We’ve all seen the videos of shippers and package handlers dropping, crushing, kicking and even throwing packages.  You need to know what your package has been through if it is crossing the state, country or even oversees.

If you want to know how many times your package was dropped or what the max “g-force” it was exposed to during shipping, then you might want to invest in a shock sensor.  You can find some excellent models when you visit this site. Shock sensors can tell you the vibration environment the package saw during shipment.  You might want to know the maximum acceleration, or maybe the pulse width of the shock event experienced by your shipment.  Some devices will even show you the raw accelerometer data so that you can use a vibration shaker in-house to replicate the type of shock your shipment has experienced.

What are Shock Sensors?

Impact (or shock) monitors provide immediate warnings when a given load has sustained a sudden wave of force. During shipping, transit, storage, or use, products and equipment are subject to being bumped, banged, and sometimes even smashed.

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Shock sensors communicate to the manufacturer, shipper, customer, and operator when and how there may be damage in a process. Cutting right to the root cause of equipment failure can be invaluable. You can reduce troubleshooting times when you know where to start. Forceful shocks can damage electronics, ceramics, glass, plastic, and even metal connections or support members.

How do They Work?

Impact sensors use either electronic circuits or a mechanical system to monitor, measure, and respond to outside forces.

Electronic circuits are configured such that forces cause a variance in signal level voltages. These variances can be monitored over time to provide what would amount to a snapshot of the circuit’s travels and forces it encountered.

Mechanical systems can be designed with a threshold that will cause some change within the system that is obvious to an outside observer.

Each type of impact sensor has its advantages and disadvantages. Electronic circuits can show forces your package or container has encountered or is encountering throughout its trip. This sort of constant monitoring requires power which may or may not be available or limited by battery life. The advantage of mechanical systems is they tend to not require power. However, most mechanical systems will need to be reset after a force outside of the normal range triggers a response in the system. Mechanical systems are generally less expensive. The least expensive options are single use mechanical systems. These do not need to be returned or reset.

What Specs Should I Consider:

Consider options like:

  • Single or multi axis
  • G Force thresholds of 10G to 100G
  • Battery life of 6 months to 1 year
  • Battery type (AA Alkaline, AA Lithium Ion or Lithium Thionyl Chloride)
  • Remote monitoring via Cellular or Satellite
  • USB Connectivity
  • Alert type (LED, Audible Alarm)
  • All in one solutions that also monitor temperature, humidity, and tilt
  • Weight and volume of product

Take you time and make sure that you get the right shock sensor for the type of package that you are shipping.  If the shipper breaks it, they should have to pay for it.

Posted by Alice Stevens

Full time stay at home mom with three children. I love to blog!

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