The world of transporting goods has changed significantly in the past 15-20 years. Developing nations have entered the supply chain in a big way as goods now must be transported to newly developing areas of the world with sub-optimal infrastructure. In addition, ecommerce has changed the way retailers ship goods to consumers. Because of these dramatic shifts, the packaging and logistics industries need to revisit how packaging standards have been established over the years in order to meet the market requirements. ISTA is tackling these issues with its new Advocate Research and Value Delivery System.
Smithers Pira is excited to partner with ISTA in this important new program. It was started to work with partners around the world to research and gather data to support the new realities of the global supply chain. Research will be carried out to understand the impact of these changes to package damage and the environmental footprint of shippers. This research will be used to develop and refine test protocols to support product manufacturers with a set of tools to qualify their packaging against shipping hazards and evaluate them for environmental impact.
Smithers Pira’s extensive knowledge in distribution testing techniques and challenges will help to support this critical effort by the industry. Finding the “Optimal Packaging System” is the central theme behind all of the work that Smithers Pira conducts for its clients. The “Optimal Packaging System” takes into account the three critical factors in package design:
- Does it properly protect the product through the supply chain?
- Does it use minimal packaging materials to accomplish this in order to reduce the overall environmental footprint?
- Is the cost of the packaging optimized for product line profitability?
“We are delighted to join such a forward thinking initiative by ISTA,” states Sam Sheppard Fidler, Distribution and Product Testing Operations Director at Smithers Pira. “In order for our customers’ businesses to keep pace with fast evolving global and domestic supply chains it is vital that we have the most up to date testing and design methodologies in place, and we are proud to partner with ISTA in this program to support the development of next generation test technologies.”
The five key projects that ISTA is currently scoping include:
- Researching transit damage scenarios
- Developing a test protocol for e-Commerce retailers
- Collecting additional and updating current distribution environment data
- Eliminating over packing
- Improving predictability of load stability
More information on the ISTA Advocate Research and Value Delivery System program can be found at the ISTA website.