Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: What is Stop Drop?
- A: Stop Drop is a small, single-use, sophisticated, yet inexpensive electronic impact sensor designed for use with packaged
shipments. Stop Drop's capabilities include:
- Detecting if your package was mishandled – Stop Drop senses any impact likely to damage properly packaged items.
- Detecting when your package was mishandled, and therefore by whom – In the unfortunate event that damage occurs and
filing an insurance claim with your shipping company becomes necessary, the ability to establish who had possession when mishandling
occurred, and is therefore accountable, is invaluable.
- Serving as a deterrent to shipping company negligence – Unlike passive "Fragile" or "Handle with Care" labels that are easy
to ignore without consequence, Stop Drop is actively monitoring the handling of your package at all times.
- Q: Why should I use Stop Drop?
- A: Using Stop Drop as a shipment sender, or requesting it be used as the recipient, affords you peace of mind knowing that Stop
Drop will detect not only if your package was mishandled in transit, but when. Stop Drop's active monitoring serves as a
deterrent to negligence, but in the unfortunate event that filing an insurance claim with your shipping company becomes necessary, Stop Drop
also provides an invaluable, independently verifiable source for determining when abuse occurred, and therefore by whom.
- Q: When should I use Stop Drop?
- A: Any time that fragile, valuable or rare items are being shipped or must otherwise leave your possession. If it's worth
insuring, it's worth protecting with Stop Drop!
- Q: Why should I pay to use Stop Drop on a package I'm sending to someone else?
- A: While it may not be readily apparent, Stop Drop protects you as the sender every bit as much as the recipient! Here's how: The
sender, not the recipient, contracted with the shipping company. Therefore, any resulting claims action can only be initiated by the sender!
In the unfortunate event that items are damaged in transit, the recipient (who is likely a customer you want to keep happy), will simply
contact you or their financial institution and be refunded. The sender, on the other hand, has to file the damage claim and hope it's paid in
order to avoid taking a loss. Knowing that the package was mishandled, when it occurred, and therefore by whom, gives you the upper hand.
- Q: How does Stop Drop work?
- A: Stop Drop responds to impact forces in excess of thresholds established by the ISTA (International Safe Transit Association)
test procedures devised to simulate package mishandling. Once triggered, it enters reporting mode and conveys the elapsed time since impact
with an externally visible, color encoded flash sequence.
- Q: What impact force is required to trigger Stop Drop?
- A: Stop Drop has been independently verified to only respond to impact forces in excess of the thresholds established by the ISTA
(International Safe Transit Association) test procedure 1A / 1G, which is defined as a "general simulation test for individual
packaged-products shipped through a parcel delivery system". The ISTA's procedures are referenced by many shipping companies'
package preparation and handling best practices, so if your Stop Drop is flashing, the carrier didn't uphold their end of the bargain.
For more information about Stop Drop's activation threshold, please visit our Technology page.
- Q: How accurate is the time-of-impact data provided by Stop Drop?
- A: Stop Drop reports the time-of-impact in one hour intervals and is accurate to within +/- 1%
- Q: Is Stop Drop only intended for use with packaged shipments?
- A: Certainly not! Stop Drop can be used to detect mishandling under any circumstances when fragile or valuable items must leave
your possession; e.g., luggage mishandling, moving company negligence, etc.
- Q: Should I ship my package insured when using Stop Drop?
- A: If you're shipping a fragile, valuable or rare items and insurance is available, absolutely! In the unfortunate event that
filing a damage claim with your shipping company becomes necessary, Stop Drop serves as an invaluable, independantly verifiable source for
determining when abuse occurred and therefore by whom.
- Q: I received a Stop Drop protected package, and the indicator LED is flashing. Should I open it?
- A: Some shipping companies' policies stipulate that opening a package signifies a release from liability. Stop Drop provides the
time of impact, however, which should prevent them from claiming your item was damaged after it left their possession. If in doubt,
contact the shipping company in question first.
- Q: What handling guarantees do shipping companies provide about the conditions my package may experience while in their possession?
- A: Very few unfortunately. Not surprisingly, most major carriers have stacked the deck in their favor by filling lengthy terms of
use documents with lots of things they don't guarantee. Many do publish packaging best practices aligned with the ISTA's (International
Safe Transit Association) test procedures, however, and from those guidelines, an expectation of handling conditions can be implied.
- United Parcel Service
- UPS: Packaging – "...all packages submitted to UPS for shipment must be capable of meeting the requirements of the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) Procedure 3A test protocol."
- UPS: How To Prepare for Shipping – "...all packaged products should be tested in accordance with the International Safe Transit (ISTA) Test Procedure 3A to ensure the most appropriate level of product protection is achieved."
|ISTA: 3A – Packaged-Products for Parcel Delivery System Shipments 70kg (150 lb) or Less (standard, small, flat or elongated)
||18in (sides/edges) - 36in (bottom)
||12in (sides/edges) - 24in (bottom)
- United States Postal Service
- USPS: Publication 2 - Packaging for Mailing – "Mailers can use the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) Test Procedure 1A to evaluate their packaging (see Appendix A)."
|ISTA: 1A – Packaged-Products weighing 150 lb (68 kg) or Less
Remember that Stop Drop has been independently verified to only respond to impact forces in excess of the
thresholds established by the ISTA drop test procedure 1A / 1G, so if your Stop Drop is flashing, the handling expectations defined above
haven't been met.
- Q: How does Stop Drop differ from other impact sensors?
- A: Other impact sensors provide some, but not all of the information provided by Stop Drop:
- Mechanical Sensors – Indicate that mishandling occurred, but not when. It's easy and all too common for shipping
companies to dispute claims when the time that damage occurred is called into question; i.e., before or after a package was in their
- Other Electronic Sensors – May detect when mishandling occurred, but don't provide a visible indication of abuse prior to
accepting delivery and opening the package. This information is important for the recipient to have and provides an added deterrent to
mishandling. Most other electronic sensors are also very expensive—as much as 100 times more!!!
- Q: How long will Stop Drop last once activated?
- A: Real world conditions vary (temperature, humidity, etc.), but once activated, Stop Drop should last for more than one month in
monitoring mode and at least 10 days in reporting mode once triggered by mishandling.
- Q: Why is the time-of-impact data provided by Stop Drop reported in one hour intervals (vs. minutes or seconds)?
- A: Package mishandling usually occurs at large shipping distribution centers and ports when shipments are transferred between
trains, ships, trucks, and aircraft, or when being loaded for delivery. Reporting to the nearest hour is, therefore, nearly always
sufficient to determine whether your package was still in the shipping company's possession at the time of impact. It also allows us to
provide a simple, intuitive interface, which makes our product easier for you to use and less expensive for you to buy.
- Q: What do the different LED colors mean?
- A: After being triggered, Stop Drop enters reporting mode and begins counting up in one hour increments. Each color signifies a
place value: Red=Ones, Green=Tens, Blue=Hundreds; e.g., a flash code of 1 blue, 2 green, and 3 red would mean that Stop Drop was triggered
123 hours ago. If that was after your package was dropped off to the shipping company, but before they delivered it, someone
has some explaining to do! To simplify the flash code conversion, we provide an easy to use calculator on our homepage.
- Q: I'm sold! Where can I get a Stop Drop impact sensor?
- A: Stop Drop impact sensors are available for purchase through our Online Store or at numerous
retailers. Please reference our Dealers page for a complete listing.