Plan for the International Transport Packaging Forum

With studies on the cold chain as well as shock and vibration, the event should interest pharmaceutical and medical device package engineers. ISTA (International Safe Transit Association) will hold its International Transport Packaging Forum April 18-21 in Orlando, FL. The yearly event offers packaging professionals and supply-chain managers the chance to discuss standard test methods, cold-chain challenges, designing packaging to support sustainability initiatives, and more. The event features workshops, training, two-and-half days of conferences, and an exhibition featuring more than a dozen providers of transport packaging solutions.

Platinum sponsors for the event include Bureau Veritas, Lansmont Corp., Packaging Corporation of America, and SGS; Gold sponsors are Corrugated Packaging Alliance, DDL, Pira, Sealed Air, and Vibration Research; and the Silver sponsor is L.A.B. Equipment Inc.

Attendees can become an ISTA Certified Packaging Laboratory Professional (CPLP) during the forum. Two levels of certification are available with both Technician and Technologist courses offered on Sunday. The certification exam will be held Monday. Although the workshop is open to everyone, the exam will be administered only to ISTA members.

Attendees can also become an ISTA Certified Thermal Professional (CTP) during the event. The training session will be offered on Monday from 8:00 am-5:00 pm.

There is an additional cost for these workshops and exams.

Several of the conference sessions are of interest to pharmaceutical and medical device packagers. Following are a few descriptions from ISTA:

Larry Dull, Partner, Packaging Knowledge Group, “Responsible Packaging by Design,” will cover ISTA’s standard design protocol, which provides “a logical, sequential, step-by-step process for creating a package that meets the objectives of sustainability. It is intended to be ‘LCA and LCT driven’ and assesses the packaging in the context of the product and its functional role, which includes all three packaging levels: primary or consumer unit packaging, secondary or merchandizing unit packaging, tertiary or transport packaging.”

Perry Hock, president, gh Package/Product Testing and Consulting Inc., “Laboratory Certification for Standard 20/ISTA 7E Thermal Testing,” will provide an overview of ISTA 7E and Standard 20 and a case history of one lab’s experience. It will also cover some of the requirements of Standard 20 that overlap with ISO 17025.

Karen Proctor, Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology, Packaging Science, “A Closer View—ISTA’s Responsible Packaging by Design Standard in Use,” which will look at how to optimize packaging without increasing product damage.
Larry Rutledge, Package Lab Consultant, Christian Brothers University of Memphis, “Distribution Tote Testing,” which will look at plastic and corrugated distribution totes used in pharmaceutical and healthcare transport from distribution centers (DCs) to individual stores. 

Dr. Koushik Saha, Assistant Professor, and Dr. Jay Singh, Packaging Program Director, Orfalea College of Business, Cal Poly State University, “Assessment of Single-use Cold Chain Packaging and Distribution Towards Maintaining the 2-8°C Range,” which presents a study on cost efficiency and practicality in single-use cold-chain transportation solutions for temperature-sensitive products.

Sean Strassenburg, Engineer, Packaging Technology, Merck & Co., Inc., “Shock and Vibration in the Field vs. the ISTA 3A Test Procedure,” which presents a study comparing shock and vibration aspects of small parcel shipments to the ISTA 3A test, using packaged recording instruments.

For details about the event, visit

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