A packaging partner for e-commerce

As e-commerce continues to gain strength, packaging has become increasingly important as a large part of the customer experience. And brands need a packaging partner they can trust.

With 20,000 employees in more than 300 locations around the world, Sonoco has been innovating packaging to help protect and present our customers’ products in the highly competitive retail environment.  Our diversified product portfolio breaks down into four segments: Industrial Solutions, Consumer Products, Protective Solutions, and Display and Packaging.

Our consumer packaging products range from stand up flexible pouches and rigid plastic containers, to rigid paper containers. Our display and packaging business operates pack centers for some of the largest consumer packaged goods companies in the world, and we make award-winning point-of-sale displays that you find in retail outlets. On the industrial side of our business, we manufacture large tubes and cores for winding paper, specialty films and textiles, in addition to making paper.

Our protective solutions business makes products which protect shipments of a variety of durable consumer goods, like appliances, HVAC systems, plasma televisions and a range of household goods.  And our temperature assurance packaging is designed to safely transport temperature- sensitive pharmaceuticals like flu vaccines, blood plasma and other biological products, as well as foam-based materials that go into vehicles to help them lightweight to improve gas mileage.

  • What is APASS?

    Amazon Packaging Support and Supplier Network (APASS), was developed to help support vendors, sellers and manufacturers in certifying their products as Prep Free Packaging (PFP), Ships in Own Container (SIOC), and Frustration Free Packaging (FFP). Through this network, Amazon provides a list of companies and labs that can help test, design and supply packaging in line with Amazon’s Packaging Certifications.

  • Why should APASS matter to you?

    As every retailer and brand owner is keenly aware, e-commerce is a force to be reckoned with – and a force that is here to stay and continues to grow. Global ecommerce sales are expected to increase 246% by 2021, to $4.5 trillion. Consumers want the convenience of easy comparison shopping and having a product delivered to their doorstep.

    This makes packaging an even more essential part of the equation, because the correct packaging streamlines the fulfillment process, ensures that the product arrives to the consumer in prime condition, and provides the optimal introduction to the brand itself. In many ways, the opening of a box delivered via e-commerce has become the new “moment of truth” with shoppers. How brands arrive and are presented are key to achieving brand loyalty and repeat purchases.

  • How does it work?

    The APASS Network list is provided to Amazon sellers for their convenience only, and no endorsements are implied. Sellers who ship through Amazon are not yet obligated to use the APASS services to have their product’s packaging certified. If they elect to use these services, they will be contracting with APASS members directly. At Sonoco, we will be providing services to you and your customer at the customer’s direction. The type of services will be based on their needs and packaging type (for instance, a primary package that is shipped alongside other items, or a package that ships directly without over-packaging).

What does Sonoco have to offer?

Sonoco has worked with Amazon to achieve this certification, which is one more way we can partner with our customers to help them grow and develop new solutions as the global marketplace evolves.

As an official participant in the Amazon Packaging Support and Supplier Network (APASS), Sonoco now provides APASS services directly to vendors, sellers and manufacturers related to package testing in compliance with Amazon’s certification test methods. In this capacity, Sonoco partners with brands to design and certify packaging that meets Amazon’s unique requirements and helps companies protect and sell products more cost effectively.

  • Protection and presentation

    Sonoco is a fully integrated, full-service, multi-material packaging provider that includes in-house design and prototyping capabilities, along with ISTA certified testing (including ISTA 6 Amazon). Our design and testing experience is especially tailored to help companies meet Amazon Prep-Free Packaging, Ships-in-Own Container, Frustration Free Packaging and Over Box packaging needs for medium to heavy bulky goods that require shipping through e-commerce channels.

  • Real-world ready

    Our testing experts can simulate the rigors of the supply chain and make sure your packaging can handle every step of the process while protecting the product within. We also have the added advantage of our material-neutral packaging approach, leveraging experience with all forms of packaging materials including corrugated, die-cut and formed paper; shaped and extruded foams; wood; and multi-material solutions designed to meet our customer’s needs at the best possible total-solution cost.

  • Packaging Testing

    Packaging Testing

    Combining industry experience with state-of-the-art laboratory testing and simulation facilities, Sonoco delivers tangible solutions for clients in the packaging, paper and print industry supply chains. Our expertise encompasses chemical migration, materials selection, packaging conversion and performance in distribution and use.

    We can help you demonstrate the quality, safety and compliance of your raw materials, packaging and products to international standards. Our experts can handle everything from a simple material assessment to the most demanding and complex of technical issues.

    We offer support and expertise to help you achieve safe and highly effective packaging. Working from an ISO-accredited laboratory, our packaging experts offer comprehensive performance analysis services for primary packaging. Support includes material and process comparison studies, specification compliance assessments, pack integrity testing and technical investigations.

    For more than 50 years, Sonoco has provided package testing solutions to help reduce shipment damage, troubleshoot packaging and supply chain issues, identify cost reduction opportunities, meet sustainability requirements and more. Our experts offer extensive lab-based package testing and transit simulation testing, field-based investigative capabilities and consultative support.

    Our Food Contact team has expert knowledge of regulatory requirements around the world. We offer a comprehensive range of migration testing and consulting services, as well as expert analytical testing and investigation to solve problems associated with contaminants, taints, packaging performance and other issues. We have FDA Certified food-grade labs capable of testing a wide range of food products in a number of environments and situations. We can also conduct rapid shelf-life modeling, as well as testing the oxygen and water vapor transmission rates and permeability of packaging.

  • Pack Design and Machine

    Pack Design and Machine Interactions

    We understand that the efficiency of today's high-speed packaging lines, and related ability to reduce labor costs, is dependent on optimized pack design and material properties. Our team is able to develop testing methods and apparatus that allow an objective off-line evaluation of pack design and material modifications. It also helps that part of the Sonoco organization provides packaging design, pack-out and fulfillment services, which give us a unique perspective and intimate knowledge of the environments our packaging needs to perform in.

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  • Distribution and Package Testing

    Distribution and Package Testing

    We have expertise throughout the entire supply chain, with an understanding of the drivers and challenges of raw materials providers, converters, packer/fillers, brand owners, logistics providers, retailers and waste management organizations.

    We offer a wide range of package testing services, providing clients with a laboratory evaluation of packaged goods performance through the simulation of shipment, storage, handling and climatic conditions.

    We support clients addressing the key issues of today:

    • Identifying cost reduction opportunities and delivering cost avoidance
    • Achieving legal and regulatory compliance
    • Delivering progress against the requirement of sustainability
    • Reducing damage and improving the appearance of products at the point of sale and through home delivery systems
    • Delivering against quality requirements and performance expectations in complex and global supply chains, for both traditional retail systems and e-commerce channels

  • Package Testing Capabilities

    Package Testing Capabilities

    Our comprehensive testing facilities enable us to offer a wide range of standard tests, which we can combine to create custom testing programs to replicate the product lifecycle.

    • Vibration
    • Drop and impact
    • Thermal and climatic
    • High altitude
    • Compression
    • Shock and fragility
    • Post-test integrity support and analysis
    • Certified ISTA testing and test reports (including ISTA 6 Amazon)

    We also provide vibration and shock field data measurement and analysis, allowing you to gain an in-depth and accurate understanding of the challenges packaging faces along the supply chain.

  • Packaging Assessments

    Packaging Assessments

    We help identify, assess and solve primary packaging failures and performance issues, offering rapid-response troubleshooting for pack and material performance assessments. We are also experts in developing custom test methods and equipment used to solve difficult packaging challenges.

    Our expertise, combined with comprehensive laboratory facilities, enable us to adopt an innovative approach to challenging projects. We provide impartial advice and testing to help companies who need an independent assessment of their material, pack or product. In our Protective Solutions division, we can even go as far at consulting for our customer to do complete evaluations from manufacturing to final product delivery. We then help them develop testing protocols and packaging requirements to ensure reduced damage and better customer experience.

    When standard test methods are either not available or suitable for measuring the required properties or performance of a material, pack or product, we can develop a custom test method and equipment.

    Our capabilities include:

    • Objective evaluation of materials, packaging and product performance
    • Simulation of consumer handling and in-process situations
    • Assessment and comparison of design/feature improvements
    • Risk/safety concern assessments
    • Tamper-evidence assessments
    • Testing of unusual materials unsuitable for standard tests
    • Development of sample preparation techniques to allow use of standard methods
    • Instrument design and fabrication
    • Instrumented impact testing
    • Pack stability assessment (resistance to toppling)
    • Environmental changes and its impact to packaging performance

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Learn what we can do for your product.

We'd love to help you design and certify packaging that meets Amazon’s unique requirements while protecting and selling your products more cost effectively.