Whether you’re shipping fresh meat or frozen desserts, a lot of thought has to go into the process of shipping perishables so that your customers are happy and you’re not stuck with damaged goods. Keeping in mind the top three mistakes and the proper steps to avoid them will help minimize costly errors and maximize customer satisfaction.
Mistake #1: Not Enough Ice
The amount of refrigerant needed is based upon a few variables; mainly size of payload and time of year being shipped. Ice cream shipped during a summer heatwave needs a lot more ice than during winter shipping. For more on this read Refrigerants 101.
Mistake #2: Improper Testing
In the rush (and obvious excitement) of shipping to customers around the country you may feel temperature testing is just an added expense and unnecessary step. Truthfully it can alleviate a lot of costly shipping mistakes. By utilizing a temperature data recorder and testing internally, prior to testing the shipment via UPS/FedEx, you can be assured that your product is properly protected for transit. If your package fails your internal test it most likely will not pass the rigors of the small parcel logistics network.
So how do you perform internal testing?
1. Pack the box with an insulated liner, refrigerant and your product. Insert temp data recorder and let the package sit in your office for the desired transit time (24 or 48 hour).
2. Open the package, take images of the product, remove the data recorder and upload temperature data to your computer. If the package passes the required temperature, you are ready for phase two which is to prepare it for shipment via UPS/FedEx/USPS.
3. If you need 48-hour transit time then ship the package to yourself on a Friday in order to receive it on Monday and experience the 48-hour + transit time. Temperature data recorders can be purchased on the internet for around $20.00. A PeriWrap packaging consultant will be able to help with finding the right data recorder.
Mistake #3: Improper Master Shipping Box
All boxes are not created equal. When choosing a master shipper it’s important to make sure the strength of the corrugated board can hold your product along with the proper amount of refrigerant. A soggy, banged up box does not leave a positive first impression and will leave customers questioning the quality of your product. In addition, if a box is too heavy your customer won’t be able to easily move it inside their home. The guide below shows the maximum weight various box types hold.
Box type Max. Weight In Box
200# Single-Wall-ECT32 30 lbs.
275# Single-Wall ECT44 40 lbs.
275# Double-Wall-ECT48 50 lbs.
Keeping these things in mind when preparing to ship can save you costly mistakes in the end.