The purpose of this study was to measure and characterize the various impacts (free fall drops, lateral kicks, and tosses) received by packages in the overnight small parcel environments found at Federal Express and United Parcel Service. Packages instrumented with tri-axial shock data recorders were repeatedly sent through UPS “Next Day Air” and Federal Express “Priority Overnight” services and shipped from East Lansing, MI to five destinations: Monterey, CA; Atlanta, GA; Rochester, NY; Portland, OR; and Memphis, TN. A total of 100 trips were monitored and 2394 impact events recorded that measured over the trigger threshold level of 10 G. The data show that a package encounters an average of 24 shock events throughout a one-way trip consisting of 31% drops, 43.6% kicks, and 25.4% tosses. The highest free-fall drop height measured was 1.97 m (77.8 in.). The maximum kick level was 5.91 m/s (233 in./s), and the highest equivalent drop height in a toss was 0.79 m (31.4 in.).
The results indicate that 95% of all drops were from less than 0.40 m (16 in.), 95% of all kicks were from less than 3.42 m/sec (135 in./s), and 95% of all tosses were from less than 0.26 m (10.5 in.) equivalent drop height. The packages received 51.1% of total impacts on edges, 42% on corners, and only 6.9% on the six flat faces. Erratum to this paper appears in 24(6).
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