protection, the other benefit of packaging is safety. There are certain goods
which are deemed hazardous; that is, a potential threat to life itself if
carelessly handled. Therefore, packaging must ensure that those who transport
them and those who use them are protected from any grave hazard. Without any fear of mishap, the transporters
can transport them and the receivers can get them safely.
In such cases, the packaging carries the
notification that children must be kept away from the parcels.
objective of the packaging is simple and direct though achieving it requires
enormous thinking and planning. The real challenge in achieving this simple end
begins with the selection of materials and design for packing; it must so
selected and packed that neither excess materials nor less than the need are
used; the former wastes very critical resources of the manufacturer, the money
and the later exposes to possible damage to the products which will lose the
customer bringing bad name to the business.
Efficient packaging coupled with cost effectiveness ensures sustained
we are discussing packaging hazards, let us also look into the hazards of
distribution. It is said that there are
four types of hazards of distribution and understanding them will help prevent
them to the benefits of all the stakeholders.
They are Shock, Vibration, Compression and Atmospheric hazards.
though there are endless machines and machineries available for smooth handling
of objects, things, or rather packets or products need to be handled by human
hands. It is not possible to eliminate totally human intervention. Human hands can rarely at least drop quite by
chance; but the drop is a drop whether consciously done or unconsciously
occurred; the product falls. When it falls, it faces an impact which is called
shock. Needless to say, rough handling will have more drops. Again, the drop can occur from just five or
six inches down or for a long gap or distance and depending on the distance of
fall, the impact or the shock will damage the product.
on the product to be distributed, the size of the box used in packaging
differs; it is generally advised to use corrugated box. Since a box falls on
the ground with its base, in designing a box, the base of the box is given
great attention. Again long packages demand greater attention while handled.
During sorting operation, generally the upward arrows fail to get their due
packaging materials must be selected and the right quantity must be used for
Its important to understand the
hazards of distribution. In general, there are four categories of hazards:
Shock (drops, impacts), vibration (during movement or transportation),
compression (packages stacked in storage or vehicles) and atmospheric (temperature,
humidity, altitude, static electricity, etc.). All of these are certainly
present in parcel distribution, although the special aspects of this mode,
particularly automatic sorting and handling, can create unique variations and
severities, which must be taken into account.
In addition to understanding
the hazards, we need to know how the goods might react to these hazards. Can
they break, deform, fatigue, leak, scratch, discolor, corrode or just stop
working properly? What constitutes failure or unacceptability? If possible, it
is best to quantify damage definitions so that all stakeholders know and agree
upon the limits of product acceptance.
Then, in order to develop appropriate packages, we must know what
packaging materials and configurations are available and how to best apply
them. Outer containers for parcel distribution can include various
constructions of boxes, bags, pails, cans, tubes or envelopes. Interior
packaging can include air pillows, bubble or cellular sheeting, various paper
forms, loose-fill materials, corrugated or solid fiber pads and structures,
desiccants and corrosion inhibitors, foam plastic cushions, molded pulp,
foam-in-place materials, plastic films, suspension elements and much more. The
ideal solution is for the package to provide exactly the proper type and amount
of protection needed by the product not more, not less and at the lowest
possible overall cost.
Shock: This hazard of parcel
distribution can occur when packages are dropped; strike (or are struck by)
other packages or by sorting mechanisms; or shift and fall during transit. In
this environment, there are many shocks of relatively low severity (equivalent
to drops from relatively low heights), with typically only a few impacts
equivalent to drops from 30 to 40 inches or higher.
Although it is recognized that
impacts predominately occur on and around the base of the package (bottom face,
edges and corners), packages should be designed to protect against impacts from
any direction. Base is generally defined as the bottom surface when the package
is in its most stable orientation; sorting operations cannot always honor up
arrows or orientation labels.
Long, slender packages may be
subjected to bridging during sorting. Bridging can occur during conveyor or
chute movement when a long package gets supported only by the ends. It may then
be susceptible to damage from even relatively mild impacts near its center.
Large, flat packages (mirrors, panels) can be more prone than other types of
packages to damage from impacts on their faces.
Typically, only corrugated boxes with weights less than 70 to 75
pounds travel through the carriers automatic sorting systems. Large, heavy,
non-corrugated and non-rectangular packages (or products with no packaging,
such as tires or spools of wire) are handled in various ways, depending on the
carrier and location, and therefore may be subjected to more severe