These days, you can buy anything online, including furniture, books, clothes, school supplies, household items, and even temperature-sensitive items like chocolates, flowers, beauty products, medicines, and food. Thanks to technological advancements, these perishable goods can safely reach consumers.
The increase in demand for perishable goods and temperature-sensitive items has led many businesses to revisit their best shipping practices. They aim to ensure that the influx of customer orders does not compromise customer satisfaction.
The goal is for the product to arrive in the same condition as when it was shipped because doing so will not only satisfy customers but also increase profitability and enhance the business’s reputation.
This post will explore the basics of shipping time-sensitive items so your business can minimize risks and make your clients happy. And if you’re considering efficient temperature-controlled shipping, you can visit this website.
Here are the basics of shipping temperature-sensitive products:
Different products have different temperature requirements. For example, in the food service industry, cakes and ice cream have different shipping temperatures. Cakes must be refrigerated, while ice cream should be frozen. Holding them at the right temperature ensures the quality and consistency of the product.
Aside from temperature, there might be other specific requirements like protection from light or shielding the item from humidity. Identifying these early on is critical.
Planning involves considering the destination, the time it’ll take for the items to arrive, and potential delays that may occur. Planning is crucial to ensure you select the best shipping method and company.
To protect the package from external factors like light, temperature fluctuations, and humidity, you must use the correct container for shipping. Most perishable food items use insulated containers lined with protective bubble material to cushion the products and high-quality materials like aluminum foil and metalized film to maintain the item’s temperature.
On the other hand, pharmaceuticals use insulated boxes with thermal barriers and temperature sensors, as they require a higher level of protection. The packaging must be sturdy and maintain the product’s temperature without being too heavy, as this can adversely affect shipping costs. That’s why many businesses prioritize materials like polyurethane and polystyrene, which are lightweight.
Refrigerants are substances that help maintain the temperature inside the container. You may have seen these when ordering meat from your butcher. They look like gel packs used by athletes when treating injuries like sprains. However, manufacturers make the ones used in shipping perishable food items from food-grade materials.
Some examples of refrigerants include gel packs, dry ice, phase change materials (PCMs), and coolants. They come in various forms and sizes and help keep your products at the optimal temperature.
With modern logistics, you can determine the exact temperature of your products even while in transit. Using data loggers, temperature indicators, and RFID sensors, you can ensure that the items arrive at their destination in the most optimal condition.
These tiny devices track and store temperature readings at determined intervals. They provide accurate information so you’ll know when there has been a deviation in temperature, which can be critical to the quality of the product.
For example, vaccines are extremely temperature-sensitive. Exposure to undesirable conditions may render them ineffective. When this happens, it can be a massive loss for the company, as the customer will likely decline the shipment upon receiving them in this state.
Proper labeling ensures appropriate handling during shipment. Once the products leave your premises, they’re beyond your control. Your only assurance is that handlers will follow the label on the box, stating that the items are fragile and should be handled cautiously.
For temperature-sensitive items, labels like ‘keep refrigerated’ or ‘protect from heat’ give handlers an idea about the expectations of these shipments. In addition, you may also include the contents of the package or any potential hazard on the product. Prominently display the label outside the box using standard codes for logistics.
Even with meticulous planning, unforeseen issues can arise with refrigerated shipments. There is always the risk of temperature fluctuations and damage during transit. It’s essential to have a contingency plan to handle such situations, such as having backup refrigerants or using an alternative shipping method.
Shipping temperature-sensitive items is easier today than ever before. By knowing the basics and ensuring consistency, your refrigerated products will consistently reach your customers in the best possible condition.