Ireland-based corrugated packaging company Smurfit Kappa has opened a lab at its new e-commerce packaging facility in Northampton, UK.

The lab has been certified by the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA), which aims to help companies minimise damage caused to their products during transportation.

Smurfit Kappa’s testing labs and centres will feature experts who will develop, test and launch ‘disruptive’ packaging solutions to reduce and avoid product damage across the supply chain.

The company will produce packaging prototypes that fulfil safety certification, after which they are put into production for customers.

Smurfit Kappa UK and Ireland CEO Eddie Fellows said: “Our customers need innovative and sustainable packaging solutions to meet growing demand from online sales.

“The lab is an ideal environment for us to work with customers to develop new packaging in real-time.

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“Whether our customers are moving to online retail to increase their customer base or introducing new packaging solutions, by securing the necessary certifications in our lab, they have a clear path to develop solutions quickly that are resilient to supply chain damage.”

The company’s Northampton facility also features an Experience Centre, which aims to allow customers to see the latest packaging innovations first-hand.

The Experience Centre includes warehouse simulations and a virtual store among other interactive installations.

Smurfit Kappa Innovation and Development vice-president Arco Berkenbosch said: “Our network of innovation centres ensures sustainable, adaptable and scalable solutions and underscores our focus on e-commerce.

“We are committed to continuing our investment in laboratories that directly benefit our customers, providing a real advantage over their competitors and offering customers even greater value.”

Smurfit Kappa recently obtained Amazon’s ‘Frustration-Free Packaging’ pre-certification for its 3l Bag-in-Box solution.

In February, the company introduced a range of eBottle packaging solutions for the online beverage market.

The solutions, which include the Rollor bottle pack, BiPack and Pop-up insert, are designed for both single and multi-pack products.