Elsa Jiang
- Master degree in English Translation Studies, graduated from GDUFS
- 3 years' experience in China sourcing
- 4 years' experience in quality control, supplier assessment & laboratory testing

Apr 30, 2021

Carton Drop Test: 5 Things You May Not Know

Carton drop test , 5 things you may not know

When products are finished, package strength is an important consideration which importers should not overlook. So, how do you check the package strength?

Organizations like ISTA (International Safe Transit Association) and ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) have made clear instructions about various testing methods. Among them, ISTA’s Drop Test is the most popular one, as it’s easy to implement and can be conducted without any special equipment.

1. When is Drop Test needed?

When importers want to ensure that the package is strong enough to protect their products from being damaged, then they can and should require a Drop Test during the Pre-shipment Inspection, even if the cartons are marked “Fragile”.

 2. How do you decide the height from which to drop the carton?

 ISTA – 1A indicates the drop height of packaged products weighing below 68 kg. According to the table below, if a packaged product weighs between 10 kg and 19kg, or 21lbs and 41lbs, then it should be dropped from a height of 24 inches or 610 mm.

Packaged-Product Weight Drop Height Free Fall
>= < ISTA – 1A
lbs kg lbs kg Inch mm
0 0 21 10 30 760
21 10 41 19 24 610
41 19 61 28 18 460
61 28 100 45 12 310
100 45 150 68 8 200


ISTA – 1B indicates that if the packaged product’s weight is higher than 68 kg (150 lbs), it should be dropped from a height of 6 inches or 150 mm.

3. How do you drop the packaged products?

It should be dropped on 1 corner, 3 edges, and 6 faces for a total of 10 times.

How do you drop the packaged products

Drop Sequence Number Carton Orientation Specific Face, Edge or Corner
1 Corner Most fragile face-3 corner. If unknown, test Corner 2-3-5
2 Edge Shortest edge radiating from the corner tested
3 Edge Next longest edge radiating from the corner tested
4 Edge Longest edge radiating from the corner tested
5 Face One of the smallest faces
6 Face Opposite small face
7 Face One of the medium faces
8 Face Opposite medium face
9 Face One of the largest faces
10 Face Opposite large face

4. How do you determine whether the Drop Test result is failed?

You can expect a package to fail if:

  • The export carton is completely smashed or open
  • Inner box is badly damaged
  • The product is damaged, dented, deformed or can’t function well any more

5. Remember to check the product condition both before and after the Drop Test

Without checking the product condition before the test, we won’t know whether the products are damaged only after the test, or were already damaged before the test.

For more information about how to ensure your product’s quality, please feel free to contact us at info@v-trust.com.

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