A Guide to Temperature Controlled Freight Shipping

Nearly 2 billion people do their shopping online. 

If you want to reach these customers, you have to move your shop online as well. But that can be difficult if you sell perishable items. How are you supposed to ship them?

Well, it’s not impossible. 

We’ve put together a complete guide to help you understand the temperature controlled freight shipping process. 

So keep reading below. 

How Does Temperature Controlled Freight Shipping Work?

Temperature controlled freight shipping deliver climate-sensitive products from Point A to Point B without damaging the quality of the item. 

This type of freight shipping keeps perishable items, including produce or meat, at a specific temperature for the entire journey so it doesn’t spoil during the process. Depending, on the perishable item, the needed temperature can vary, and climate controlled shipping can adjust the temperature for different orders. 

With this shipping, you can ensure your products reach their destinations in perfect condition.  

But temperature controlled shipping can be a bit more complicated than standard freight shipping. 

Here are a few extra things you have to think about when shipping climate-sensitive items. 

What Items Are Really Perishable?

Perishable items are any items that will deteriorate over a short period of time if they are exposed to extreme temperatures or humidity. 

When many people hear the word “perishable,” the first things they think of are dairy products, vegetables, fruits, meats, etc. But those aren’t the only items that need temperature controlled shipping. 

Some other climate-sensitive items include pharmaceuticals, plants, some cosmetics, and electronics. High levels of heat and humidity can kill flowers, melt makeup, ruin medicines, and damage computers hardware. 

So don’t make the mistake of thinking you don’t need temperature controlled shipping just because you don’t sell perishable food. 

Understanding the Size Limitations 

Temperature controlled freight have an extra layer of insulation in the walls. While this keeps your products safe from heat or humidity, it does reduce the amount of space inside the truck. 

In other words, you won’t be able to fit as much inside a temperature controlled freight as you could in a standard freight. 

But the difference in space is small. There’s a good chance it won’t affect your business unless you have to send very large orders. 

It’s also important to understand temperature controlled freight are heavier than other types of freight. After all, they’re full of refrigerating equipment. This extra weight might impact your payload capability. 

How to Prepare and Pack Your Perishable Items for Shipment 

A big part of keeping your items cold and in good condition during the shipping comes down to how you pack them. 

But doesn’t the temperature controlled freight keep your items cold?

Yes, but take a minute to think about your refrigerator at home.

If you put a room temperature block of cheese into the fridge, it will take a while for the cheese to cool down to the right temperature. If you put an already cold gallon of milk into the fridge, you know it will stay fresh and last longer. 

The right packaging will act as another layer of protection for climate-sensitive items. 

So here’s what you need to know when it comes to material. 

Choosing the Material 

The key to choosing packing material for climate-sensitive items is insulation. You want to pick materials that will prevent heat transfer through container walls. 

Because of this, you should stick to choices like EPS (polystyrene) foam, rigid EPS foam, radiant barrier film, and other reflective materials. 

Keeping Your Items Cold

To keep your items cold, you should also put get coolants inside the package. If possible, freeze the coolants before you pack them. 

You can also use dry ice if you have to keep a perishable product frozen. But dry ice is heavier than most gel coolants and might leak during transport if you don’t package them correctly. 

If you do choose to use dry ice, make sure you include the proper labels and hazard signs. You should also line the package with pads or paper towels to absorb liquid. 

How to Pick a Qualified Courier Service 

Before you ship any perishable items, you need to find a qualified courier service that can deliver your products in good condition. 

This might take a bit of research. 

As you look into different courier services, make sure you keep an eye out for these four main factors of temperature controlled freight shipping. 

1. Experience 

The courier service you work with should have experience shipping products that are the same or similar to yours. This will ensure they have to right equipment and have the know-how to get your products where they need to go safely. 

2. Speed 

Most perishable items don’t have long lifespans. Because of this, the courier service you work with should be able to deliver your products in a short period of time. 

Look for two-day shipping options or even overnight shipping. If you don’t see any fast shipping options, you may want to look somewhere else. 

3. Tracking 

Tracking your climate-sensitive products lets you keep track of them during their journey and lets you know exactly when they make it to their final destination. This will give you peace of mind that your products are getting where they need to be fast, on time, and in good condition. 

4. Specialized Services 

Some of your products might have specialized requirements. Talk to your courier service to make sure they can handle those needs. 

Your Complete Guide to Temperature Controlled Freight Shipping

Temperature controlled freight shipping is a delicate, time-sensitive process. You’ll want to make sure you’re working with an experienced courier service that can keep your products protected during shipment. 

Not sure where to start looking?

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