Shipping cold or frozen items can be a challenge. The last thing you want is for your frozen goods to melt all over the shipping crate, potentially costing you more time and money than the product is worth. This blog post will teach you how to safely and conclusively ship cold products, ensuring that your goods arrive in the same condition as they left your facilities.
The key to shipping cold or frozen goods safely and conclusively is to get the temperature of the product as close to room temperature as possible. Luckily, if you value customer satisfaction, several methods ensure that your cold product arrives at the customer’s doorstep in perfect condition without breaking down.
Cold Shipping Methods
There are four different methods of shipping cold products: Thermal Packaging, Extended Freeze Dry Shipping, Vacuum Packaging, and Cryogenic Shipping. Each of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the right method to ship your cold items.
We recommend thermal packaging for all frozen and cold products. This method involves using a shipping crate of some sort that is wrapped in a thermal shipping blanket. These products are specially designed to retain heat and protect your products during shipment while also being easy to transport, store, and reuse. Most thermal packaging is reusable and can be reused indefinitely if not damaged. We recommend thermal packaging in instances where the temperature of your product is more than -10 degrees F.
Extended Freeze Dry Shipping
This method is appropriate for cold products more than 10 degrees below freezing but less than 100 degrees below freezing. It is also suitable for frozen bulk materials where the product will be unloading frozen blocks directly into storage. This method involves using a crate and blanket or shipping barrel. The item is then shipped via a cold shipper, then airlifted and placed inside a freeze dryer to remove the water in the packaged order.
This method entails covering the cold product with a thin layer of polyethylene or polypropylene film, sealed into an appropriate shipping package. Products that do not need protection from heat can be sent using this method. These products are not sealed in an airtight manner for shipping. Still, they are instead packaged using a vacuum such that the package can reach a moderate temperature without breaking down or damaging the item inside. We recommend this for relatively small amounts of cold products that don’t need to be protected from heat.
This method involves freezing the cold product at a colder temperature than your facility can maintain. It is not recommended to ship products over 100 degrees below freezing due to the potential of breakage. This method is also not recommended for large quantities of cold products that must be protected from heat.
Most cold shipping methods require your cold product to be shipped through a cold shipper. Typically these will be found at your local postal service or in the eCommerce stores. They will be labelled with a temperature such as “10 degrees F.” The cold shippers must stay at this temperature during shipment for most products. If the package passes its expiration date, it will no longer be effective, so check them regularly. A properly maintained cold shipper can last for up to two months.
After ensuring that your cold shipping method has been selected, it is time to deliver! You’ll need a refrigerated truck with a refrigeration unit rated for the temperature of your product. The truck must also have a freezer for frozen products or refrigerated tanks for cold products. The truck will be able to reach the customer’s doorstep using traditional shipping techniques after refrigerating the truck with its refrigerator unit or by bringing coolant with it on the trip. A typical cold truck will be able to ship up to 195 degrees below freezing.
Shipping cold or frozen products can be stressful, but with the right information and preparation, you’ll be able to ship them safely and effectively. Keeping your items cold will ensure that your products arrive in the same condition they left the facility and that your customers get the highest quality product possible.
About the Author
Maryn Mcdonnell is a creative content writer. She spends her days working closely with many entrepreneurs and creative thinkers from various fields. Her interests include travel, self-improvement, and technology. Find Maryn on Twitter @MarynMcdonnell.