PACKSmart Cost Estimator

The PACKSmart Cost Estimator offers a predictive view that can be used to weigh the cost of packaging against the risk of under-protecting a product. Source: Smithers Pira.

Too much, too little or just right? It’s a perplexing question for some manufacturers as they try to determine how much packaging is required to protect their product throughout the distribution chain. To help, Smithers Pira has launched the PACKSmart Cost Estimator, an online, interactive tool.

“Our goal was to design an assessment tool that would allow users to apply their own product data to help them visualize how the costs associated with damage [obtained in the supply chain] affect their bottom line revenues,” says Mike Kuebler, technical director at Smithers Pira.

When a consumer packaged product arrives at a retail location in unsellable condition, manufacturers incur extra costs, and retailers are left without product to sell, he explains. The PACKSmart Cost Estimator helps these manufacturers gain a better understanding of how much money they lose in damaged, unsellable products versus the cost of conducting package and supply chain testing.

Kuebler says manufacturers should use the Cost Estimator whenever a package or product is being developed or changed. In the case of a new product launch, the information can be used to make raw material or packaging decisions. With a cost-savings project, the information can be used to decide whether to make a change. In either case, it will also give users a feel for the value of adding distribution testing to their project. 

The PACKSmart Cost Estimator is currently available for free download at

For more information: Mike Kuebler,,