Shipping carton drop/impact test condition

Do you know how vendor ensure that their products are not damaged during shipping due to handling by transporters or delivery personnel? Reputable vendors put effort into designing and selecting suitable packaging materials for shipping to ensure the quality of their products. This article will introduce how vendor test whether their cardboard packaging meets general shipping requirements.

The electronic industry grows quickly. Each vendor takes responsible to his own component only to make it good and low cost. Take a flashlight manufacturer as example. There are bulb, wires, switch, spring, and plastic or metal housing make up the flashlight. The manufacturer buys all the sub-components from each supplier and assembles them together to fabricate the flashlight then sell to end-user.

All the sub-components are delivery by air, ocean, or truck to destination. It is important to prevent the delivery parts without damage during transferring. Most of the packaging uses corrugated paper carton and cardboard to hold inside components and prevent it from damage by falling or throwing down by porter or carrier.

There are vibration test and impact test to prove the packaging design meet requirement to protect inside components without damage during transferring. This article refers to HP-762 document and introduce the drop/impact test method for the shipping carton.

Specification Apply to:

Single or multiple product, boxed, non-palletized. An individually packaged product in a shipping container, which could be shipped as a single unit to an end-user.

Package definitions:

  Carton drop test orientation definition

  • Edge
  • Corner
  • Face
  • Gross weigh, m:  The sum of masses of the product. It  include all the accessories (include power pack, power cord, accessories, miscellaneous components, etc.),  operating manual,  package material  shipped with the product.

Acceptable/Unacceptable package:



Product and accessories: Product performance, function , and cosmetic meet product shipping criteria. It is suggested that the same standards that are used at manufacturing product final inspection. Product function fail, any abnormal rattle inside the product, screw loose, or mechanical damage are not acceptable.The cosmetic can’t pass the standard shipping requirement is rejected too.

Dented corners and edges from impacts on those areas. Localized rupture of edges near impacted corner if not from pallet loading. Localized failures in closure in area of impact (carton is still effectively closed)

Edge ruptures to extend that it can no longer contain the product or support the product’s weight. Compression damage from palletized load. Failure of closure such that one or more flaps are free to open or can’t support the weight of product
Cushion/inner cardboard Small fracture or permanent deformation that still permits internal packaging to maintain product position. Failure of bonded joints or surfaces witch result in internal packaging to loose original configuration. Fractured or deformed material which no longer maintains product position.

Package drop/impact Test Specification:

  • 10 vertical impacts: 6 faces and 4 bottom package corners.

  • The drop test equipment shall permit the shipping carton to be placed in a position, prior to release, that will assume correct orientation within 2 degrees for flat-face drops and within 10 degrees for edge and corner drops upon impact.

  • The drop height defines as below table.

    Gross weight, m  
    Kg (lbs.)

    Drop height
    cm (in)

    0.0 (0) < m ≦ 9.1 (20) 91 (36)
    9.1 (20) < m ≦ 18.2 (40) 76 (30
    18.2 (40) < m ≦ 27.2 (60) 61 (24)
    27.2 (60) < m 46 (18)

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