ASTM D7386 Standard Practice for Performance Testing of Packages for Single Parcel Delivery Systems

The ASTM D7386 test is intended for shipping units weighing less than or equal to 150 lbs. The test will evaluate the unit’s ability to withstand hazards that it will encounter throughout the single parcel delivery system distribution environment. The test will be conducted in the order of hazards that are anticipated throughout distribution. The test methods used to simulate the shipping environment are representative of those conditions in actual distribution. The test should be performed on container throughout the ordered test sequence. For performance testing, the unit must remain unopened until testing is complete. However, if the tests are conducted for design development purposes, it can be beneficial to open the container at various points to evaluate the condition of its contents.

The test specimen should be prepared in accordance with the standards outlined by ASTM D7386. The test specimen are comprised of representative samples of complete shipping units. The sample should include the actual contents used in the field. If the test specimen is shipped to the test laboratory rather than assembled on site, take care to ensure there is no damage prior to beginning testing. The test objectives will determine how many replications are necessary. However, replicating the test is recommended to ensure more accurate results. The test specimen will be examined and labeled prior to testing. Labeling is determined by the type of container: small containers bagged for transport by carrier, sacks, bags, rectangular containers, and cylindrical containers. Labeling guidelines can be found in the ASTM D7386 test procedure. The test specimen should be conditioned or preconditioned prior to testing if necessary.

The organization conducting the test will establish acceptance criteria prior to testing. When choosing criteria, they should consider the required condition of the package upon arrival at shipping destination. Criteria can range from pass-fail judgement to quantitative scoring or analysis. The form and content of acceptance criteria can vary widely depending on the circumstances. A common example of acceptance criteria is:

  • Criterion 1- product is damage-free
  • Criterion 2- package is intact
  • Criterion 3- both criteria 1 and 2

The test procedure is outlined fully by ASTM D7386 standard. The procedure follows this sequence:

  1. Describe and define the package test samples in terms of size, weight, and form of construction.
  2. Determine acceptance criteria- develop the acceptance criteria with the end of distribution in mind
  3. Write test plan- use the sequence of the table below to write a test plan
  4. Select samples for test
  5. Condition samples
  6. Perform tests (refer to the ASTM D7386 standard)
  7. Evaluate results- determine if the container has met the acceptance criteria
  8. Document test results- report each step of the test
  9. Monitor shipments- if possible, monitor shipments to ensure the accuracy of laboratory test results compared to the actual distribution system

Hazard Elements and Test Schedules

ScheduleHazard ElementTest
AHandling- manual and automatedDrop, impact
DVibrationVibration and Vibration under load
IImpact, StabilityBridge impact
JImpact, StabilityHazard impact
KLow PressureHigh Altitude
LImpacts, puncturesConcentrated Impacts
MImpactsTip-over impacts
NDropsRotational Edge Drops


Keystone Package Testing is proud to provide customers with reliable testing and reports. With international accreditation, competitive pricing, and quick turnaround time, Keystone is the right package testing partner. Our package testing engineers are experienced and have thorough knowledge of industry standards. They are prepared to guide you through the transit testing process. Let’s get started! Request a quote or contact us at (724) 657-9940.


Other ASTM Standards: