Important things to remember when shipping with dry ice

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.

Domestic or International Cold Chain Shipping

1. Domestic or International

Determine if the shipment is domestic or international. If it's international, then more factors need to be considered.

Weight matters for cold chain shipping

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.

calculate how much dry ice you'll need

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.

customs clearance for cold chain shipments

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.

choose the right packaging

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.

Cool or Frozen

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.

Dry ice in a validated shipper

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.

consider the journey duration of your cold chain shipment

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.

think of contingencies and delays with dry ice shipments

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.

commercial value of your dry ice shipment

10. Value

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.

it's best to ship any dry ice shipment earlier in the week

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. 

Dry ice storage

Cold Chain Supplies

We sell thermal packaging supplies, including dry ice, cold and gel packs, packaging, temperature monitoring devices, and GPS trackers.

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We are here to help you navigate the complex terrain of cold chain shipping.

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