design that is suitable for the product to be transported, the chosen route and international regulations, in addition to being environmentally friendly. On the other, it is necessary to perform a packaging test that ensures the ability of this package to protect the goods in a real setting.

 

UPS drop test: what is it?

By using the right equipment, it is possible to simulate the transportation environment in which goods can be damaged. This will prevent potential risks faced by the product during shipping.

The UPS drop test simulates the drops that can be suffered by the goods, thereby evaluating the protective ability of the package. A Drop Tester is used for this purpose, which allows for the simulation of vertical and rotational drops, and adapts to the weight and different characteristics of the goods.

A suitable packaging should be capable of withstanding these shocks, protecting the product and maintaining the package’s integrity.

This allows for the packaging design to be evaluated and corrected, tailoring it to the real conditions experienced during transportation and the hazards that may affect the goods.

UPS testing procedure for drop tests

There are various organizations that have developed procedures to ensure international standards in relation to the drop test. Such is the case of ISTA, ASTM and ISO.

In the case of the UPS drop test, the company abides by the ISTA 3A series procedures, an internationally recognized protocol for packaging design and testing.

Continue reading: Ista 1a, Ista 2a, Ista 3a procedures: all you need to know

Several steps are required to perform the UPS testing procedure:

  • The unit to be tested has to be chosen at random, in order to obtain a representative sample. This unit needs to be ready for shipping, so that the simulation comes as close as possible to the real transportation conditions for these specific goods.
  • During the UPS drop test there are three variables that need to be kept in mind: the height of the drop, the position in which the package is dropped, and the number of times that the drop is repeated.

All of this is outlined in the UPS drop test, so as to ensure that all packages that undergo this packaging test meet the same requirements.

The type of product being transported and the route that it will follow during its distribution cycle (whether transportation will be by air or road, the type of storage, etc.) are considered when defining these values.

With the goal of demonstrating the UPS testing procedure, the company has prepared a short video tutorial in which two of its employees showcase the drop test procedure.

  • After performing the test, the contents of the package and any damages are verified. The package is considered to have failed the test if the UPS drop test has led to any damage to the internal cardboards or goods (scratches, deformations, crumpling, etc.).

After completing the UPS testing procedure, the company has an exact idea of how drops can affect both the packages and the products being transported.

In the event that both the package and the product pass the test, the goods and their protective system will be ready for safe shipment.

If the result of the packaging test is otherwise unsatisfactory, the design of the package can be modified so that it attains the necessary protective ability to deal with these contingencies.

 

UPS shipping boxes: all you need to know

The company has standardized the UPS shipping boxes, which means that shipments can be done using a safe package that has overcome stringent packaging tests.

There are mainly 3 types of UPS shipping boxes:

  • UPS Express Box, designed as a versatile package for Next Day Air, 2nd Day Air and international UPS shipping services.
  • UPS Express Tube is the ideal package for sending rolled up documents (meaning that no folding is required). This makes it the best alternative for drawings, maps or posters, among others.
  • UPS World Ease Document Box is the perfect packaging for World Ease shipments. This box is particularly useful to streamline customs processes, because it allows for several shipments sent to one same country to be grouped.

Despite UPS shipping boxes having exceeded stringent packaging standards for the protection of the goods that they contain, it is necessary to check and test the packaging along with the load in order to guarantee that it complies with the UPS testing procedure and the rest of the packaging tests.

At Safe Load Testing Technologies we have developed a cutting-edge and intuitive technology to perform UPS drop tests, along with other international protocols.

Being available in four different models means that our Drop Tester can accommodate the weights and sizes of different packages, always aiming to find results that are as close to the real transportation conditions as possible.

Our track record of 20 years in the packaging and package testing industry, along with our commitment to innovation and personalized solutions, guarantee our expertise.

If you need to perform the UPS drop test, get in touch with us and we will offer you personalized assistance since day one.

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