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

As a student at the University of Florida, you have committed yourself to uphold the Honor Code, which includes the following pledge: “We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.”  You are expected to exhibit behavior consistent with this commitment to the UF academic community, and on all work submitted for credit at the University of Florida, the following pledge is either required or implied: "On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment." 
It is assumed that you will complete all work independently in each course unless the instructor provides explicit permission for you to collaborate on course tasks (e.g. assignments, papers, quizzes, exams). Furthermore, as part of your obligation to uphold the Honor Code, you should report any condition that facilitates academic misconduct to appropriate personnel. It is your individual responsibility to know and comply with all university policies and procedures regarding academic integrity and the Student Honor Code.  Violations of the Honor Code at the University of Florida will not be tolerated. Violations will be reported to the Dean of Students Office for consideration of disciplinary action. For more information regarding the Student Honor Code, please see:  

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.