University of Florida

PKG 5003
Advanced Distribution and Transport Packaging

Semester Taught - Spring

Catalog Description

Credits: 3

Topics related to the technical aspects of a systems approach to designing packaging for shipping in order to provide product protection and to facilitate safe and cost-effective distribution. Will include an overview of the distribution system environment, transportation types and testing procedures, as well as tracking technologies for packages. Each team will prepare and execute a protective shipping container that will be tested in real conditions. The rating and the performance will be evaluated in part by experts working in the industry




Course Objectives

  • Identify the key questions to be answered for packaging a product in a distribution environment;
  • Select and evaluate a packaging option for a specific application during shipment;
  • Prepare a protective package using appropriate materials and testing equipment;
  • Understand different package tracking technologies used in the supply chain


William Pelletier
Phone: 392-1864 101

Material/Supply Fees


Class Materials Required

No Textbook Required

Course Outline

  1. Introduction and Scope
    Background, Definitions and Viewpoint
  2. Types of distribution and transportation
    Domestic and export distribution,
    Ground, sea and air transportation
  3. Package design process
    Total system approach, Protective package concept
    The 10-Step process of transport packaging design
  4. Hazards in the distribution environment
    Shock, vibration, compression,
    Temperature, humidity
  5. Testing of transport packaging and unit loads
    Engineering development testing,
    Performance testing (ISTA, ASTM),
    Testing development
  6. Shipping containers
    Cellulose (paperboard, corrugate and paper),
    Polymer (Films, extruded polymeric and coated),
    Metals (aluminum, steel, coated metals),
  7. Types of protective system
    Cushioning system, Bracing/spacing system,
    Corrosion protection, Temperature and humidity protection
  8. Marking and Coding of transport packages
    Symbols Dangerous goods, Bar coding, RFID


The class grade will be derived from two exams, field trips, plus a written and oral distribution packaging system plan developed in two stages. A personal folder on new package development will also be graded twice during the semester. No grades are 'curved'. Absences will only be excused when timely voice message or e-mail notice is given by the student to the instructor. Shown below is the grading scale:

Grading Scale
A 900-1000
B+ 860-899
B 800-859
C+ 760-799
C 700-759
D+ 660-699
D 600-659
Grading Method Points
Exams (2 @ 200 each) 400
Field Trips 100
Packaging Plan (1st submission - written & oral) 200
Packaging Plan (2nd submission - written & oral) 200
Personal Folder - 1st submission 50
Personal Folder - 2nd submission 50
Total 1000

Academic Honesty

All students admitted to the University of Florida have signed a statement of academic honesty committing themselves to be honest in all academic work and understanding that failure to comply with this commitment will result in disciplinary action. This statement is a reminder to uphold your obligation as a UF student and to be honest in all work submitted and exams taken in this course and all others.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office. That office will provide the student with documentation that he/she must provide to the course instructor when requesting accommodation.

Use of Library, Personal References, PC Programs and Electronic Databases

These items are university property and should be utilized with other users in mind. Never remove, mark, modify nor deface resources that do not belong to you. If you're in the habit of underlining text, do it only on your personal copy. It is inconsiderate, costly to others, and dishonest to use common references otherwise.

Software Use

All faculty, staff and students of the University are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. Because such violations are also against University policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate. We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

UF Counseling Services

Resources are available on-campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career and academic goals which interfere with their academic performance. These resources include:

  1. University Counseling Center, 301 Peabody Hall, 392-1575, personal and career counseling;
  2. Student Mental Health, Student Health Care Center, 392-1171, personal counseling;
  3. Center for Sexual Assault/Abuse Recovery and Education (CARE), Student Health Care Center, 392-1161, sexual assault counseling;
  4. Career Resource Center, Reitz Union, 392-1601, career development assistance and counseling.