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How to Ship Perishables: Keeping Items Fresh for Customers

01.15.2018 | By AJ Todd | 2 min. read

Perishable foods require special shipping consideration to keep foods fresh during the transportation, so they don’t spoil before reaching the customer. So, what can you do to keep foods and other temperature-sensitive goods safe during shipment? Read on to learn about perishable shipping options.

Use Insulated Packaging

The primary goal when shipping perishables is to keep goods as cold as possible while warding off outside heat for as long as possible. Styrofoam boxes and cut sheets, air-filled insulated liners, and insulated pads are all available shipping tools that provide excellent temperature control.

Include Ice Packs

Shippers typically use ice packs and gel packs when shipping perishables that should be refrigerated, such as fruits and vegetables. You can also use ice packs for items that will be used immediately upon delivery, such as home-delivery meal-prep ingredients.

When packaging your perishable items, shield them from direct contact with ice and gel packs using brown wrapping paper or cardboard. Also, be careful of the weight of the ice packs when placed on top of food items. Too much weight on softer foods may cause crushing or leaking during transportation.

Take Advantage of Dry Ice

Due to its light weight and ability to provide cooling for a long period of time, dry ice is the preferred tool for shipping frozen items. However, be advised that dry ice is a hazardous material, and you will need to wear goggles and gloves when handling it.

Never fully enclose dry ice when placing it into the box. The carbon dioxide gas that it gives off can cause the package to expand and explode. Instead, ensure the product being shipped is placed into a sealed container. Then place the appropriate dry ice label on the outside of the package.

The amount of dry ice you use will be based on the weight of the shipped product and how long it has to be kept cold during transportation. For example, two to five pound items that need to be kept cold for twelve hours or less normally only require two to four pounds of dry ice. However, ten to fifty pounds of perishable goods that need to stay cold for twenty-four to forty-eight hours require ten to thirty pounds of dry ice.

There are lots of tools and techniques you can use to safely ship perishable items. Use the guidelines above as a starting point to help determine the best way to keep your goods safe and fresh from Point A to Point B.

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