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How do I test my package performance?

The International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) pioneered the concept of package performance testing and certification over 60 years ago and today their test procedures, standards and certification programs are at the forefront of Responsible Transport Packaging. 


Who is the ISTA?

The ISTA is an global organization focused on the specific concerns of transport packaging. ISTA members include;

  • Shippers who manufacture and distribute products
  • Carriers who provide the distribution means
  • Organizations that supply packaging materials and services
  • Testing laboratories that perform packaged-product performance tests

The ISTA Mission is to develop and deliver standards, tools and educational programs for the economic, social and environmental optimization of packaging systems.

What type of testing does the ISTA do?

The ISTA has two types of tests:

  • Performance Tests result in a Pass/Fail assessment and are used to determine the viability of a packaged-product to survive normal shipment.
  • Development Tests compare relative performance of two or more designs or the same design from different suppliers.

The ISTA has four basic categories of hazards that may occur during distribution:

  • Shock
  • Vibration
  • Compression
  • Atmospheric

Each hazard category has a major test category associated with it and there are 13 associated test types.

ISTA test types

Guidelines for Selecting which Test

The Guidelines are intended to provide the user of ISTA® Test Procedures and Projects and other ISTA documents with insight and information on the protocols, and what factors to consider in selection, use, and results interpretation.

Click here to download the Guidelines
responsible packaging guide

Find a testing lab

If your near Valley Box in San Diego contact Westpak, Inc at 858-623-8100Otherwise use the ISTA's helpful "Find a Lab" tool to locate a certified testing facility.



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Valley Box Company

Written by Valley Box Company

Valley Box demonstrates what is possible beyond just the typical wooden crate. This specialty crating manufacturer works with a wide variety of materials from wood to plastic, corrugated, metals and more. Discover how to take specialty crating to the next level.