Do you want to send your family some of your famous homemade carrot cake?
Or maybe you bagged a 10 point buck and want to send your loved ones some venison?
Whatever the case may be, if you’re looking to ship perishable items that need to be temperature controlled, you must take the proper steps and use appropriate materials to avoid spoilage.
Whether your shipping frozen foods, pharmaceuticals, or florals, here are the steps that you can take to ensure your frozen or refrigerated package arrives as without thawing or going bad.
Use the right packaging materials
When shipping items that must be kept cold or frozen, it’s important to use the correct packing materials.
First, pack the item or items into airtight containers to minimize exposure and ensure there is no contact with the coolant materials.
Containers such as tupperware, zip-top, or vacuum sealed bags are ideal. Next, get a thick styrofoam cooler. Ensure that the cooler is at least 1.5 inches thick to ensure insulation.
Use the right cooling materials
Once you’ve placed your frozen or cold items in containers, it is important to pick the right materials to keep your items cold.
A general rule of thumb is: for refrigerated items use gel freezer packs, and for frozen item shipments use dry ice.
However, a combination of the two can extend maximum shipping time. Dry ice and gel freezer packs are both effective, but they each have weaknesses.
Dry ice will keep the package colder, but gel packs will last longer.
Also, dry ice will remain dry, while gel packs become damp as they thaw. It is also important to utilize the proper amount of the coolant materials.
When using dry ice, plan on using 5-10 lbs. for each 24 hour period the items will be in transit. For gel packs, it is best to use one pound per cubic foot per day.
This will help ensure the items remain cold for entire duration of the shipping process.
Also, it’s important to remember that dry ice is a hazardous material, so use caution and wear gloves when handling it to avoid being burned.
Package it correctly
Once you’ve decided on using dry ice, gel packs, or a combination of the two for your refrigerated shipping, it’s time to package up the items.
First, place a container of dry ice or a gel pack on the bottom of the styrofoam cooler.
Next, place the item to be shipped into the cooler, followed by another layer of coolant on top of it, and then seal the cooler with tape.
Place the sealed cooler into a heavy duty shipping box. It is important to fill the empty space in the box with packing peanuts, newspaper, or bubble wrap.
Filling the void will keep the temperature contained for longer. Tape up the box until it is secure, and be sure to mark it with warnings of “perishables” or “dry ice”.
Ship it fast
Under the best conditions, three days is considered the maximum amount of time items will survive during refrigerated shipping.
With this in mind, it is important to pick a fast delivery service.
Your best bet would be overnight or two day shipping, as this would get your perishable items to the destination before the temperature becomes compromised.
With DYI refrigerated shipping, you can never be sure
Unfortunately, even if all of these steps are followed perfectly, there is still a chance your refrigerated or frozen items will not survive being shipped.
Styrofoam coolers are susceptible to breakage or leakage, and the effectiveness of dry ice and gel freezer packs varies.
In addition, all of these materials and overnight shipping can be expensive.
To avoid the headache of packaging your own items, possible injury from handling dry ice, and the possibility of spoilage, consider turning to frozen food or perishable goods shipping services for your refrigerated shipping.
If you want a guarantee that your frozen or refrigerated items will reach their destination without spoiling, do-it-yourself refrigerated shipping is not advised.
DGD Transport offers nationwide temperature controlled truckload and less than truckload shipping services.
Call us at 888-707-0843 today to learn more about temperature controlled shipping with guaranteed results.