Freight package on pallet in testing at FedEx Packaging Lab.

How to apply for testing and prep your package

How to apply for testing and prep your package

What to know before you apply

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computer online icon

Account number

You’ll need an active FedEx business account number in good standing. Log in to find your account number.

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The FedEx Packaging Lab will perform basic distribution testing (ISTA 6-FedEx-A, ISTA 6-FedEx-B, and ISTA 3B tests) and packaging design at no charge. You simply cover the cost of shipping your test package to the FedEx Packaging Lab. Email for a quote on advanced testing.

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Package limit

You can submit up to four packages for testing per two-week cycle. If you need more than four packages tested, we offer bulk testing for a nominal fee. Email for a quote. 

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Testing timelines

We’ll typically deliver results within four–six business days for parcel testing or five–eight for freight. For results within two days, we offer expedited testing for a fee. For design services, expect to be contacted within five business days of your package’s arrival. Turnaround times vary. 

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Dangerous/hazardous goods

Packaging containing dangerous goods or hazardous materials cannot be tested. The only exceptions are packages that contain dry ice as the only dangerous goods component.

Instead, simulate hazardous materials using sand, water, or dummy products in the exact same configuration, same weight, and same packaging as the normal shipment. However, this test does not meet any regulatory compliance or certification requirements for hazardous materials.

We don’t provide packaging design services for dangerous goods, clinicals, or hazardous materials.

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Getting the package back after the test

At your request, we’ll return your test package free of charge via FedEx Ground®, FedEx Express® (international customers only), or FedEx Freight® service. You can also request your packaging be returned using other FedEx® services, but the cost will be charged to your account number. We cannot return any freight package to a country or territory outside of North America free of charge. Special conditions apply to certain packages, such as alcohol or hazardous shipments.

How to apply

2. Choose your test and check the appropriate box on the application.

  • For packages shipping with FedEx Express or FedEx Ground, choose the ISTA-6-FEDEX-A test.
  • For packages shipping with FedEx Express® Freight, choose the ISTA-6-FEDEX-B test.
  • For FedEx Freight less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments, choose the ISTA 3B test.

3. Fill out the rest of the application and provide an accurate description of the product.

4. Prepare a sample test package including all of the components in the exact configuration you would send to a customer. Use the instructions below on how to prep your package.

5. Attach a copy of the completed application to the outside of the outermost package using a shipping pouch or packing list envelope.

6. Email the test application to with your company name in the subject line.

7. Send the test package to:

Attn: Testing
FedEx Packaging Lab
789 Progress Road
Collierville, TN 38017

8. If you have questions, email the lab at

How to prep a test package

Small parcel shipments

1. Mark the test package as “Test Package.”

2. Put the test package inside a sturdy outer shipping container.

3. Place material between the test package and the outer container. You can use foam, air-cellular cushioning, packing peanuts, or any other protective material to prevent damage to your test package during shipment.

4. Mark the outer container “Overpacked/Test Pkg. Inside.”

5. Attach a copy of the completed application to the outside of the outermost package using a shipping pouch or packing list envelope.

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Freight shipments

1. Overwrap the test package using corrugated pads, angle boards, or stretch wrap to provide protection during shipment. 

2. Band palletized test packages onto an extra pallet and use an overwrap to help prevent damage during transit. 

3. Non-palletized shipments can be sent in an overbox or overpack, or on a pallet for safe shipment. Note on the application to remove the extra pallet before testing, if necessary. Also indicate which of the over-packing components to remove before freight testing.

4. Attach a copy of the completed application to the outside using a shipping pouch or packing list envelope.

Freight package with diagram infographic