Solving the Damaged Paint Can Riddle

By November 6, 2018 September 13th, 2019 Products, Uncategorized
Simulation of damaged paint cans during transport


As we all know, when shipping dangerous goods the shipper has the following responsibilities

  • Proper packaging.
  • Proper markings on the packaging.
  • Proper description on the shipping papers.

All 3 require training in hazardous materials.  However, what if the proper packaging isn’t available? After all, it is also our responsibility to prevent loss and damage during normal transportation and handling according to FedEx. In the last several years here at ICC, the need for paint can shippers that don’t leak and dent has gone through the roof. I have been contacted by several different large paint distributors all looking to solve the same riddle; how do I get my paint cans from point A to point B without damage and leaking? Challenge accepted! The first step is to decide what metric to use to determine if the packaging will damage or leak during normal transit.  Well a while back I wrote a blog on ISTA 6-FEDEX-A testing,, which helps determine how well a package will perform out in the field. So I figured that would be a good starting point. Basically, our goal was to create paint can shippers that not only would survive the 10 drops from 30 inches up that the FedEx testing requires, but also have minimal to no damage on the paint cans at all.

Quart/Liter Shippers

Securepacc™ quart/liter shipper

During the testing process, the goal was to provide enough protection to withstand impacts on the top, bottom, sides, and corners. Each can was filled with 4.2 lbs., and dropped 10 times from 30 inches high inside the corrugated inserts and box. The design that ultimately has the best success was the corrugated insert in the picture above. As you can see, the bottom and top of the can rests upon a springboard platform, which when the box is dropped provides a trampoline-like motion and the can doesn’t make contact with the bottom of the box or the hard surface it is being dropped on. In addition the insert completely surrounds the top and bottom of the can, so if the box is dropped on the sides or corners, the insert takes the brunt force of the fall.

Insert designed with a springboard platform

Below is a picture from the FedEx testing after being dropped with the insert and box 10 times.  The cans were unblemished from top to bottom

Can showing no damage after testing

Compare this to a quart can using a standard EPS foam insert design below, which ultimately failed due to denting and leaking.

Quart can showing signs of damage after testing

Gallon Size Shippers

During the testing process, the goal was to provide enough protection to withstand impacts on the top, bottom, and sides. Each can was filled with about 17 lbs., and dropped 10 times from 30 inches up inside the PE foam inserts and box. Unlike standard EPS foam which is stiff and rigid and can possibly even shatter on impact, the PE foam used in these kits is soft enough to stay intact after a fall, but strong enough to protect the cans from any outside forces exerted upon them. As you can see in the pictures below using our new PE inserts, the paint cans were almost unblemished, and this was after a total of about 67 pounds inside the package.

Compare this to a gallon can using a standard EPS foam insert design below, which ultimately failed due to severe denting and leaking.

Can with severe denting and leaking after testing with EPS foam inserts


All of the trials and tribulations of FedEx ISTA testing led to the creation of our new Securepacc™ Paint Cans shippers. Because of the successful testing results, we decided to add 4×1, 2×1, and 1×1 shippers that are capable of shipping gallon, liter, and quart size paint cans with enough protection to withstand the unpredictable elements of shipping and transportation. Feel free to browse through this new line of paint can shippers here

Michael Zendano

Michael Zendano

Michael Zendano started with ICC Compliance Center back in 2016 with several years in the packaging field as a Quality Control Manager. In addition, he has 8 years experience in teaching. Michael works at the Niagara Falls Office as the Packaging/Regulatory specialist where he manages packaging projects and procedures and is a member of the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IOPP) and The Chemical Packaging Committee (CPC) . Degrees: M.S. Science of Education.