Are the products you’re shipping vulnerable to damage from shipping? Things like beverages, cosmetics, coffee beans, electronics, cosmetics, and perishable foods can be damaged by freezing temperatures, and might never be the same again. You owe it to your customers to protect your packages from freezing in transit during the winter.
You need to make sure your package contents are insulated against the cold. Use heat packs to keep temperature-sensitive items warm when needed, or take advantage of temperature-controlled shipping options, or do both. Use modern cold chain technologies to monitor the temperature of your freight in transit, and always ship your freight as quickly as possible and early in the week to avoid weekend delays.
When you’re shipping things that are sensitive to freezing damage in the winter, you need to make sure you’re properly insulating your package contents. Use a thermal box liner to keep your package contents warmer, or pack your contents inside a styrofoam box and put that inside a cardboard carton. Alternatively, you could line a cardboard box with styrofoam panels or wrap your package contents in thermal bubble wrap.
If you’re shipping entire pallets of goods, you need to insulate your entire pallet, too. You can use insulating blankets or pallet covers designed to zip around the pallet, blocking cold air out.
Heat packs are useful for keeping temperature-sensitive items warm in transit, especially things like live plants and animals that need to stay warm, not just “unfrozen.” Insert heat packs inside the layer of insulation you’re using to block out the cold. Make sure you follow the instructions on your heat pack – it will probably need to be activated, then wrapped in packing paper before being placed inside the package. The orientation in which it’s placed inside the package might matter, as well.
Temperature-controlled shipping items can be just as useful for protecting stuff from freezing in the winter as it is for protecting stuff from overheating in the summer. Refrigerated trucks will keep your freight at a consistent, albeit cool, temperature, and will protect your freight from freezing. Don’t be afraid to use cold chain technologies to keep perishables cool in the winter.
Reefer trucks aren’t the only option, either. Some carriers also offer protect-from-freeze services with heated trucks and shipping containers. Less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers may offer segmented containers or heaters that can be placed under insulating blankets to keep your freight warm while it travels.
You should absolutely be keeping an eye on the temperature of your goods in transit, because you never know what might happen to affect the temperature of your goods. Your shipment could be delayed because of weather conditions or because of the weekend, and end up being exposed to freezing temperatures as a result. And when stuff arrives, you can’t always tell by looking at it that it’s been exposed to those temperatures – you can’t see the oils separating inside your coffee beans because your coffee got frozen, for example.
That’s why it’s important to monitor the temperature of your freight in transit using freeze indicators. Freeze indicators can provide reassurance that your freight hasn’t frozen, or a heads up that it has, so that you know when your goods have been compromised. You might even find temperature indicators that monitor the temperature of your shipments in real time, so if something starts to get dangerously cold, you can do something about it.
It’s always best to ship early in the week when you’re shipping perishable and time-sensitive items, because that way your shipment will be less likely to wind up on pause because your carrier doesn’t move freight on the weekends. It’s also a good idea to use the fastest shipping option the carrier offers. Overnight shipping is best for perishable stuff, so that you can be sure of it arriving in good condition. If it’s imperative that your freight doesn’t freeze, fast shipping will minimize the amount of time it has to even spend in those conditions, so it will be less likely to freeze.
When you’re shipping in the winter, you’ve got to consider protect-from-freeze logistics. You can’t afford to let freezing temperatures compromise the quality of your goods and services. Take the right steps to protect your freight from freezing, so you can continue to deliver consistent service to your customers.