11 Critical Considerations When Shipping with Dry Ice
When shipping temperature-sensitive items that need to remain frozen you need cold chain shipping. This guide will help you determine the key steps to ensure your shipment arrives safely at its destination.
1. Domestic or International
Determine if the shipment is domestic or international. If it's international, then more factors need to be considered.
2. Weight Matters
Weigh the items being shipped. This is important for accurately determining the amount of dry ice required to keep the item frozen.
3. Amount of Dry Ice Needed
Dry ice evaporates at the rate of 5-10 lbs. per 24 hours and you need 5-10 lbs. of dry ice per day for items weighing up to 12.5 lbs. A journey of 2 days requires at least 20 lbs. of dry ice.
4. International = Customs
Decide who will pay duty and tax. To prevent delays, you may consider paying up front and being reimbursed afterwards not to delay the shipment at customs.
5. The Right Packaging
You need rigid outer packaging and a "validated shipper." Some boxes use polyurethane, vacuum insulated panels, and those factors affect price and duration of insulations, so consider those carefully.
6. Cool or Frozen
This guide is for items that need to stay frozen on arrival. For items that need to be kept cool rather than frozen, other considerations apply such as the use of phase change materials.
7. Frozen = Dry Ice
To keep your items frozen, you need dry ice. And you have to consider a number of factors regarding dry ice.
8. Journey Duration
Determine how long it will take for the item to arrive at its destination. Count the time from the moment the item leaves your locations to the time the recipient will have it in hand.
9. Contingencies & Delays
Airlines do experience delays so play it safe and add at least 10 lbs. of additional dry ice to keep your items frozen for an extra day.
Your item may have taken 10 years of R&D to develop and may be priceless, but has no commercial value yet (needed for insurance). You need to maximize its safety with cold chain shipping.
11. Day of the Week
Ship earlier in the week! Think of business days to ensure that recipients are available to accept and handle your shipment.
Cold Chain Supplies
We sell thermal packaging supplies, including dry ice, cold and gel packs, packaging, temperature monitoring devices, and GPS trackers.
We are here to help you navigate the complex terrain of cold chain shipping.