Military leaders realized the need for thorough packaging standards over the years when the loss of transported resources hampered military efforts. Specifically, during the transition from World War I to World War II, shipping containers for provisions and equipment couldn’t stand up to overseas travel. Moisture and other elemental impacts were not accounted for, because the emphasis at the time was on conserving packing materials and exterior attractiveness for marketing purposes.
With little insight into solutions for packaging dilemmas, vulnerable containers made from commercial corrugated fiberboard continued to circulate while the level of contents rose. Overpacking was the military’s first answer to packaging setbacks, but “V-board boxes” crafted from sisal was the next.
Problems surfaced that compromised rations, medicine and information. There were also weaknesses in labeling containers and delivering them to the correct location. As these propositions continued to fail and hinder the flow of military operations, it became clear that sturdier vessels and attentive coordination were necessary.
Eventually, the military developed a protocol for protective containers, handling, inspection, transportation and storage, which pinpointed many of the issues and paved the way for more efficient practices. As the military honed the process, they found productive ways to reinforce distribution depots, control inventory and train personnel. At first, individual branches of the military services approached their packaging issues with their own specifications, but joint efforts did form a cooperative system for packaging during World War II.
After World War II, the DoD formed comprehensive packaging standards, which were further streamlined and implemented. The result was cost-effective and durable packaging that keeps the supplies safe and usable until they’ve arrived at their location and have been opened.
Overall, the reasons for military standards emerged due to shortcomings in packaging that delayed or hindered crucial functions. Military packaging standards protect equipment, assert combat readiness and ensure superior performance among all shipments.