Global eCommerce sales will reach $4.5 trillion by 2021! Is your packaging ready for the eCommerce revolution?
As global eCommerce sales continue to show high growth for the foreseeable future, packaging performance testing will play a vital role in helping brands thrive in this new marketplace. In 2018, Amazon is expected to reach 50% of all online retail sales. As an innovator in the eCommerce market, Amazon created the Frustration-Free Packaging Program in 2007 to help brands develop robust packaging that reduces waste and improves the customer experience by ensuring that products end up in the hands of customers in good shape and are easy to unbox.
What is Amazon APASS?
Amazon created the Amazon Packaging Support and Supplier Network (APASS) to support its vendors in getting their packaging certified by approved package testing labs like Tektronix. Amazon is encouraging all brands who have products housed in its fulfillment centers to meet the guidelines laid out in the Frustration-Free Packaging Program. In fact, it is requiring some companies to be compliant with the program by August of 2019 and providing financial incentives to vendors who certify their packaging ahead of that date. Our employees receive direction and training directly from Amazon and Tektronix was one of the first labs to be certified as a member of APASS.
Amazon APASS Testing Requirements
Amazon partnered with the International Safe Transport Association (ISTA) to create guidelines for certifying packaging to Frustration-Free Packaging Program standards. To achieve certification your products will be evaluated to: (1) meet all requirements for the corresponding standards listed in the Packaging Certification Guidelines; and (2) pass an International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) 6 Amazon SIOC test (Tier 1 or 2) or ISTA 6 Amazon Overbox (Tier 3) test with the appropriate ISTA certified equipment. As a certified member of APASS and an ISTA certified laboratory, Tektronix offers the following services:
ISTA 6-Amazon.com-SIOC Testing
This test is for packaged products shipped by vendors to Amazon.com Fullfilment Centers and delivered to final customer destinations via Parcel or Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) outbound shipping methods. It challenges the capability of both the package and product to withstand transport hazards normally encountered during handling and transportation. Amazon.com Vendors with items intended to utilize SIOC should use this test to understand the protective performance of their packaging.
- Type A: Individually packaged products less than 50 lbs and less than 165" in girth.
- Type B: Individually packaged products from 50 lbs to 100 lbs and less than 165" in girth.
- Type C: Individually packaged products greater than 100 lbs and less than 165" in girth.
- Type D: LTL delivery of individually packaged products less than 100 lbs or girth greater than 165"
- Type E: LTL delivery of individually packaged products greater than 100 lbs or girth greater than 165"
- Type F: LTL delivery of individually packaged products using the Pallet Handling Method
- Type G: LTL delivery of individually packaged TV/Monitor less than 150 lbs and girth less than 165"
- Type H: LTL delivery of individually packaged TV/Monitor greater than 150 lbs or girth geater than 165"
ISTA 6-Amazon.com-Over Boxing Testing
This is a general simulation test for eCommerce fulfillment. In comparison to items ready to ship in its own packaging (ISTA 6-Amazon.com-SIOC), this kind of eCommerce fulfillment comprises an individual retail packaged-product being placed into a master shipping container (Over Box) either by itself or with multiple individual retail packaged-products for shipment from Amazon.com to an end consumer through a parcel delivery system which could include air, rail, or truck travel. The test challenges the packaging and/or products, whether primary package or transport package, ability to withstand the general damage-producing motions, forces, conditions and sequences of this environment.
Why Should I Optimize My Packaging?
Since the Frustration-Free Packaging Program was created in 2007, vendors have eliminated more than 500 million boxes and more than 244,000 tons of packaging materials as of 2017. In 2017 alone, the Frustration-Free Packaging Program reduced packaging waste by 16%, or the equivalent of 305 million boxes.
- Eliminate Waste - You could substantially reduce your distribution costs and your environmental impact by eliminating unnecessary packaging.
- Delight the Customer - Improve the customer experience by making your products easier to remove from their packaging through eliminating annoyances like clamshells and wire ties.
- Avoid Lost Product and Warranty Costs - Thorough package testing ensures that your product will survive the rigors of transport and storage, and end up in the hands of the consumer in good condition.
- Compliance with Amazon Requirements - Amazon is requiring certain durable goods, soft goods and consumables to be certified under the Frustration-Free Packaging Program in 2019 and is likely to require additional products to be certified going forward as eCommerce becomes a larger percentage of all B2B and B2C sales.
- Financial Incentives - Between now and July 31, 2019, Amazon will issue a $1 early adopter credit for each certified package that is received in its fulfillment network.