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What shipping test standards are there and what are they used for?

The transportation of goods, whether by land, sea or air, is related to a series of hazards for the goods being transported. Vibrations, shock, falls and other unfavorable conditions may endanger the safety of the goods. Therefore, there are a series of international organizations that establish shipping test standards.
Through testing for shipping, it is possible to anticipate and address the hazards that threaten the goods, saving costs and achieving the maximum level of safety for the goods.
The purpose of shipping testing standards is to offer standards related to testing procedures so that companies that transport goods can ensure their products’ safety.

Main shipping test standards:

Nowadays we are witnessing an ever-changing global goods distribution landscape.

A series of international organizations play a key role within this landscape, attempting to manage the safety of goods by establishing shipping testing standards.

Shipping test standards aim to offer references and guidelines to perform shipping test procedures.

  • Complying with the standards established by these organizations allows companies to ensure that they abide by these standards and optimize their packaging to guarantee the safety of the load.

Thus, the regulations for transport testing seek to ensure that products can withstand the threats that will arise during the distribution cycle (vibrations, shocks, drops, or compression forces, among others) without suffering damage.

  • These standards establish a series of tests for shipping performed using transportation simulation machines that test the ability of a package to protect the goods during the distribution cycle.
  • The various standards clearly outline which shipping tests should be performed, and under which conditions, to meet the requirements.

Performing shipping tests by following the shipping test standards proposed by any of these organizations certifies that the packaging or package is fit to protect the load.

ISTA Testing for shipping

ISTA (International Safe Transit Association) provides testing protocols and design standards with sights on:

  • Optimizing packages
  • and guaranteeing that their contents are protected

In the face of the ever-changing risks of the global distribution environment.

ISTA was born in 1948 seeking how to avoid the enormous losses experienced during shipping in the porcelain sector It is one of the most important organizations worldwide in the field of shipping test standards and its objective is to minimize the damages caused to the products during transportation.

Through its regulations for transport testing, ISTA tries to promote the optimization of packaging so that it is effective in its function: the protection of goods.

The ISTA test series

ISTA standards are divided into 7 series:

The ISTA 1 series, Non-simulation Integrity Performance Tests

Involves the most basic shipping tests, which test the strength and robustness of the product + packaging system. This series includes the A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H test procedures.

The ISTA 2 series, Partial Simulation Performance Tests

Involves the combination of the basic testing processes of ISTA 1 and certain processes of ISTA 3. This series includes testing procedures A, B, and C.

The ISTA 3 series, General Simulation Performance Tests

Comprises a series of advanced tests that offer laboratory simulations of the motions, forces, and conditions in transportation environments that may damage a load. Includes the A, B, E, F, H, and K procedures.

ISTA 4 serie Enhanced Simulation Performance Tests

It includes a general simulation with at least one specific simulation element (linked to the actual distribution to be carried out).

This series is carried out with different machines:

  • Vertical vibration systems + Pitch & Roll
  • The incline impact tester
  • The vertical vibration system
  • The compression tester
  • The drop tester
  • The horizontal impact tester

The ISTA 6 series, Member Performance Tests

It consists of a series of testing protocols created to comply the requirements of specific members of ISTA The series includes the following protocols:

  • 6-AMAZON.COM-Over Boxing
  • 6-FEDEX-A
  • 6-FEDEX-B
  • Project 6-SAMSCLUB

In order to comply with the 6-AMAZON.COM SIOC and Over Boxing protocols, Safe Load created innAmazon, a set of machines that aim to assist you in obtaining Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging certificate

The ISTA 7 series, Development Tests

It comprises a series of tests used in the development of packaging for transport and has the series D, E.

shipping test standards

ASTM Test Procedures

ASTM is an international nonprofit organization that promotes and publishes voluntary technical standards agreements for a wide range of products, services, and systems.

In total, ASTM has published around 12,000 standards, and it has been developed by volunteer experts from all over the world coming from dozens of different industry sectors. In general, these standards aim to:

  • Improving product quality
  • Improving security
  • Building consumer confidence

In the Safe Load Testing Technologies academy, you can see a list of all ASTM transport testing regulations.

Among these standards, the ASTM D4169 – 16 procedure stands out, which proposes a series of test methods that reproduce the real distribution conditions.

It is a standard for transport tests that provides the necessary tools to evaluate the safety of shipping units.

Through this test procedure, it is possible to test the protective capacity of the packaging and optimize it to secure the load during transport.

ISO Transport Test

ISO (International Standardization Organization) is a federation of organizations dedicated to generating regulations and standards worldwide.
The organization was conceived in 1946. Several delegates from 25 countries met in London to coordinate and unify industrial regulations.

Since then, they have published more than 22,000 international norms and standards, with members from 161 countries and 779 technical committees and subcommittees.

ISO transport tests seek to ensure that goods are secured during transport, that they are reliable, and that they maintain their quality. This means that their objective is to:

  • Reduce costs
  • Minimize expenses
  • Maximize production

ISO proposes a series of standards related to the transportation of goods that are focused on ensuring the safety of the products during shipping, handling, and storage.

With this in mind, it has established about a dozen procedures, outlined in this article. These transport testing regulations focus on different packaging materials or threats to goods to anticipate potential hazards.


EUMOS Transport Test Regulations

EUMOS or European Safe Logistic Association is a non-profit association that focuses on ensuring the safety of cargo during transport, including packaging, storage, and loading processes.

The aim of EUMOS is to develop new knowledge, standards and test procedures to achieve the safety of loads during transport.

EUMOS propone varias normativas para ensayos de transporte, entre la que destaca Eumos 40509-2012: Test method for load unit rigidity.

This regulation describes a test method that evaluates the fastening and rigidity of each load unit, and is of vital importance for those companies that distribute their products by road in European territory

How to comply with transport testing regulations

Complying with the regulations for transport tests involves carrying out the transport procedures and tests proposed by these organizations.

Through systematic test procedures, it is possible to simulate the potential damage that the load may suffer during the distribution cycle and to devise a packaging capable of protecting it.

At Safe Load Testing Technologies, we can help you meet these standards.

Our transport simulation equipment is designed to comply with transport testing regulations. In addition, we provide customized solutions that adapt to the needs of each specific distribution cycle.

Many companies have already managed to optimize their packaging and distribution processes thanks to our experience of more than two decades in packaging research.

If you want to avoid damage to the load during transport and comply with existing regulations, contact us so we will start working to achieve your goals.


We put our knowledge in packaging engineering, transport simulation, tests and regulations at your disposal so that you can apply it to your project

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