Cold Chain Validation Testing

ISTA 7D Package Testing

As an ISTA and ISO 17025 certified lab, we realize the importance of temperature testing for transport packaging. Meeting the ISTA 7D requirements can be difficult. We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process.

Keystone Package Testing partners with customers to achieve package compliance. Keystone also creates an accurate test plan to eliminate expensive over-testing. Lastly, our accurate test reports are delivered quickly in order to avoid product launch delays.

Request a quote and find out first hand about our competitive pricing, timely process, and outstanding reputation. Contact us to receive more information on transport package testing.

Summary of ISTA 7D Temperature Transit Integrity Testing

ISTA Procedure 7D package testing is the standard for the temperature testing of transport packages. This package test standard covers the thermal performance testing of packaged products to evaluate the effects of external temperature exposure.

ISTA 7D shipping tests can be used for the development of temperature-controlled transport packages made of any material. It is designed the measure the relative ability of a package to protect a product when exposed to test cycles of temperature conditions for package validation.

It is important to note that the temperature test cycles in this test standard are general simulations. This standard does not represent a worst-case temperature exposure. If the testing required is for specific government, industry, laboratory or validation conditions, those requirements would supersede ISTA 7D.

ISTA 7D Lab Testing Process


One sample unit is required for testing. However, it is important that samples should be the untested actual package and product. If substitutes are needed, they should be as close to identical as possible. Identical should be measured in terms of content, composition, thermal mass, and consistency.

An ISTA 7D test program starts with preconditioning. This preconditioning involves storing the test sample at its required storage temperature for a minimum of 24 hours. Once the preconditioning is completed, temperature testing can commence.


Different types of products are assigned different temperature profiles. Some of the examples include 24-hour domestic small package express freight transport and 72-hour international expedited air freight transport. Each temperature profile has two sub-profiles. One is for winter, referred to the cold shipping and receiving. The other is summer, referred to as hot shipping and receiving.

For most of the ISTA 7D temperature profiles, there are four or five temperature cycles ranging from 2 hours to 56 hours per cycle. Each cycle has a specified steady temperature target that must be maintained during the entire cycle.

Most of the cold temperature cycles typically range from 14 degrees Fahrenheit to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, most of the hot temperature cycles range from 72 degrees Fahrenheit to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. There is some cross-over in the cycles during the 72-hour international expedited airfreight transport profile.

In addition to the steady-state temperature testing, there are also ramp profiles that simulate drastic temperature swings over shorter periods of time. The profiles can range from -4 degrees Fahrenheit to 65 degrees Fahrenheit on the cold side and 72 degrees Fahrenheit to 113 degrees Fahrenheit on the hot side. During these ramp profiles, the typical transition time permitted from one temperature to another is 2 hours.

Test Results

At the conclusion of testing, Keystone will write a comprehensive report that outlines the following:

  • Temperature
  • Humidity variances
  • Product measurements: size, weight, etc.
  • Test results

Significance of ISTA 7D Thermal Validation Testing

By subjecting products to a range of temperature profiles, manufacturers can assess their resistance to thermal stress, identify potential weaknesses, and implement appropriate measures to improve packaging and preserve product quality. Temperature-related incidents during transit can lead to substantial financial losses for manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers. Products may spoil, degrade, or become unfit for use if exposed to unsuitable temperature conditions.

ISTA 7d temperature testing helps identify vulnerabilities in packaging systems, enabling companies to develop robust solutions that protect products from temperature-induced damage. By minimizing product losses, businesses can enhance their operational efficiency, reduce financial risks, and maintain a competitive edge in the market.

Lastly, ISTA 7D is one of the necessary steps in acquiring the ISTA Thermal Transport Certification Mark. The mark is a registered certification mark that can only be printed on certified packages, used by a license agreement, and by an ISTA member. In order to maintain certification, retesting must be done whenever there is a change to the manufacturing process or package itself.

Expert ISTA 7D Thermal Transportation Integrity Testing

Keystone Package Testing is an ISTA-certified test lab with significant experience in ISTA 7D transit testing and e-commerce package testing. We have nearly 20 temperature and humidity chambers ranging from large walk-in chambers to small reach-in chambers. This fleet of chambers allows us to have short lead times on scheduling. It also allows us to have affordable pricing since we will always use the appropriately-sized chamber for your products.

We have experienced award-winning growth, due in large part to the customer experience we offer. Our technicians and engineers are experts. They design and implement test programs that meet the requirements. There is no over-testing or under-testing. Furthermore, when problems arise, Keystone Package Testing offers solutions such as alternatives for package design or packing materials.

Our ISTA 7D test reports are concise and completed in a timely manner once the test program is done. Contact us to receive a quote. You will witness why so many companies partner with Keystone to receive their ISTA 7D temperature testing.


Other ISTA Standards:


Interested in the EMC/EMI, climatic, dynamic, shielding effectiveness, or IP Code testing of a product? Follow the corresponding links or for more information.