Pallet, Stillage, Crate and Tray testing

Smithers Pira is the leading UK testing facility providing independent evaluation of pallets, stillages, and returnable transport packaging (stackable and nestable crates and trays). With over 50 years of experience, Smithers Pira offers a complete testing service from benchmarking to bespoke test programmes which include distribution testing of a returnable packaging system.

By using recognised standards in a controlled environment, repeatable testing is employed to:

  • Provide confidence in the performance of a single product
  • Allow for a direct comparisons between products
  • Evaluate changes made to the product; such as,
    • a new material supplier
    • new material
    • design change
    • new production location
  • Understand the performance of the product when applied to a new use or to carry a different load
  • Confirm the performance of both the individual elements in a packaging system and the behaviour of the whole
  • Assess the durability of the product.

The testing turnaround at Smithers Pira depends on the scope of the work.  However, we work closely with our clients to meet their deadlines.


Internationally recognised and accepted test methods are used to assess a sample's ability to survive the hazards associated with distribution, handling, storage and filling. These provide qualification testing for a range of wood, metal, plastic, paper and corrugated fibreboard products.

ISO 13194: 2009 - Box pallets -- Principal requirements and test methods

ISO 8611-1: 2011 - Pallets for materials handling. Flat pallets. Test methods

ISO 8611-2: 2011 - Pallets for materials handling. Flat pallets. Performance requirements and selection of tests

ISO 8611-3: 2011 - Pallets for materials handling. Flat pallets. Maximum working loads

ISTA 7A - Open Reusable Transport Containers for Loads of 60 lb (27 kg) or Less and Unitized for Shipment on a Pallet

Testing Capabilities

Our comprehensive testing facilities enable us to offer a wide range of standard tests which we can combine to create custom testing programmes to replicate the product lifecycle.

  • Vibration
  • Drop and impact
  • Thermal and climatic
  • Compression
  • Shock and fragility
  • Pallet racking, stacking and forklift testing

Our laboratory is ISTA certified and UKAS accredited.