How ISTA Tests Packages 

Testing the package integrity is good for customers since it can help with making the shipment and the handling of the product the best it can be, minimizing any possible damages and costs, thereby improving the satisfaction of customers who know that their products are safe and intact. 

ISTA testing is done in two ways: first by sending out the packaging sample and the product, and from there, they test it directly, and then they provide results. 

They may also work with other packaging companies that’ll test everything in-house and then give you the full results. 

Before breaking this down though, there are a few tests that are used, and we’ll go over what they do for this. Typically it’s a sample of the product that’s in the untested packaging. Typically, they test this with different samples for an accurate result on this. 

1A and 1B Testing 

This is a series of tests that are the base of the certification. This determines the packaging strength, both against the movement of this product against different hazards that may occur, and also simulating different situations that may possibly happen with this product. 

This is considered a form of screening tests, and usually, they typically do this as the benchmark for the packaging standards to follow. 

First, you have 1 A and 1B, which are basically when something is able to handle less or more than 150 pounds. 1A is less than, and 1B is more than. 

They’re then further tested against different conditions including temperature,  humidity, vibrations that simulate truck transport, and of course drops of falls, that happen of course when you’re moving the package around. 

They also do shock and free-fall testing, to see how the package will fare during this. 

The first three tests in 1B are similar to what 1A packaging goes through, but usually different when it comes to the drop heights and how the impact goes in. there is another test that’s used that’s called rotational edge drop, and that’s only used for 1B certifications, so the other surfaces are tested on the flat sides. 

1C and 1D

Then we have 1C and 1D, which is for packaging that’s less than 150 pounds and 1D is over once again. they do further testing against the same conditions as the others.  However, it’s a little different especially with vibration testing. 

As we mentioned earlier with 1A and 1B, they do fixed displacement vibration testing, and that means it’s rotary with the vertical motion that is linear. But for these, they use random rotation, and they may apply and then release the compression and also perform the hold tests that use compression test systems.  1D and 1C also will shock test the drops from various heights, along with the impact velocities, and they also will try shock test dropping too, especially with rotational edges drops. 


Finally, we have 1E, which means that it’s been tested for unitized types of loads, which means that the products are packaged together, secured during their distribution, and usually, this is done on a pallet or a skid.  This typically is stretch wrapped and they are one singular load in this case. 

It’s tested the same manner, but vibrational testing uses a liner fixed vertical displacement testing. Or it might be random testing, and the first kinds of shock tests are done on the impacts rather than the drops. 

This is important to do, since this type of drop testing is very important to make sure that the integrity of the product is maintained, no matter what happens. 

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