The International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) has announced the release of ISTA 3L, a new testing protocol that simulates the potential hazards faced by shipments in transit.

ISTA 3L is a generalised e-commerce retailer fulfilment test, which anticipates and prepares stakeholders across the supply chain for the impacts of transit hazards, such as vibration, shock, compression, temperature and humidity on packaged products.

New testing protocol for safe transport of packaged products for Home delivery

This new testing protocol is essential for home delivery as products damaged in transit will ultimately be received by the customer, negatively impacting consumer experience and brand equity.

Damage in transit also leads to both the product and package becoming waste, which has a more significant environmental impact than packaging alone.

E-commerce sales now account for 22% of total retail sales and, according to Pitney Bowes, with the rise of digital commerce, the number of parcels shipped worldwide is predicted to increase significantly, reaching 256 billion parcels by 2027.

Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers like Walmart and Home Depot are now pulling inventory from in-store environments and shipping them to consumers’ doors.

With a focus on speed, retailers have continued to invest in their delivery chain logistics.

The e-commerce retailers and their partners will benefit from the testing protocol

The ISTA 3L testing protocol was developed and approved through ISTA’s American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited standards development process. The testing protocol will help e-commerce retailers and their partners across the supply chain understand and simulate the hazards experienced with shipping products directly to customers.

ISTA has invested nearly $2m into research since 2019 to better understand the hazards found in the transport of products worldwide, including studies in India, Europe, China and the US and spans across sea, rail, full-truckloads and parcels.

ISTA currently has 22 testing standards covering different applications, package types, distribution modes and products.