DS Smith to help e-retailers and brands to become compliant ahead of Amazon Certified Packaging deadline next year

DS Smith has joined the Amazon Packaging Support and Supplier Network (APASS). APASS is part of Amazon’s mission to optimise the customer experience by supporting the use of packaging that is sustainable, eliminates waste, delights customers and ensures that the product is delivered undamaged.

Tested at DS Smith’s purpose-built and independent laboratory in Hinckley, packaging is put through rigorous tests to ensure that it is easy to open and can withstand - and protect its contents – from the knocks and bumps of the supply chain on its journey to the customer. This includes vibration, drop and package performance testing to produce a high performance corrugated packaging solution that adds value to a brand.

Robert Wrightham, UK Packaging Laboratory Manager at DS Smith, said, “We’re delighted to be an official participant of the Amazon APASS programme. The DS Smith testing laboratory and our packaging expertise can help Amazon vendors design, manufacturer and certify their packaging to comply with both APASS and ISTA-6 requirements. Helping reduce waste and product damage in the supply chain while supporting brands to make their packaging more sustainable, the packaging certification process will improve the customer experience through hassle-free, easy-to-open packaging.”

The programme allows Amazon vendors to obtain certification and advice on how to make their packaging as efficient and customer-friendly as possible through a three-tiered Frustration-Free Packaging system. This includes:

  • tier one, Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP);
  • tier two, Ships-in-Own-Container (SIOC);
  • tier three, Prep-Free Packaging (PFP). PFP is the entry tier of the programme, where products should be shipped in an Amazon Overbox but require no additional preparation and are compliant with the ISTA 6-Amazon OVERBOX test. This tier is for products that are not suitable for shipping in their own container, such as liquids and gels.

SIOC builds on the foundation of tier three but can be shipped without the need for an Amazon Overbox to help reduce packaging waste.  The first tier of the pyramid, FFP, should be easy to open, recyclable at the curb side for customers, shipped without an Amazon Overbox and meet the requirements of tier two and three. This ensures that the packaging is designed with both the customer and environment in mind and results in an optimised customer experience free of excess materials including hard plastic cases and bindings.