Amazon requires new packaging design and certificates – read here if you are affected and what you can do.
“Amazon is always committed to providing its customers with the broadest selection, the best possible service and an outstanding customer experience…”
When an email from Amazon already starts like this, you as a supplier know, “Ouch, that’s going to be expensive again.”
Because after that, it usually follows that in order to provide the best possible customer experience, Amazon would like to see better purchase prices, or new penalties should be introduced, or that back terms would need to be increased.
In the current case, it’s not only about the best possible customer experience, but even about the environment! Specifically, this means that starting October 01, 2019, all items over a certain size or weight must be packaged in such a way that they can be shipped directly to the end customer without any additional repackaging.
If you have been packing your products in common jewelry boxes and sending them to your distributors in larger packaging units, you will be hit especially hard. They must completely redesign their packaging and have it certified by an independent laboratory according to the ISTA6-SIOC test procedure.
These include free-fall and vibration tests in which shipping and transport conditions are simulated.
Laboratories that are allowed to perform these tests are usually based in the USA or the Far East.
In Germany, the following laboratories, among others, are certified for the ISTA6-SIOC test:
040 229 48 79-0
0351 4483 790
Comprehensive search options for suitable laboratories worldwide can be found directly on the ISTA website: https://mms.ista.org/members/directory/search_bootstrap.php?org_id=ISTA&istalabs=X.
Amazon itself has also set up an extensive website on the subject with explanations and examples of use: https://www.aboutamazon.de/nachhaltigkeit/verpackung
The whole thing is a very time-consuming, lengthy and costly process for you as a manufacturer and brand owner, from which you can buy your way out – at least in the first step – on Amazon. There we are again with the penalties mentioned at the beginning…
In principle, however, it is worth considering whether it does not make strategic sense to invest in product packaging that can be shipped. The share of e-commerce in total trade has been rising for years, distance selling is playing an increasingly important role and is increasingly displacing stationary trade in almost all sectors. Omni-channel, platform economy, drop-shipping are buzzwords that are often heard, more and more manufacturers and brands are opening their own web stores and starting to ship their products directly to end customers.
Then, of course, there are synergy effects, savings effects in individual shipments to end customers outweigh the costs for ISTA certification and development of new packaging.