Postprint version. Published in Packaging Technology and Science, Volume 23, Issue 1, January 1, 2010, pages 1-9.
Packaged goods are shipped globally using various means of transportation. Over the past two decades, there has been a continuous increase in studies that measure and analyze dynamic events that occur to packages during transportation and handling. These data offer useful information to design and test packages, and provide protection from potential hazards like drops and impacts. However, none of the past studies are directed towards single packages regarded as 'smalls'. 'Smalls' or small-package product systems are defined as those with volume of less than 0.013 m3, a longest dimension of 0.356 m and a weight of 4.54 kg or less. Packages that qualify for these specifications are often mixed together in a large carrying bag and handled with other single parcel shipments. This study measured and analyzed the effect of moving this category of single packages through expedited shipments in the USA. The results showed that these packages experienced as many as 27 events comprising of drops or tosses in a one-way shipment, and a maximum of 5.01 m of near-zero G travel distance representing long tosses.