Ever greater distances between suppliers and customers, the splitting of deliveries, and the times cut in half for the supply of products on the market, have exacerbated the stresses sustained by packaged products during a transportation cycle.
The exponential growth of e-commerce sales is increasing the need to test packaging to ensure its resistance in increasingly stressful contexts such as those commonly encountered when shipping products purchased online.
The ISTA 3 SERIES, due to its specificity and completeness, is the most often requested by express couriers (small parcel) to transport individual packages weighing less than 68 kg.
UPS considers all packaging certified with the ISTA 3A SERIES to be suitable for express courier small parcel services. This standard guarantees the most appropriate level of product protection.
Specifically, ISTA 3 SERIES tests consists of the accurate laboratory reproduction of the stresses that the packaging, and the product contained therein, could sustain throughout the transportation cycle.
The tests that are part of this SERIES, check all the 4 general categories of ISTA protocols, namely, drop, vibration, compression and atmospheric, thus creating an expectation of greater test predictability making them more reliable and accurate.

The tests will include the following:

  • Random Vibration;
  • Free fall drop from different heights applied according to the sample packaging type;
  • Atmospheric conditions in a climate chamber.

For this category of packaging, Grifal applies the following test protocols:

WEIGHT – or less – loose individual packages
SERIES – 1A – 1C – 1G – 2A – 2C – 3A – 3B – 3F – 6 Series (if appropriate)

In addition to the ISTA 3 SERIES for individual packages weighing less than 68 kg, test protocols that are part of ISTA 1 SERIES, may also be applied.

However, it is useful to keep in mind that this is the most basic testing category used primarily as first step of package analysis, because:

– the tests challenge its ability to withstand various types of stresses


–    the tests are not real simulations of transport hazards and do not necessarily reflect the packaging regulations for a specific carrier (i.e. UPS)


Grifal can verify and certify the integrity and reliability of your product’s packaging. Learn all about ISTA’s test procedures!