ISTA European Data Collection Research Update

ISTA launched a Distribution Environment Data Collection Program in late 2018 with the primary goal of expanding our distribution environment data resources. Through both directly-funded research and industry collaboration, we are initially focused on obtaining atmospheric, vibration, storage, and handling data that meets our established Data Collection Standards for CPG land-route distribution in five prioritized countries/regions – China, India, Europe, Japan and Mexico. While we are starting with these five countries, the intent is to continue to collect other land and ocean-route data to provide us with a better understanding of regional differences in transport hazards.  This data will be leveraged to improve current testing protocols, add new testing protocols, and create a world-class data repository that can be leveraged by ISTA, and its members, to better model distribution locally, nationally, and internationally.
Our first project collected data in India from January 2019 to April 2020 and was conducted by Dr. Jay Singh of Cal-Poly, who was supported in India by SEIS.  This project collected vibration, shock and atmospheric hazard data for various transportation modes, storage and handling involved in the distribution of CPGs, including the “last segments”, in the land routes in India within, near and between Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNP), which is near Mumbai, and New Delhi. Please refer to a separate ISTA article for the project specifics and results. 
Project Scope 
After completion of the work in India, we turned our efforts to collecting distribution environment data in Europe.  We contracted with Smithers and Lansmont as our research partners, who have identified suitable commercial partners and routes. 
The scope of the project is to obtain atmospheric, vibration, storage and handling data for Consumer-Packaged Goods (CPG) distribution in Europe through various transportation modes and channel segments.  We recognize that this is a broad scope and therefore intend to collect data on two North-South routes and two East-West routes, with multiple replicates, to cost-effectively characterize the transport hazards.  This data should provide sufficient clarity to determine if ISTA should develop Europe-specific test procedure variants and what those variants should be. 
Our research and commercial partners have identified two data collection routes:   Other routes are under discussion with additional commercial partners.  The data will be collected in 2021, with the goal of a final report by Q3 2021. 
Next Steps 
After Europe, our next area of focus will be on data collection in China in 2021 and 2022.  Please contact Brian O’Banion, Vice President of Research & Education, directly if you are interested in assisting in this work, either as a researcher or as a commercial partner providing access to your distribution network in China or other regions.