In the packaging industry there are different organizations that regulate the conditions that a package should fulfill to guarantee product safety. One of the most renown worldwide is ISTA (International Safe Transit Association). This organization is in charge of establishing and developing standards for regulating the conditions of transport packaging, and as a result, guarantee a safe delivery.
ISTA packaging tests are some of the most performed by companies that need to evaluate the performance of their packaging before subjecting it to the distribution cycle.
“ISTA packaging test procedures are some of the most performed by companies that need to evaluate the performance of their packaging”
What are ISTA packaging standards?
ISTA is the largest developer in the world of testing protocols and design standards that define how packages should be in order to guarantee the protection of their content. It is no secret that during the distribution cycle cargo could be subject to many hazards, which is why it is advisable to previously subject it to the ISTA packaging tests.
More specifically, the International Safe Transit Association is a nonprofit organization that is currently composed of more than 4,300 companies, laboratories and universities, including Safe Load Technologies. ISTA’s governance body is composed of some of the most important experts in the sector. At the time, the association is presided by A.J. Gruber, and other members include Eric Hiser (Vice-President of Technical), Larry Dull (Lead Instructor), Lisa Bonsignore (Vice-President of Education) and Kathy A. Joneson (Vice-President of Communications), among others.
This organization was created on August 9, 1948 under the name National Safe Transit Committee (NTSC) with the purpose of finding a solution to the serious problems involving losses that took place during the transportation of products, which cost millions of dollars both to manufacturers and to transport companies. It was only in 1991 when it was decided that the organization should have a much broader reach geographically, and it was then that it came to be known as ISTA (International Safe Transit Association).
Throughout these 70 years, the association has cared for the safety of goods transportation and packaging, with the main purpose of establishing standards for optimizing packaging, ensuring that it could withstand without issue the conditions of any distribution cycle. In order to accomplish this, the ISTA packaging standards were created, which have contributed toward getting the International Safe Transit Association to be considered to be the most reliable and respected authority worldwide in regard to predictive packaging performance testing.
“The International Safe Transit Association is a nonprofit organization that is currently composed of more than 4,300 companies, laboratories and universities”
What ISTA shipping standards exist?
All ISTA shipping standards are associated to the packaging of transported products, regulating the conditions that the packaging should fulfill to adequately protect the goods during transportation. The is a significant number of ISTA packaging tests, but the ones we list below are some of the most important and the most requested by companies:
- ISTA Procedure 3A: hits procedure has been created to provide a standard set of tests to evaluate the individual performance of a standard lightweight (under 70 kg) package (small, flat or elongated) when sent through parcel services or post mail.
- ISTA Procedure 3B: ISTA 3B is a general simulation test for packaged products sent through a transport company system (truck), where different types of packaged products are combined in one same load. This type of transportation is known as LTL (Less-Than-Truckload).
- ISTA 6-Amazon.com – Ships in Own Container (SIOC): ISTA 6-Amazon.com-SIOC is a standard developed to ensure that the product-packaging system can endure the transport hazards that are normally found along the distribution cycle, as well as the handling of the products from the supplier to the Amazon center and, subsequently, to the end customer.
- ISTA 6-Amazon.com – Over Boxing: ISTA 6-Amazon.com-Over Boxing was created by Amazon and ISTA to comply with the requirements of this electronic business when transporting individual packaged products weighting 70 pounds or less.
These standards have many benefits for companies that comply with them, since ISTA is one of the most respected authorities worldwide in anything related to packaging performance tests, which helps every entity in the sector in developing packaging that is much more efficient and safer.
Therefore, ISTA standards for packaging are recommended for any company wishing to transport its products across the globe; however, the standards that they will be required to adopt will depend on the type of goods to be transported.
“ISTA is one of the most respected authorities worldwide in anything related to packaging performance tests”
ISTA packaging testing: how to get ISTA-certified
In order to obtain an ISTA certification it is necessary to subject the packaging to different tests; and for that, you need to have specific machines. At Safe Load TT we are experts in the manufacturing of packaging testing machines and our systems support more than one ISTA standard for packaging:
- Vertical vibration system: Procedure 1A, Procedure 1B, Procedure 1C, Procedure 1D, Procedure 1E, Procedure 1G, Procedure 1H, Procedure 2A, Procedure 2B, Procedure 2C, Procedure 3A, Procedure 3B, Procedure 3E, Procedure 3F, Procedure 3H, Project 3K, ISTA 4 Series, 6-FEDEX-A, 6-FEDEX-B and Project 6-SAMSCLUB.
- Drop tester: Procedure 1A, Procedure 1B, Procedure 1C, Procedure 1D, Procedure 3F, Procedure 1G, Procedure 1H, Procedure 2A, Procedure 2B, Procedure 2C, Procedure 3A, Procedure 3B, ISTA 4 Series, 6-FEDEX-A, 6-FEDEX-B and Project 6-SAMSCLUB.
- Horizontal impact tester: Procedure 1A, Procedure 1B, Procedure 1C, Procedure 1D, Procedure 1E, Procedure 1G, Procedure 1H, Procedure 2A, Procedure 2B, Procedure 2C, Procedure 3B, Procedure 3E, Project 3K, ISTA 4 Series and Project 6-SAMSCLUB.
- Inclined Impact tester: Procedure 1A, Procedure 1B, Procedure 1C, Procedure 1E, Procedure 1G, Procedure 1H, Procedure 2A, Procedure 2B, Procedure 2C, Procedure 3B, Procedure 3E, Project 3K, ISTA 4, Series 6-FEDEX-B and Project 6-SAMSCLUB.
- Compression tester: Procedure 1C, Procedure 1D, Procedure 2A, Procedure 2B, Procedure 3E, Procedure 3F, Procedure 3H, ISTA 4, Series 6-FEDEX-A, 6-FEDEX-B and Project 6-SAMSCLUB.
- Vertical vibration + pitch & roll system: Procedure 3A and ISTA 4 Series.
- Amazon lab: Project 6-AMAZON.COM-SIOC and Project 6-AMAZON.COM-Over Boxing.
- Clamp tester: Project 6-SAMSCLUB.
If you are thinking about creating your own laboratory to conduct ISTA package testing yourself, Safe Load TT’s systems guarantee your success, since they are developed with the most advanced technology and, as we have seen, they support the main ISTA packaging procedures.