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How to Ensure Your Frozen Food Stays Frozen During Transit

How to ensure your frozen food stays frozen during transit

For someone in the frozen food or food-related business, making sure that the items remain frozen and intact during the shipping procedure is one of the most basic challenges. You most definitely want your customers to receive their deliveries just like you sent them; fresh, and their quality and shelf life preserved. This can only happen if the goods stay frozen during transit.

Frozen foods are at a much greater risk of spoilage due to temperature changes. This is because these items are temperature-sensitive, and even slight heat exposure can cause melting, resulting in physical as well as chemical changes. This will degrade the overall quality of the products and reduce their shelf life.

When delivered to customers, such items will not just result in bad reviews and loss of sales but will also have a very poor impact on your brand’s reputation. This is why frozen foods need to be shipped with extreme care and in specific conditions, which need to be maintained throughout loading, transit, off-loading, and delivery.

In this blog post, we are going to discuss the best practices for shipping frozen foods, so they stay frozen during transit. We’ll also give you some tips to keep the quality of your frozen goods intact and their shelf-life preserved during shipping! So read till the very end!

Challenges Faced When Shipping Frozen Food

Shipping frozen food is a complicated process, and it can seem even more complex to someone who’s new to the frozen foods or frozen shipping business. From product preparation and proper packaging to choosing the right shipping method, there are a lot of things that need to be kept under careful consideration if you want your frozen goods to reach their destination in their original condition!

But before we discuss ways to ensure that, first, let’s have a look at some common challenges and problems that you need to look out for when shipping frozen food.

Heat Exposure

Heat exposure is one of the primary challenges when shipping frozen food. Frozen food is not like regular cargo and is deeply affected by exposure to heat. This is because these products are highly temperature-sensitive, and even slight heat exposure can cause melting. Temperature changes will cause chemical and physical changes in them, resulting in the degradation of quality and shelf-life and ruining their texture.

This is why it is important to take measures that ensure that your frozen goodies are protected against heat exposure so they reach your valued customers in their original state.

Changing Conditions During Transit

External conditions, such as weather, humidity, temperature, pressure, etc., constantly change when products are in transit. Their fluctuation during the shipping procedure can deeply affect your frozen cargo. If the fluctuation is persistent and your frozen items are not protected against it, it will most probably cause spoilage.

Because of this, extensive measures must be taken to protect frozen food against external fluctuations in temperature and pressure during shipping.

Maintaining Hygiene

Another major challenge in frozen shipping is maintaining hygiene. Food items, if somehow contaminated during the shipping procedure, can turn into a health hazard which can have some serious negative outcomes.

It is important to remember that frozen foods are more prone to contamination as compared to regular cargo. Heat exposure, humidity, and moisture buildup due to temperature fluctuation can cause rapid growth of bacteria and fungi. A mold that starts anywhere in the cargo can quickly spread to all ends. And trust us; the last thing you want is moldy items getting delivered to your valued customers.

How To Ensure Frozen Food Stays Frozen

Now that we’ve discussed the problem or challenges in shipping frozen foods, how do you prepare for them? How do you ensure that your precious products stay frozen during the shipping and transit procedure?

Let’s have a look at some practices that will help you keep your frozen food products safe and maintain their quality, integrity, texture, and shelf-life during transit!

#1. Proper Shipping Preparation

Before anything, it is important that you prepare your frozen food items for the shipping process. For this, freeze them at the optimal temperature. Proper, dry freezing will help ensure that they stay cool for a long, long time. In addition to that, if it is possible, try to cool the boxes or containers they’ll be shipping in as well.

Your cargo will most probably be exposed to heat during loading and offloading. Temperature changes during transit can also cause melting, which will, in turn, deteriorate the products’ overall state and quality. However, if the products are properly frozen, it will slow the process. If food items are properly frozen, it will lower the risk of bacterial or fungal growth and help in maintaining hygiene.

#2. Suitable Packaging

Another factor that will help ensure that your frozen food stays frozen during transit is the kind of packaging you choose for your products. Unlike regular cargo that is not in the least affected by temperature, frozen food needs special packaging lined with insulation to keep it frozen throughout the shipping procedure.

In addition, special container boxes (made of foam, wood, or glass) are used when shipping frozen food. These boxes have thick insulator walls as well as an absorbent lining to control temperature and absorb moisture. And to keep the items frozen, special kinds of coolants are also used and packed in the containers.

Choose the Right Packaging Material and Type

While packing your frozen food items, make sure that you choose the right material and the right type of packaging. Choosing the right packaging is critical because it will protect your frozen food from external temperature fluctuation, heat exposure, contamination, moisture buildup, and humidity.

Primarily, insulated Styrofoam boxes or wooden boxes are used to ship frozen food items. We recommend using Styrofoam boxes as there is more risk of contamination (bacterial and fungal growth) in wooden boxes than before.

These special Styrofoam boxes are well-insulated, have thick foam walls, and are sealable. In addition, these boxes are lined with an absorbent to absorb moisture that may build up due to humidity and temperature fluctuation. This absorbent layer will not only absorb moisture and aid in maintaining hygiene but will keep the box tidy in case of leakage or melting.

While selecting the packaging material for your frozen food, select a toxin-free, food-grade material. Moreover, the packaging material must not be affected by heat or moisture. There are eco-friendly, biodegradable packaging options available as well.

Once the box containing the frozen food items is well packed, place it inside a larger container and line the inside with a suitable coolant to keep the frozen items frozen during transit. If you’re shipping a meltable, pack it in a sealed plastic bag. We recommend using two bags to be extra safe.

Select a Coolant

When shipping frozen food items, always remember to use a coolant. A coolant will ensure your frozen food stays well-frozen during shipping. Different kinds of coolants are available in the market, including wet ice, gel packs, and dry ice. Gel packs and wet ice keep the cargo generally cool, whereas dry ice has a much colder freezing point and is used to keep the items frozen.

Dry Ice is made by chilling gaseous carbon dioxide to the point that it reaches its solid form. Since dry ice is a hazardous substance, special guidelines have to be followed when using it in national or international shipping. When using dry ice as a coolant, ensure to label your box with “Dry Ice” or “Solid Carbon Dioxide,” along with its weight in kilograms. Handle the coolant carefully, and ensure you’re wearing lab-graded gloves and goggles.

#3. Select the Right Shipping Method

Selecting the right shipping method is another important step in ensuring that frozen food remains frozen during the shipping procedure. As discussed earlier, frozen food cannot be shipped like regular, non-perishable cargo that is not affected by heat exposure, humidity, and fluctuating temperature. These frozen goods need to be shipped in specially set conditions that must be maintained throughout shipping.

Frozen or cold chain shipping is a shipping method widely used to ship frozen food items. In frozen shipping, various conditions such as temperature, humidity, and airflow are maintained using special equipment to ensure that the frozen goods stay intact and frozen during transit. This saves them from spoilage by maintaining hygiene and preserves their texture, quality, and shelf-life.

Reefers – The Best Shipping Containers for Frozen Food

Normally used shipping containers are useless when it comes to frozen foods. We use special kinds of Reefer containers for them. Reefers are large, air-conditioned containers utilized in cold-chain or frozen shipping methods.

These specially designed containers maintain their internal condition, keeping the cargo at a low temperature. This saves delicate frozen food items from external temperature changes, moisture buildup, and heat exposure.

Choosing a Logistics Company

If you decide to utilize the services of a proper logistics company to manage all your frozen food shipping for you, make sure that you choose an experienced, highly professional, and well-reputed name. Choosing the right logistics company will not just help you ensure that your frozen goods stay frozen during transit, but its professional, well-trained employees will make sure that your treasured customers receive their deliveries in their perfect state and quality.

Final Thoughts

Frozen food shipping is a very complicated procedure, and many things need and should be taken care of to ensure that your goods stay frozen throughout their journey and that their quality, shelf-life, and hygiene are maintained.

Properly preparing the goods for shipping, utilizing the right packaging types and materials, choosing the right coolant, and selecting the right shipping method can help ensure that your frozen food stays frozen during transit. Our blog post has discussed various tips and methods that can help you securely ship your frozen food items! Utilize them for the best results.

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