For those of you looking to send frozen food somewhere, you may have asked yourself at least once “how to ship frozen food?”
Frozen food may be the secret to making fresh food accessible year-round, but frozen food shipping can be tricky if you’re not familiar with what you’re doing.
You also need to keep various factors in minds such as domestic shipping, shipping charge, shipping policy, and shipping speed when talking about frozen food. There are different shipping procedures for frozen products as compared to normal items.
How do you ship frozen food safely? And once you get your frozen food product to its destination, how can you ensure it is still cold enough when it arrives?
Luckily, we have outlined a procedure and steps that you can take that will ensure that your perishable, frozen goods get from point A to point B in one piece, and keep their temperature even after they arrive!
The Importance Of Refreezing
According to The U.S. Department of Agriculture, frozen food can be stored for about one year in a home freezer before it begins to deteriorate. You can freeze food in a plastic liner.
However, it is still important that you don’t allow your home-frozen food to go beyond its suggested storage time.
Freezing does not destroy any microorganisms present in food so there will always be some chance that harmful bacteria are present even after freezing. Perishable food is perishable because of the presence of bacteria in it. Freezing does stop their growth and reproduction but only at 0°F (minus 18°C).
Because dangerous bacteria are not destroyed by freezing, they may begin growing again if thawed improperly or allowed to remain at room temperature for too long a period of time after thawing.
When properly handled, however, you can safely refreeze already cooked frozen foods immediately after being defrosted.
This means that you should avoid leaving out food products from your freezer longer than necessary.
To refreeze already thawed frozen food: Keep portions no larger than what you would normally eat at a single meal and wrap them well to avoid moisture loss when thawing.
Thaw items for no more than 4 hours prior to refreezing them, then rewrap them tightly in airtight containers or zip-top bags before returning them to your freezer.
This applies to all types of cooked dishes including casseroles, soups and stews, leftover baked goods, and meatloaf.
The Importance Of Freezing Before Shipment
Most people think they can’t freeze food and ship it because freezing can ruin foods. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is really important for a frozen food shipment. You need to ensure that your food is in good condition for dry ice shipments.
Freezing actually preserves foods, slowing down or completely stopping bacterial growth and extending shelf life. This means frozen food will last longer, so more of it can reach those in need.
To send fresh fruits and vegetables that are harvested at their peak, you’ll want to freeze them before shipping them thousands of miles away.
Here are some tips for packing frozen produce safely – Use protective packaging: Place perishable items in a container surrounded by insulation material (such as Styrofoam peanuts).
You can also use a frozen gel pack to ensure the temperature of your package remains cold.
This ensures cold air stays close to your product throughout its journey. Also, make sure your container is covered and sealed tightly with stretch wrap or plastic shrink wrap.
If moisture can get into packaging materials through any cracks it may cause them to become damp over time which would allow bacteria growth within your package potentially ruining your product when opened. – Keep it cool: Ideally, keep your cargo temperature at 0°F (-18°C) or below.
Some refrigerated transport companies may be able to maintain the low temperatures required for the safe shipment of your perishable goods but don’t take chances if you have doubts about the cooling capabilities of potential providers.
For safer shipments pre-chill products in a freezer prior to loading on trucks/ships. When choosing freezer storage locations consider proximity to departure points, scheduled stops, etc.
Follow these simple steps below and you’ll ensure safe shipments of your perishables every time!
What You Need Before Shipping
The most important thing you need before shipping frozen food is proper packaging. You also need to keep in mind various factors such as weekend shipments, international shipments, services for shipments, and shipment time.
You can’t just toss things into a box and call it good—proper packaging requires precise preparation. There are many factors that go into safe food shipping, including how perishable your product is, where you are shipping to, and how long it will take for your package to arrive at its destination.
Don’t rely on trial-and-error; carefully evaluate each of these factors to ensure that your frozen food arrives fresh and cold every time.
Make sure your food will stay can in cold temperatures according to your packaging for a small period of a few days to a week. Also, try to figure out the optimal temperature for your container so it stays within the temperature range specified by the shipping company during the product movement.
Shipping carriers offer delivery commitment, but they can’t guarantee that your frozen food will not perish because preparing them is all your responsibility. Make a proper plan for delivery.
Before you ship any frozen foods (or other refrigerated items), make sure all products are placed in impermeable bags with plenty of extra space around them so they stay cool until they reach their final destinations.
For example, if you ship lettuce or greens by air freight (which has very tight temperature restrictions), order them packed into impermeable bags that allow some space around each piece of produce, to keep them from being smashed during transit.
And speaking of shipping times, remember that when you’re transporting things across distances measured in hours instead of miles, even tiny changes in temperatures have a big impact on quality.
So even if something can be shipped overnight, check with FedEx specialists to see what delivery time works best depending on your region and location.
Your special handling request might mean an hour-long wait for delivery–but unless you want 100% spoiled goods delivered to your customers, it could be worth it!
And one last tip–when shipping high-risk foods like fish or meat via FedEx Express services like overnight or 2nd Day Air, use only specialized shippers certified by FedEx who is equipped with appropriate insulated containers to guarantee food safety standards during transit.
Another quick solution to shipping frozen food is using an overnight shipping option so you don’t have much hassle to deal with. Select an appropriate shipping partner for shipping overnight. In such cases, you may use cardboard shipping boxes since the parcel will be delivered in one day only.
Label Your Boxes Correctly
Making sure your frozen items are shipped at a safe temperature is just one part of shipping food safely. The condition of your boxes and other packaging materials should also be up to snuff.
Make sure that your labels are correct according to your shipping carrier. Some carriers may require you to use a cold shipping box for shipping frozen food.
Label each box with information about what’s inside, including its temperature at the time of packaging.
This way, if your shipment is delayed or mishandled by airline or shipping companies, it can be quickly identified and handled appropriately.
Make sure there’s space between each layer of food within your containers so cold air isn’t trapped in-between layers, decreasing cooling efficiency.
Your freezer packs will help keep your meal trays secure while in transit as well.
Make Sure the Boxes Aren’t Too Heavy
It’s a common misconception that frozen food can travel safely in anything. This isn’t true.
The total weight of a package needs to be checked before shipping, so it’s best not to fill an entire box with ice or gel packs.
In fact, over-filling your box can cause serious damage and might require you to pay for repairs. Use packing peanuts, bubble wrap, or anything else that will keep contents safe without adding too much weight.
If need be, ship each item separately. Keep coolers cold: If you have more than one cooler, secure them together as tightly as possible with tape or straps (but avoid anything sharp).
Place the dry ice on top of frozen items to keep everything extra cold during transit. Don’t stack up empty crates.
To save money, avoid stacking full boxes on top of empty ones when loading up your car for shipment.
Placeless valuable items at the bottom—more expensive products should go into cold storage first.
Prepare Carefully For Storing Delicate Items
When shipping delicate frozen foods, it’s best to package them individually in plastic.
It’s also helpful to wrap large objects or bulky items in packing paper first, then wrap those with plastic for protection.
This way, any leaks caused by ice will be localized and small enough that they won’t ruin any other items on your order. You can also use craft paper too.
Using these strategies helps you keep costs down as well—no matter how carefully you repackage items, there’s no getting around extra materials like tape, boxes, and bubble wrap—but these tips can help minimize their use.
Make sure you use cold shipping packaging to ensure that the foods don’t expire. Otherwise, pounds of food will be wasted.
And if you really want to save money when shipping frozen food? Use a cold pack! Cold packs are inexpensive and effective at protecting other items from melting damage; they’re good for everything from clothing to electronics.
They don’t work on frozen food itself, but once your shipment reaches its destination, a cold pack can protect newly defrosted goods from further harm until someone is able to unpack them properly.
Proper Use Of Ice Packs/Cold Packs In Shipping Containers
To ship frozen food via air or ground, ice packs and cold packs are used to keep products frozen throughout transit. Ice packs and cold packs should be contained within Styrofoam boxes that meet US Dept. of Transportation standards.
Each box must be labeled with proper shipping information. Also keep in mind that in case of using dry ice, make sure that the container isn’t airtight because you have to allow the carbon dioxide gas from dry ice to escape the box.
How To Ship Frozen Foods Using UPS
While it may seem like an odd thing to do, shipping frozen food using UPS can be incredibly helpful for both businesses and consumers. Frozen foods need to be protected from extreme temperatures when it comes to shipping.
You also need to keep note of other important aspects such as packing material, plastic wrap, outer container, shipping cost, and whether international shipping is possible or not.
Here are some suggestions on how you can take advantage of their services. Try out these tips and tricks if you’re interested in doing business with them or getting your product sent right away.
First, choose a repacking location. In addition to choosing a place that has high turnover, low costs, and quick turnaround times, you should also look for one that has experience dealing with goods shipped via UPS.
In order to ship frozen foods using UPS you have to follow all of their regulations; therefore having someone who knows exactly what they’re doing is imperative.
Next, pack your goods carefully. The number one concern when shipping any goods—especially those that will remain cold during transport—is keeping everything safe and secure throughout transportation.
As such, there are specific packaging requirements you must adhere to. Be sure to check over every detail before sending off your shipment.
Finally, make sure all of your labels are correct and complete. Lastly, keep in mind that UPS does not provide refrigeration services. Therefore, you are responsible for freezing your frozen item.
Make sure to cover the frozen item in an insulated container or insulated foam containers. Avoid putting other hazardous materials right beside your frozen food because this can lead to problems.
This might sound redundant because most labels are pretty self-explanatory; however, there can sometimes be details about certain products (such as frozen items) that aren’t necessarily obvious at first glance and could lead to delays (and potentially losses) once everything reaches its destination point.
How To Ship Frozen Foods Using USPS
The United States Postal Service has different services for shipping frozen food. USPS provides good shipping service for frozen items. All of these are considered non-perishable goods and can be shipped around North America, except in Puerto Rico.
It’s important to note that USPS does not provide packaging for dry ice or cold packs. Using your packaging is a must if you plan on using either of these products.
You can add one pound of gel packs for every 3-4 pounds of frozen food that you want to ship. Avoid cardboard boxes because they are not good for frozen shipping, instead use boxes with insulated liners.
In case of bakery items such as cookies, wrap them in wax paper first before preparing your parcel.
The amount each customer can ship is limited according to weight and destination state; however, there are some states that have a limit on total package weight (an 11-pound max).
Also keep in mind that if you are using dry ice, you must mark the hazardous material warning label. Dry ice is best for shipping cold food and making sure that the frozen food shipping containers are intact in good condition when they arrive at the destination of the receiver.
If you’re sending more than one package via Priority Mail Express, the total combined weight cannot exceed 70 pounds.
It takes five business days for Priority Mail Express shipments to be delivered within North America and four to six business days for Standard service.
It’s important to note that weather conditions may slow down delivery times in extreme weather; customers should keep an eye out for delays during the winter months.
USPS recommends shipping food products Monday through Wednesday so they don’t sit over weekend days without being picked up by your recipient or delivered by the mail carrier.
How To Ship Frozen Foods Using FedEx
Shipping frozen food is a delicate process, but with proper care and handling, you can keep your perishable goods frozen during transit.
This will ensure that you’re getting them safely to their destination with minimal temperature fluctuation and damage. You can consider having FedEx temp-assure assets too.
Here are some tips for shipping frozen foods with FedEx Get it pre-cooled.
Be sure to get your package pre-cooled or frozen before shipping; if you don’t, then it might not be able to handle transport without melting. Also, make sure that your product has proper packing and enough cold packing gel that’ll last a few days.
Pack your perishable items in dry ice: For added protection, wrap your packages in dry ice and place them inside another box
If possible, ship at night: Cold air rises as temperatures warm up so try to ship overnight when temperatures are colder (ie overnight), and also work within closer delivery areas than farther ones (ie use FedEx LTL).
Track cold shipments closely: For any cold shipments that may have been damaged by exposure to heat, monitor their progress closely until they arrive at their final destination. Don’t forget to account for travel time and check local tracking information frequently.
Label packages perishable: To help ensure that your shipment is treated carefully, label all perishable shipments clearly with FedEx Priority Overnight labels or thermal bubble mailers.
Give yourself plenty of lead time on pickups: You can schedule pickups of frozen shipments 24 hours in advance, giving yourself plenty of lead time should anything come up that could jeopardize an important scheduled shipment.
What Are The Costs Of Shipping Frozen Food?
The price of shipping frozen food will vary depending on where you live, where you’re delivering to, and how quickly you need it delivered.
You can get an idea of prices by using a few shipping calculators and asking your existing customers how much they paid.
After that, work out which pricing model is best for your business: flat-rate pricing or weight-based pricing?
Once you have those numbers in mind, prepare to raise your rates as needed.
While many shippers offer free services, remember that these usually come with limitations—if you want better features (like extra insurance), then paying for a better service may be worthwhile.
Shipping frozen food requires special packaging and care; if you don’t use strong enough packaging materials or handle them improperly, there could be severe consequences later on down the line when customers start reporting broken shipments.
Conclusion – How To Ship Frozen Food
We’ve gone into detail on how to ship frozen food.
While there are many benefits to shipping perishable food in a frozen state, such as increased shelf life and better appearance, it is important for anyone who does so to package it properly.
Paying close attention to temperature regulation during shipping will prevent spoilage and keep your shipments of frozen products safe.
To ensure that your frozen products arrive at their destination in prime condition, make sure that they are packed appropriately prior to shipment. There’s no good reason not to ship them frozen; just remember to freeze them first!
You can also have a cooler with gel packs to ensure the pressure-sensitive packing tape. If you still have any questions left regarding the suite of temperature, you can ask in the comment section.