Distribution Testing

Distribution Testing is crucial for evaluating whether a package system will effectively protect a product throughout the distribution process. Whether a lifesaving medical device, temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals, or time sensitive consumer goods, all products have an innate robustness and a point at which they break. While replicating the various events these products will endure, valuable insights are derived to gain a clear understanding of the product’s fragility, the package system’s ability to uphold the integrity of the product, and where it could meet possible failures in distribution.

What is Distribution Testing?

Distribution Testing is the evaluation of stressors on the physical product, materials, and containers that secure them during transit. A series of tests may be used to emulate the distribution environment of any given product. Distribution simulation replicates the common hazards met during the shipping and transportation of any given product, as those goods are distributed from production and ultimately are delivered to the end user. Deploying a variety of tests such as vibration, compression, impact, and drop testing in a controlled, repeatable setting ensures a correct depiction of how any given product will be able to withstand the distribution environment.

Packaging distribution testing, also known as transport packaging testing, involves analyzing packaging materials and design for their ability to withstand the rigors of distribution and transportation.

The aim of distribution testing is to ensure that the products are adequately protected during transportation, and the types of tests conducted can vary depending on the nature of the product being shipped and the mode of transportation being used.

Some common packaging distribution tests include:

1. Drop test – dropping the packaged product from a specified height to simulate the shock of being dropped or mishandled on a warehouse or loading dock.

2. Vibration test – subjecting the packaged product to simulated vibration, which approximates the frequency and severity of being transported over various types of terrain.

3. Compression test – applying a specific force to the packaging to simulate the weight of other packages that may be stacked on top of it.

4. Temperature and humidity test – exposing the packaging to extreme temperature and humidity conditions that may be encountered during transport, to test the materials’ durability.

Overall, packaging distribution testing is essential for ensuring that products arrive at their destination safely, efficiently, and in good condition, and it plays a crucial role in supply chain management.

How To Test Your Packaged Product By Distribution Testing Simulation

Compression Testing

Compression Testing evaluates the impact of compressive forces that may occur more often when warehousing stacked products or during especially volatile environments in transit. Understanding the compression resistance of any given packaged product allows issues like pallet stacking to be found, corrected, and avoided in future test scenarios.

Drop Testing

Drop Testing is conducted to replicate drop and impact events packaged products experience during distribution to understand the specific conditions and events that cause impact failure. These events can be both repeated and varied impacts and may result from both manual or mechanical handling, including horizontal acceleration or deceleration, high level placement drops, and low-level placement drops. This method is just one of the many methods used to assess packaged product durability during the shipping process, throughout the lifetime of the actual product. After the drop, the effects will be noted, especially any changes to the original corners, edges, and whole sides of the package, to detect the fault areas that need to be fixed. Purple Diamond engineers can help design a new package for you if needed. Sometimes it is fun watching packaged products dropping at free fall. Feel free to book a consultation with us or book a facility tour by visiting our contact us page. 

Incline Impact Testing

Incline Impact Testing evaluates a package system’s ability to withstand sudden horizontal impacts or crushing forces. In package testing, this rather simple test is especially valuable for high-value and/or heavy products where a test sample could be Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) or a Unitized Load. Shock data gathered during impacts help decide corrective actions that can be taken to mitigate damage assessed during transit or in storage facilities alike. It is well known that when packaged products are shipped, they end up traveling through different weathered conditions and can be presented with significant ailments along the way. The inclined impact testing method stimulates the forces that the packaged goods may endure throughout the entire transport and handling process. The machinery itself uses a carriage that propels the test sample down a ramp at a predetermined velocity before hitting into a backstop. The sample’s reaction to the extreme conditions will show how the product would fare in real-world supply chain settings, allowing design engineers to make improvements to either the product and/or the protective packaging as needed. Purple Diamond has a few incline impact testers ready and available for you.

Vibration Testing

Vibration Testing is performed to simulate the non-continuous nature of true vibration commonly experienced during transit. Enabled with time replication and mixed mode capability, vibration testing is critical to finding weakened package integrity where it is most likely to occur as product shifts and materials are strained during distribution. Purple Diamond laboratory has multiple vibration tables ready to integrity assess your packaged products. The data taken from how the packaged products fare on the “vibe tables” will allow the packaging engineers to design a more robust packaging for your product that may be experiencing difficult and harsh amounts of vibration during its journey. The product will end up having less transportation vibrations at critical frequencies expected in the distribution environment. Vibration testing ultimately helps to build a better interior, as well as exterior. This testing process should happen before the product hits the market. This will help alleviate any product damages and costs you may incur because of damages, repairs, send backs, lost time, etc. Purple Diamond will get you up and running with a packaged product that will incur the least amount of damage possible from transit vibration.

Why Purple Diamond for Distribution Testing?

At Purple Diamond, the integrity of your packaged product is our number one priority during distribution stimulation testing. To ensure your products make it to their destination unharmed, the engineers at Purple Diamond will simulate the specific conditions and hazards your products face during distribution to address stressors that would otherwise prevent your packaged product from arriving safely to its destination.

Purple Diamond follows the distribution testing standards and protocols set forth by organizations such as ASTM and ISTA. Our team is committed to delivering high-quality results as we develop a comprehensive solution to your specific distribution needs.

Related Testing Standards

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Achieving ISO 17025 Accreditation is the pinnacle in third-party laboratory testing accreditation. It confirms that the facility has management, quality, and technical systems in place to ensure accurate and reliable analyses.
ISTA is revered as the certification standard for package testing for distribution. ISTA’s Testing Protocol remains a series of testing methodologies and standards well recognized within the packaging community.
A select few companies are authorized by PHMSA as an approved third-party packaging testing laboratory in accordance with Hazardous Materials Regulations, critical to ensuring safe transport of dangerous goods.


With over 12,000 standards globally, ASTM International’s fully transparent standards development enhances performance and confidence in consumer choices.
The Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry’s peer-reviewed standards improve production through operational methods and industry recognized best practices.


 The APASS program was designed by Amazon to help support vendors, sellers, and manufacturers in obtaining certification of their products as Frustration Free Packaging (FFP), Ships in Own Container (SIOC), or Prep-Free Packaging (PFP).

At Purple Diamond, we offer a free consultation and a guided tour of our facilities. If you’re nearby, feel free to drop by. Consultations can be done over the phone or on zoom, so choose what suits you best. To get in touch, go to our Contact Us page and fill out the form or book an appointment using the calendar below. Our goal is to assist you in any way possible, so please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our website contact form is located at www.purple-diamond.com/contact-us, but we promise to get back to you soon, no matter which method of communication you choose.

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