Here are some best practices for preparing and packaging a temperature-controlled shipment.
- Know your dimensions.
- Use the correct containers.
- Find the right type of insulation.
- Keep your shipment at the correct temperature.
Properly preparing and packaging freight will set any shipment up for success. There are some outside-the-norm factors to consider when it comes to shipping food and perishables.
Know Your Dimensions and Package Accordingly
The package dimension refers to the size of the box, pouch, or parcel that your item will be shipped in. This 3-part measurement, length x width x height, informs the shipping company of the package size so that they can bill for shipping, accordingly. The measurements are gathered for each part and each are rounded to the nearest whole number when determining the cost of shipping. Accurate dimensions will help carriers understand how much freight can fit on a trailer, which will help you maximize capacity as a shipper. Use the smallest box possible, you will get more on the trailer which is crucial with something as time sensitive as temperature-controlled shipping.
Find the Most Suitable Container
There are over 16 types of container units and designs for shipping cargo. The few that are used for shipping food and other perishables are wooden, cardboard, plastic and styrofoam boxes:
- Wood – Dry ice is often used as a shipping agent for perishable foods. If you’re shipping perishables, you can pack them with dry ice to make sure they stay fresh on their trip! When shipping poultry,other meats and seafood are often shipped in wooden boxes. Wooden boxes allow for pressure to escape the package, making it a safe option for shipping frozen food.
- Cardboard – Cardboard boxes are a more affordable option. Rather than dry ice, gel refrigerant packs are a better choice. Dry ice cannot be sealed in plastic so if you choose to seal or wrap the contents remember dry ice cannot be sealed in plastic.
- Plastic – Plastic boxes keep excess moisture out to your freight, which is ideal if you are shipping produce. Plastic boxes are easily stackable.
- Styrofoam – Foam insulating food shipping containers such as styrofoam is a great insulator. some styrofoam boxes come with their own seals but can be more expensive.
Whichever container you choose, make sure it is strong and sturdy enough to be stacked inside the trailer.
Ensure you have the right type of insulation
The most important factor when shipping perishables is to use insulated packaging that has been qualified to keep the contents within a specified temperature range throughout the shipping duration. For example, in the food industry it is required by the FDA that all raw protein perishable food items reach their destination at a maximum of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, injectable medicines generally need to stay within 2-8C. Using the right type of insulated perishable packaging supplies, as well a sufficient amount and correct class of refrigerants such as cold packs, can keep your perishable products within the appropriate temperature range, and safe from spoilage. The ultimate goal of insulation is to keep food and perishables fresh and free from damage.
Understanding How to Keep Your Shipment at the Correct Temperature
Follow these 7 steps to help keep your products at the right temperature…
- Choose a carrier with experience in the type of goods you’re shipping
- Learn the rules and regulations
- Choose appropriate packaging
- Choose the appropriate coolant
- Monitor sensitive temperature-controlled goods in transit
- Choose a fast shipping option
- Provide tracking and delivery options
Regardless of the type of freight, food and other perishables have to be labeled. Labels such as perishable, frozen, hazardous material, and time sensitive – will help keep everyone who comes into contact with your shipment aware of how to handle it.
Working with a Temperature-controlled Carrier
Temperature controlled freight shipping is the transport of goods that are sensitive to climate conditions, and require special handling and storage to maintain stable temperatures from dock to dock. This is possible with temperature controlled storage and refrigerated trucking. Go for the carrier that is willing to go over every last detail with you. From the temperature of the trailer to contingency plans, it’s extremely important to be on the same page. After all, a temperature increase of just 2 degrees Fahrenheit could decrease the shelf life of your freight by up to 50 percent. The freight you are moving is sensitive and any damage due to poor planning will fall back on you.
If you sell perishables or frozen goods, it’s crucial to ship them properly to make sure they arrive fresh and free of any harmful contaminants. From seafood to fruit to ice cream to anything else in between. There is a lot to consider when shipping food and perishables to its final destination as quickly as possible.
About American Lighthouse Transportation
American Lighthouse Transportation has been serving shippers with honesty and integrity throughout the United States, since 1998. You can depend on our experienced and knowledgeable management team, drivers, and support for all your shipping needs. We communicate effectively to make sure your shipment arrives safely, accurately, and on-time! You can count on us for personalized customer service, expert guidance, accurate anticipation of potential setbacks, and possible workarounds and solutions.
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