WESTPAK Brings Thermal Shipping Systems Expertise to 2023 ISTA European Packaging Symposium

WESTPAK Brings Thermal Shipping Systems Expertise to 2023 ISTA European Packaging Symposium

The ISTA and WESTPAK, Inc. proudly announce that Nora Crivello, President and CEO, will present at the European Packaging Symposium in Amsterdam on September 27, 2023.

Nora’s talk, “Performance of Thermal Shipping Systems Following Distribution,” reviews the project, tests, data collected, results, and conclusions of a thermal package study conducted at WESTPAK by Eric Cardiel and Edmund Tang.


The study’s purpose was to evaluate the thermal performance of a Thermal Shipping System (TSS) following inputs such as extreme drops,  vibration, and compromised insulation, sometimes encountered in the distribution environment, yet none of the existing test protocols effectively consider.


A TSS delivers temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals, controls, and reagents. The package system must be qualified and capable of meeting two criteria: maintaining the required temperature and surviving the distribution environment.

Degradation to the TSS following a distribution test is generally qualitative and evaluated by observation only. Based on these qualitative observations, the thermal performance is typically assumed to be the same following the test sequence.

Design Factor Variables

This study looks at the TSS following a distribution test and attempts to quantify any degradation in thermal performance by conducting post-distribution thermal mapping.

The study will answer the question about the effects of any physical damage to the shipper that cannot be easily observed.




The study involved performing the following tests on the thermal shipper followed by the ISTA 7E Summer 72-Hour Profile:

  • ISTA 2A and 3A
  • Extreme Drops per ISTA 2A and 3A
  • Extreme Vibration per ISTA 2A
  • Extreme Drops and Vibration
  • Punctured Gell Bricks
  • Cut Insulated Shipper Edges


The Summary below ranks the failure point of each scenario from best to worst for the internal payload temperature acceptance criteria of +8°C or lower.

Worse Case Performance

The Extreme Drops and Vibration (ISTA 2A and 3A) input had the most significant detrimental effect on the ability of the TSS to maintain the thermal criteria of +8OC.


Consider the Distribution Environment

The rigors of the distribution environment should always be considered when validating a thermal shipper. Often, human lives may be adversely affected if the shipper cannot maintain the payload within the required temperature range. Rigorous caution should be exercised when validating this type of package.


Thermal Shipping System / Package Cold Chain Package Testing

Ready to learn how WESTPAK can help with Thermal Shipping System / Cold Chain Package Testing? Our experts have experience and answers.  Call (800) 830-8021 or click here to contact us.