Amcor has opened two e-commerce testing laboratories, one in Manchester, Michigan, US, and one in Ghent, Belgium. At both sites, the company’s packaging experts will test and certify packaging for customers from around the world.

“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,” said Virginie Maes, vice-president of e-commerce and business development for Amcor.

Amcor has invested in the laboratories as global e-commerce sales are forecast to triple between 2014 and 2021. With consumer expectations increasing for seamless e-commerce experiences, brands need packaging that is convenient, attractive and more sustainable, while robust enough to get products to consumers without leaking or breaking.

“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,” said Mrs. Maes.

One of the world’s largest online retailers, Amazon, is encouraging more robust primary packaging with its International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) 6 Amazon certification. Developed in partnership with ISTA, the certification requires packaging to pass tests that simulate the journey from manufacturer to doorstep.

Amcor’s new laboratories are certified to test packaged products for ISTA 6A and, with other online retailers developing their own requirements, the company is offering a range of other tests – including trialling digital simulation services.

“The data we are gathering from physical stress tests is deepening our knowledge of how to design for e-commerce and will also help us develop our digital simulation services,” explained Frédéric Froemer, a technical director at Amcor.

“Our e-commerce 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,” said Mr. Froemer.

For brands that want to move quickly, Amcor offers a range of e-commerce-ready stand up pouches, single lip bags and PET containers. All have passed ISTA 6A tests under specific conditions and allow customers to switch with confidence.

Amcor is a member of the Amazon Packaging Support and Supplier Network (APASS). ISTA-certified labs and APASS listed suppliers help vendors make sure their packaging meets Amazon’s packaging standards.