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Holistic Design: How We’ve Overcome 3 Major Packaging Challenges at Pregis IQ

Brands and distributors face many shipping challenges in the new e-commerce era. Here’s three shipping challenges the Pregis IQ has helped overcome.

Brands and distributors face countless shipping challenges in the new e-commerce era. But many of them can be solved with premium packaging and proper strategy.

That’s why Pregis opened a 50,000-square-foot packaging innovation headquarters in Aurora, IL in 2019, aimed at helping customers overcome their toughest packaging issues. The project was so successful that another innovation headquarters is opening in Europe this year. Both Pregis IQ locations will be staffed by engineers certified by the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA), who have worked with hundreds of customers to design, validate, and implement solutions.

To date, the dedicated team at IQ has helped customers in every industry, from food to automotive and beyond. Here’s an inside look:


High-IQ Solutions

The staff at the Pregis IQ help customers in a four-step process. After carefully assessing client needs, goals, and budget for packaging and shipping a specific product, they devise customized solutions. Areas of expertise include:

  1. Lowering damage rates
  2. Improving aesthetics and enhancing the unboxing experience
  3. Implementing sustainable products and processes
  4. Integrating targeted systems into an operation’s packaging line

Once a satisfactory solution is created, the staff methodically tests the new packaging according to stringent ISTA and Amazon Packaging Support and Supplier Network (APASS) protocols, in addition to many other rigorous test procedures developed in-house to take packaging validation one step further.


Check out some of the challenges Pregis IQ has solved:


Protecting High-Value TVs

Though everyone prefers a zero percent damage rate, the tolerable average for most products shipped in the single-parcel network is 3.5 to 5 percent. Expensive items, such as large, flat-screen televisions, have a tolerable damage rate closer to 1 to 2 percent.

One manufacturer suffered from significantly high damage rates when shipping 50” (127 cm) LED TVs in basic retail packaging, with only expanded polystyrene foam as cushioning and no overbox.

Pregis’ AirSpeed® ChamberPak provides high-performance air cushioning in connected chambers that can be molded to fit around items, and the Pregis IQ engineers found that just a little of this product went a long way. They fitted four corner cushions and two center supports around the retail box and placed it inside an overbox. The impact absorption and blocking and bracing provided by the minimal ChamberPak solution reduced the damage rate to less than 2 percent.


Fixing Faulty Packaging for Large Standing Desks

When shipping a large standing desk (over 7 feet wide) through the single parcel network, a company was made aware that the product frequently arrived with damaged corners and edges, noticeable even with the zebrawood patterning. Before Pregis IQ, the protection was limited to an inadequate mix of cardboard edge guards and stiff foam for blocking and bracing. 

To overcome these shipping challenges, the Pregis IQ engineers deployed the IntelliPack® SmartBagger and large sheets of HC Barrier bubble films. In their new packing protocol, the desk was laid flat on a bed of HC bubble sheets, with another set of sheets placed on top.  Pre-molded cushions of  FLX SmartFoam were created with the Intellipack Smartbagger and molded along the entire edge of the desk, encasing its sides in foam cushioning. This was then placed in the overbox. The fully encompassing edge protection held the desktop in place in the parcel, greatly reducing damage from drops and collisions. The new solution also reduced shipping weight from 137 to 98 pounds (44.5 kg), saving on shipping costs and also minimizing carbon emissions with lower fuel consumption.


Guarding Glass Bottles for Home-Delivery

Stay-at-home restrictions to curb COVID-19 created a massive surge in food and drink delivery. One beverage company saw an increase in direct to customer (DTC) orders and needed new packaging to safely ship their glass bottles through the single parcel network. The solution was Pregis’ AirSpeed® HC (Hybrid Cushioning) film. Two strips of the bubble were draped over each other to line the overbox in a cross pattern. Another strip of bubble was wrapped around the retail packaging containing the glass bottles. This was placed inside the bubble-lined overbox to create six-sided, universal protection. During drop-testing, the bottles survived every fall without damage.


Package volume in the parcel network continues to rise, creating shipping challenges across all industries. The team at Pregis IQ offers expertise and capabilities that can overcome problems for single products, or find solutions for entire supply chains. Learn more at our Pregis IQ homepage and request a consultation today.