Comprehensive Guide to ISTA 6 Amazon Test Requirements

What is ISTA Test?

Amazon requires online sellers to meet specific criteria to guarantee the safety of their shipments. Amazon has a series of tests known as Amazon ISTA tests that check if the seller complies with all the requirements when shipping packages. The goal of these tests is to optimize the delivery of goods and ensure they are free from damage.

Amazon package testing consists of testing protocols to find out if the package can survive all the stages of the supply chain. The contracts are developed by the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA). ISTA is an international body that focuses on designing protocols to be observed in the supply chain.

To achieve its objective, ISTA has many types of tests that each company can apply depending on how suitable the protocols are in checking their products and the supply chain. Although these protocols feature different series, here are some of the most important ones:

  • ISTA 1 Series: This includes the simplest tests applied to the packaging without simulation of the environmental issues.
  • ISTA 2 Series: Under this series, the performance of the packaging under random vibrations with regards to the choice of transport or certain atmospheric conditions is tested.
  • ISTA 3 Series: This is consisting of advanced test elements done by simulating different conditions and types of transport.
  • ISTA 6 Series: This is the ISTA member performance test. It includes the Amazon ISTA test (ISTA 6A) and other companies as well.
  • ISTA 7 Series: It tests the package’s conditioning to withstand varied humidity and temperature.

Benefits of Using ISTA Testing Compared to Other Tests

What makes the ISTA standards useful is that they are easy to understand and adequately explained. All tests, including Amazon ISTA tests, have a crucial goal of establishing the package’s ability to withstand the conditions subjected to during shipment.

Here are some of the tests for the shipping cargo:

  • ● Vibration
  • ● Freefall
  • ● Environmental conditioning
  • ● Impact
  • ● Rotational fall
  • ● Compression

However, the criteria could vary in the case of elongated and flat packages and their purpose. For instance, ISTA 2C protocol applies when testing furniture packaging.

Recently, Amazon asks its suppliers to subject their packaging to specific ISTA protocol. The tests involve using different machines that simulate the conditions stated by the contract.

Here are some of the machines that you may use for testing:


InnDrop can simulate, corner, edge, or flat falls. It is designed to simulate the rotation and drop impacts that the cargo may face in the supply chain. The machine has a pneumatic actuator and hydraulic shock absorbers for a guaranteed perfect fall.


innWave involves Amazon package testing to check the performance on vertical vibrations caused by ship, plane, or train transportation. The system is also installable in the climatic chamber, thus allowing performance trials in actual environmental conditions.


InnShock produces horizontal impacts on the shipment during transport that can affect the stability and safety of the load. It also allows trials on the horizontal accelerations and decelerations that happen on various transport means.


InnClamp allows measuring the protective abilities of cargoes when they experience vertical motions or horizontal pressure during storage.

In addition to these machines, we have all the systems necessary to perform all Amazon ISTA tests. The equipment allows us to complete all the tests that Amazon and ISTA have put in place to simulate the journey of cargo through the Amazon supply chain. The systems can affect the procedures required by ISTA tests and ISTA

These tools are very instrumental as they allow suppliers to optimize their packaging for the Amazon fulfillment network fully. In turn, it will enable cutting costs in packaging material and avoiding losses during shipment.

ISTA 6 Amazon Testing (ISTA 6A)

ISTA 6 AMAZON PACKAGE TESTINGIn a bid to steer the industry towards a cost-effective, protective, low-waste, and easy to pen packaging, Amazon came up with special Programs that will generally allow them to improve efficiency and reduce waste. So, for your goods to qualify for this program, they need certification from:

  • ● Tier 1 (Frustration-Free Packaging)
  • ● Tier 2 (Ships-In-Own-Container)
  • ● Tier 3 (Prep-Free Packaging)

Furthermore, the products will need to meet all the protocols stated by the Packaging Certification Guidelines, qualify for ISTA 6 Testing (Amazon Overbox Test) (Tier 3), or ISTA 6 Amazon SIOC test (Tier 1 or 2) with trials done using appropriate ISTA certified systems.

  • – Amazon SIOC: Ships in Own Container (SIOC) for Distribution System Shipment
  • – Over Boxing: e-Commerce Fulfillment for Parcel Delivery Shipment

ISTA 6A In Own Container (SIOC) Testing

This test program is for shipments by sellers to Fulfillment Centres, which are then delivered to customers through Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) or Parcel shipping methods. The program is designed to test the ability of the product and the package to survive different transportation hazards during the delivery process. Sellers who plan to use SIOC need to use this program to find out how the packaging will fair during transportation.

Testing Types: 

  • ●       Type A: Tests Individually packaged goods with a circumference of fewer than 165 inches and less than 50 lbs
  • ●       Type B: Tests Individually packaged goods with a circumference less than 165 inches and between 50 Lbs and 100 Lbs
  • ●       Type C: Tests Individually packaged goods with a circumference less than 165 inches and greater than 100 lbs
  • ●       Type D: Tests LTL method in delivery of individually packaged goods with a circumference greater than 165 inches or less than 100 lbs
  • ●       Type E: Test LTL method in delivery of individually packaged goods with a circumference greater than 165 inches or greater than 100 lbs
  • ●       Type F: Test LTL method in delivery of individually packaged goods using the Pallet Handling Technique
  • ●       Type G: Tests LTL method in delivery of individually packaged TV/Monitor with a circumference less than 165 inches and less than 150 lbs
  • ●       Type H: Tests LTL method in delivery of individually packaged TV/Monitor with a circumference greater than 165 inches or greater than 150 Lbs.

Check the details on ISTA.ORG

ISTA Boxing Testing

ISTA Boxing is a general simulation test created by Amazon to check for eCommerce fulfillment. This program comprises products placed into a master shipping box for original shipping or with several individual retail packages for shipment from Amazon stores to the customer through a parcel delivery system like a truck, rail, or air transport. The standard tests packed products not more than 70 pounds in weight.

The test aims at challenging the products alongside the packaging to establish if they can survive the harsh conditions likely to experience during transportation, including motions and force.  

Check the details on ISTA ORG.


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Author: AQI Service as a professional quality control service company in China specialized in providing a complete range of quality inspection and testing certification services in China & Asia for global importers, buyers, retailers, and sellers.