Amcor has opened a pair of new labs to test and certify packaging for e-commerce.

With global ecommerce sales forecast to triple between 2014 and 2021, the new Amcor facilities in Ghent, Belgium, and Manchester, Michigan, will employ industry-leading experts to improve packaging for global customers, said Virginie Maes, vice president of ecommerce and business development at Amcor.

“With these new labs, Amcor is ready to help customers harness significant online sales growth; particularly in pet food, sauces, beauty and personal care, and home cleaning products,” she said.

According to Maes, brands trading online need to balance durability of packaging with attractiveness, convenience, and sustainability.

“Distributors often try to reduce the risk of product damage by adding cushioning, over-wrapping and packing materials inside the shipping box. Consumers are pushing back against this excess packaging and waste, so the best option is to make sure primary packaging is designed differently to protect products better,” she said.

Frédéric Froemer, technical director, explains that the new labs will test products in accordance with Amazon’s International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) 6 certification, which requires testing simulating the full journey from factory to doorstep; the facilities will also offer a range of other tests including digital simulations.

“The data we are gathering from physical stress tests is deepening our knowledge of how to design for ecommerce and will also help us develop our digital simulation services.

“Our ecommerce tests predict where failures might occur and then we help customers to prevent product loss by designing packaging to address weak points like seals, spouts and caps,” he said.

Amazon says its ecommerce-ready stand up pouches, single lip bags and PET containers have all passed ISTA 6A tests under specific circumstances.

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