Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Business and Technology


Industrial Technology


Koushik Saha


The modern air parcel distribution industry has significantly grown to become one of the most commonly employed methods to quickly transport goods throughout the world. Although it comes with many benefits, including higher speed, greater reliability, and tighter security, the multimodal transport system within it can expose packages to a wide variety of climatic and physical distribution hazards. In a single route of transportation, packages could be included in different types of small delivery vans, large commercial semi trucks, cargo dollies, feeder aircraft, and high altitude commercial jetliners. The varying hazard level presented during distribution could directly weaken the packaging components and/or cause product damage. For this reason, it is of utmost importance to properly account for them during package design.

Although there have been many past studies to quantify the hazards experienced in specific modes of transport, an over-arching profile of entire distribution route has not yet been developed. Furthermore, after a review of the current testing standards presented in the Code of Federal Regulations as outlined in 49 CFR Part 178, Subpart M, it can be found that many of these currently used testing profiles are not truly representative of the conditions experienced in actual distribution. This study quantifies each hazard element experienced within the modern air parcel distribution environment and develops single testing profiles to accurately represent them.

In order to develop single testing profiles for each hazard element, instrumented test packages were sent to multiple domestic and international destinations. Throughout each of these distribution routes, data was collected on the hazard levels experienced. Afterwards, by identifying the amount of time a package spends within each mode of transport, correctly weighted testing profiles were developed. These newly developed profiles represent the minimum hazard level to be included in package performance testing that represents the normal conditions of the air transport environment. Although these composite testing profiles are developed, it is the responsibility of testing laboratories to integrate these updated profiles into their practice.