The fact of the matter is that nearly 10% of all packages shipped are damaged during transit. And, of those damaged packages, approximately 5% have product damage.

Damage has a real cost: both in lost profits and lost customers.OK, you’re probably thinking that that small a percentage of damage products doesn’t really add up to that much.  However, the real cost is an astonishing $2.05 billion in unsaleable items.  Sure, not every unsaleable item is due to damage, but when it’s a portion of a number in the billions, it’s still too much.

But it isn’t just the cost in actual dollars and cents.  There are other significant costs to shipping damage, including drops in quality delivery metrics, decreases in customer perception of your brand, and loss of customers.

Through our client collaborations we’ve accrued hundreds of real world studies with valuable comparison data. Because we believe it’s our responsibility to ensure existing and potential clients have easy access to core concepts, we’ve compiled this fact sheet as a foundation. It's more than enough to get started. 

And, honestly, that's the most important part of the journey.


In the face of increasing shipping rates and reports of product damage, it's critical to understand what customers expect.
  • The right packaging pleases shoppers, lowers shipping costs, and reduces returns of damaged purchases.
  • Containers should be rigid and large enough to allow room for adequate cushioning material on all sides of the contents.
  • Fragile articles should be wrapped separately. Each piece needs proper separation from each other and clearance from the corners and sides of the box. Glass items, for example, must not touch other glass items.
  • Impressive packaging will differentiate retailers who want to create loyal brand advocates, offering a retailer an advantage over 80% of the market.
To keep it simple, as logistics shippers switch to density-pricing, retailers are best advised to select quality containers sized to pricing. They are smart to insulate and protect contents in the most cost efficient and secure way. If less is more, then foam-in-place makes the most sense.


Customers have the reasonable expectation that their purchase will arrive on time and in complete working order. Regardless of the ecommerce retailer, customers expect products to be damage free. Their expectations seem to have risen with the aggressive approach of online sources – and they are will and able to voice their dissatisfaction.
Consider this: a 2014 study showed that only 5% of consumers feel their customer experience exceeded their expectations and approximately 30% say that companies miss the mark.
But more concerning than those statistics are that customers now feel empowered to complain about their dissatisfaction:
  • 95% of customers will report their poor experiences to others some of the time.
  • 60% of consumers will report their poor experiences to others all of the time.
  • On average, consumers tell 8 people about their good experiences, but more than TWICE that many about their bad experiences.




Damage affects the customer. The buying experience dramatically improves when they open the package to discover products exactly as they are expected to appear.

Did you know that 10% of all packages will be damaged during shipping? What are you doing to minimize your packaging damage?


Any one of us would be more likely to understand damage to a paperback book we ordered off of Amazon over the newest iPhone we ordered from our cellular provider.  It no longer makes sense for retailers to simply increase the size of the package in order to improve protection; in shipping dimensional weights matter more than actual weights, so retailers must take into account their customer’s needs and interests as they consider their packaging.

But, no matter what: every package will still have the same likelihood to incur that 10% of damage.


Customer satisfaction is relative to the size and price of the products that they are having shipped.  The more money they spend, the more likely they are to be concerned about the potential for damage.  And knowing that they can return a product will do nothing to alleviate the anxiety and negativity they will feel should they need to exercise that capability.

Consumers have reasonable shipping expectations:

  • Deliver ordered items in a high-impact and long-lasting comfort cushion
  • Wraps the product without hiding it in annoying loose fill
  • Secure the item with less product and something that is a sustainable solution
  • Protect fragile, odd-sized, and odd-shaped products
  • Reduce the worry about product performance and the need to return
  • Lower or maintain current customer share of shipping cost

Easy access to purchase and parts with the hassle of foam peanuts and bubble wrap is also a real plus, as is the easy removal of contents with the hassle of containers within containers.  And easily recyclable materials make everyone a little happier.


If you're not protecting your products before they go out the door, there's no one else who will do it for you.

To keep it simple, as logistics shippers switch to a density price model, retailers are best advised to select quality containers. They are smart to insulate and protect contents in the most cost efficient and secure way.


That's exactly what Foam in Place packaging provides: customized protection.

Foam-in-place packaging provides unique customized cushioning properties. It is very versatile because it “molds” around the product being packaged. The insert is actually made from chemicals injected into a high density polyethylene bag. Once mixed together, they begin to foam up, expanding to surround the item and fill the outer container. 

Foam in place is an ideal material for companies shipping many different configurations of fragile products . It fills the space fully with a customized cushion that molds itself around the product it is protecting – sharp edges, corners, odd shapes, and all.  The product is securely seated in a pocket of protection. Sommetimes, the only right answer for protective packaging is custom protective packaging.

Foam-in-place packaging technology offers the highest degree of product protection available. It allows operators to work smarter and more simply for maximum productivity while reducing or eliminating damage expenses. And its small footprint maximizes space and cost efficiency, as well as increases consumer confidence.

If you’re constantly trying to manage consumable usage, frustrated by unexpected equipment downtime, or annoyed about having to wait days for a technician, you’re not alone.  The fact is that equipment is supposed to help make packaging easier, safer, more efficient, and keep your facility more productive.

Today, the most cost-effective and time-efficient foam in place technologies are designed with the operator in mind, by simplifying the packaging process, reduce costs, and increasing productivity. 

These technologies include ways to:Today, the most cost-effective and time-efficient void fill packaging technologies simplify the packaging process, reduce costs, and increasing productivity.

  • Better manage costs associated with consumables
  • Avoid downtime due to equipment malfunctions
  • Operate the unit quickly, easily, and by any employee, not just highly trained ones
  • Know that every package going out the door has the right level of protection
  • Use new, state-of-the-art equipment without a huge capital expenditure

As basic as it might sound, these weren’t really a possibility until recently.  Many facilities were using 20th century technology to package 21st century products because they were trying to avoid spending extra capital on upgrading their packaging. 

But sometimes it takes moving your packaging into the 21st century to ensure that your products arrive to your customers undamaged and that your brand and reputation are not tarnished.


In the same way that your car can most likely alert you to a potential maintenance issue before a catastrophic failure, so to can many of the newest models of foam in place equipment.  Designed to monitor, collect, and measure critical information, such as foam and film usage, temperature, pressure, etc. each time it is operated, this system ensure that the machine stays up and running to your custom specifications.  Any potential issues are automatically relayed back to your equipment provider’s service team and a technician is dispatched to fix the problem before it becomes one.

This seemingly simple feature allows you to:

  • Increase productivity
  • Optimize equipment performance
  • Stay ahead of problems and costly downtime

By being proactive, systems can optimize uptime and ensure that proper system maintenance is performed.







For companies with multiple products of varying size and shape, a barcoding “smart” feature helps take the guesswork out of what bag to use and how much foam to use.

During the packaging process, operators simply scan the bar code label (for the specific product) using a hand wand. The system is programmed to automatically dispense the precise amount of foam and film needed for the optimal pack-out of each product based on its unique barcode. 

The process is simple, automatic, and ensures that your bottom line is as protected as your product by increasing productivity, improving protection, and reducing material waste.

Equipment Design

The worst part about trusting your packaging line to machines?  The downtime when they breakdown.  And, inevitably, something will happen and a part will need to be replaced.  

With traditional machines, replacing parts can take up to an hour.  And who has that kind of time to spend on a machine, especially when you need to be pushing products out the door. 

With the newest technological advances in foam-in-place packaging, part replacements can take mere minutes and quick and easy film roll loading is done via loading arms that take the potential for employee strain injury out of the equation. 

The leading custom foam-in-place systems come from the industry leading source of molded technology.

SmartMold™ - In pre-mold applications, foam is dispensed into a bag molded over a wooden custom form. This creates a shaped cushion for use with specific products. A great option for small or medium volume requirements, these custom molds reduce packaging waste and offer protection in hard to reach areas and for delicate, awkwardly-shaped parts.

  • Create custom molds, prefabricated to a specific dimension.
  • Consistent cushioning and void-fill in places that need it the most.
  • Reduce packaging waste.
  • Void-fill in hard to reach areas.

SmartShot™ - The standard handheld, foam-in-place packaging system designed for small, medium and large applications that require protective void fill, blocking and bracing, and cushioning during the shipping and handling process.

  • Tapered, heated dispenser minimizes cold-shots
  • Insulated handle stays cool
  • Telemetry and barcoding

SmartShot-Hybrid™ - An innovative cross between a handheld foam-in-place machine and bagger system, this is an affordable option with the same maximum foam-in-place product protection benefits, SmartSHOT Hybrid™ comes in multiple bag and stand dimensions to best suit your needs.

  • A hand-held/bagger machine all in one!
  • Package a wide variety of products with one piece of equipment.
  • Telemetry and barcoding
When do using one of these machines really make the most sense for your packaging? 
  • Home-based businesses are especially cost-bound to packaging and ship safely and efficiently.
  • Furniture and appliances are heavily discounted when they have surface scratches.
  • Shipping stores and business mailrooms ship with various options, but they rely on the low cost, speed, and minimal space of shipping equipment and supplies.
  • Retail and e-commerce have new reasons to consider the value of “free” shipping offers.
  • Museums and antiques need protection for sensitive and fragile materials.
  • Medical products should arrive cleanly, as well as safely.
  • Electronics include sensitive parts and glass requiring protection and separation.  


Foam in place packaging allows operators to work smarter and more simply for maximum productivity while reducing or eliminating damage expenses.


Smart shoppers spend where they trust performance. And to customers, undamaged packaging means undamaged goods, so they're looking for quality packing and shipping.

The Pregis® Promise

We represent the leader in foam-in-place technology. Pregis® US offers smart technological solutions for smart business needs with IntelliPack® Advantage programs that promise:

  • custom programs designed to customer-specific needs
  • installation, training, and sustaining support
  • all parts and labor required
  • telemetry preventive maintenance and bar coding
  • automatic upgrades on mechanic and software
  • continuing expert consultation on changing packaging needs
  • lifetime warranty on all parts and equipment

Pregis® promises "Foam-in-Place Solutions with a High IQ." The Pregis® labs offer state-of-the-art equipment and advice for design and testing of density, compression, tensile strength, and more.

  • No up-front capital investment and minimal installation impact.
  • Cellular telemetry lets the application systems monitor their own performance, tracking the use of consumables, and automatically reordering supplies to avoid costly downtime.
  • Bar-coding lets operators deliver consistent packaging protection, even on diverse product lines, ensuring protection with the right amount of film and foam each application.
  • User-friendly control panels, on-site training, and responsive customer service keep operation simple and learning curve short.
  • System footprint and energy usage are low, and supplies can be stored simply and ordered automatically to limit storage space.

Our Customer Commitment

You want someone who will work on your behalf.  So, rest assured, we  treat every customer like they are the only customer.

We start by performing an on-site assessment of your current packaging and logistics operations to help identify the costs and inefficiencies that are plaguing your high-volume operation.  You probably know that there are issues; let our dedicated professionals, with dozens of years of industry experience, tell you exactly what those issues are.

From there, we can help assess the right way to solve those issues.  With design labs and highly trained packaging engineers on staff, we will work to identify specific technical requirements for your applications and develop custom packaging solutions based on comprehensive needs analyses.  It will be science and math – engineering at its finest – that provide the right solutions to your on-site problems.

Once we’ve determined the right solution, our training team will work directly with you to ensure that your packaging operations are back online quicker and more productively than ever before.

Shipping damage sucks. What are you doing to prevent it? Have you considered trying foam in place packaging?


We've given you the basics, and you're well on your way to making some very smart decisions about damage prevention. Now is the time to dive deeper with one of our dedicated and knowledgeable Product Specialists.

Get our free eBook

IPS Packaging has put together a downloadable, no-obligation eBook which will show you how foam-in-place packaging can help you protect your items – and your brand’s reputation.

IPS Packaging is an industry leader in providing Foam-in-Place solutions that will positively impact your bottom line. Our knowledgeable product specialists can show you how foam-in-place packaging equipment can benefit your organization, and you can even schedule a no-obligation equipment demo.

Foam in Place Packaging free eBook download