Technician examining a package

Package Testing Methods

ATS performs package testing to determine whether packaging materials withstand the typical stresses of shipping and transport processes. ATS offers several types of package tests.

Among ATS’ package testing capabilities is the box drop method– a form of shock test. This testing simulates the impacts a package might experience from being dropped or knocked over during transport and identifies weaknesses in the packaging design.

Free-Fall Drop

In a free-fall drop test, technicians drop the package vertically onto a hard, flat surface using our free fall drop tester machine. The drop tester features a shelf with two collapsible sides that release the box at the same time, dropping it evenly onto the surface below.

Drop Onto Hazard

Similar to the free fall drop, the drop onto hazard test drops the package on top of a hazard block instead of onto a flat surface. The hazard block, typically wooden or metal, varies in size depending on the package being tested.

Concentrated Edge Impact

The concentrated edge impact test drops a hazard onto the package from above. The hazard is a square, 12-inch, wooden box weighing nine pounds with an angle iron attached to one edge. Our free fall drop tester machine releases the hazard box, iron edge pointed down, onto the package below. Technicians drop the hazard box from a height of 16 inches, impacting the center of the package.

Bridge Impact

The bridge impact test, designed for elongated packages, requires placing support blocks under the ends of the package so that the center is suspended over the surface. Technicians drop a nine-pound wooden hazard box from a height of 16 inches onto the center of the package using our free fall drop machine.

Rotational Flat Drop

In a rotational flat drop test, technicians raise one end of the package nine inches off a hard, flat surface, then drop it.


In tip-over testing, technicians tilt the package from its intended shipping position by 22 degrees. If the package continues to tip at this point and begins to fall, then the technicians must allow it to impact the surface below. Otherwise, if the package does not fall over at 22 degrees, then technicians return it to its original position. Our technicians perform this test for all four directions.

Full Rotational Flat Drop

The full rotational flat drop test applies to flat or elongated packages. Technicians place the package standing upright in its tallest position before tipping it over, so that it impacts the surface below on its largest face.
Vertical and Horizontal Compression Tests

During the shipping and transport process, packages can sustain damage from vertical pressure if either too much weight is stacked on top of them or for too long. Horizontal pressure can also compromise a package if clamped from the sides by machine clamps while being moved.

ATS performs vertical and horizontal compression testing to simulate such storage and handling forces, determining the amount of compressive forces the packages can withstand before they become damaged.
Vibration Test

A package might experience vibrations throughout its shipping and handling journey that could affect the integrity of the package and its contents. Our technicians use a vibration table to test the package’s resistance to vibration.

The ATS Approach

Applied Technical Services has been providing quality testing, inspection, and engineering consulting services for over 50 years. To maintain the high level of service quality, our labs operate according to our ISO 9001 certified quality assurance system. Our experienced environmental testing technicians can quickly determine whether your packaging meets high standards for packaging quality due to our expertise and relevant certification. These professionals return detailed reporting within a quick turnaround time. If your company needs package testing, contact ATS today – We take a closer look!

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