ISTA Testing Standards Overview

The International Safe Transit Association, also known as ISTA, is the leading industry developer of test standards and design specifications that define how packages should perform. The goal of ISTA’s test standards are to ensure that packages protect their contents during the shipping process. As a nonprofit, member-driven association it sets the standards for optimizing the resources in packages that are designed to be survivable, sustainable and successful. ISTA’s mission is to empower organizations and their people to minimize product damage throughout distribution and optimize resource usage through effective package design. Their vision is to be the leading inspiration and resource for improving our world through transport packaging globally. As an ISTA certified testing laboratory, Keystone is internationally accredited. ISTA accreditation serves several purposes for a laboratory. It ensures that the testing equipment and procedures meet a high standard that adds credibility to the lab. Additionally, it ensures that the reports we write and send to our customers are globally accepted. After completing testing with us, our customers can be sure that they have met standards and are in compliance with current regulations. 

To best serve its members, ISTA helps members control costs, damage, and resources during the distribution of packaged-products by creating and publishing packaged-product test procedures, certifying packaging laboratories, packaged-products and professionals and providing education, training, and support. Amazon.com and ISTA have partnered to create standards specific to fulfilling Amazon’s E-Commerce needs. Package testing is meant to simulate the distribution or transportation process that the package will go through. The two primary standards are ISTA 6-Amaozn.com-SIOC and ISTA 6-Amazon.com-OB. SIOC stands for Ships In Own Container and OB stands for Over Boxing. A package can experience many stresses throughout the distribution process. Some of these stresses include environmental stresses like temperature and humidity or they can be impacted by the mode of transportation and handling. Keystone’s capabilities include altitude, compression, drop, humidity, shock, temperature, and vibration. Most of those tests can be broken down into more specific type of tests. For example, a drop test can include free-fall drop. drop onto hazard, bridge impact drop, concentrated edge impact drop, rotational flat drop, full rotational drop, and rotational edge drop. There are also different standards and procedures that depend on the size and weight of the package. There are separate standards for parcel packages (individually packaged products), and palletized loads. Depending on the needs of the customer and the product they have, we can work to customize the ISTA and Amazon standard. 

As a certified ISTA testing lab, Keystone Package Testing assists manufacturers, retailers, distributors and customers by providing the package testing they need to help ensure products purchased arrive at the customer’s location in a satisfactory condition. With ISTA Amazon certification you can avoid chargebacks and prep fees, lower packaging costs and waste, reduce returns, and increase customer satisfaction. Amazon vendors and distributors are required to become certified.

Contact us to learn how we can help you streamline the package testing process and help you certify your packaging with Amazon.