Running a business can be very exciting and motivating if you use the appropriate business tactics. One of the most demanding businesses is selling food and drinks, which can be rewarding. If you’re starting an online food and drinks business, it’s best to understand how to ship frozen food. Whether you’re learning new ways of selling food at home or using various eCommerce platforms, there are multiple ways to get to your customers.
Shipping frozen food is a very different challenge from selling food in person. It’s more demanding as your products have to reach the shoppers completely unspoiled. If your food shows up in unwanted conditions, it will cost you money and destroy your shop brand for poor quality items and even bad reviews left, which affects your shop’s performance and ratings.
Ideally, there is no reason to pay thousands of dollars on shipping when you fully understand how to ship ice cream or other temperature-sensitive foods. Before we further discuss shipping frozen food, there are various tips to use. This article offers a detailed look to ensure the foods reach your buyers in good conditions.
How much will it cost to ship frozen food?
Averagely, shipping frozen food can cost anywhere between $30 to $150. There is no exact shipping cost as the packages differ in weight, dimensions, and contents. Also, if you use eCommerce shipping companies, they offer different features and services used to determine price variances like optional insurance and shipping speed.
The packaging weight plays a major role in determining food shipping costs. More so, advanced packaging is needed to keep frozen food. That is why it’s essential to calculate shipping costs by weight. You can accurately predict the shipping cost per unit by standardizing the weight of your products. You can create a weight chart for all your products to avoid inconveniences.
Whether you’re selling through an eCommerce website builder, or wholesale marketplace, you can help reduce the shipping cost of your products. Change the type of marketing material to reduce weight, enabling you to save some cash.
Challenges of shipping frozen food
As an eCommerce entrepreneur, you’d already know that shipping frozen food has some major challenges. But, if you’re starting, these are the challenges you should know.
Humidity in combination with heat can cause spoilage. It is a major threat to frozen foods.
· Extreme temperature
Hot or cold weather affects frozen and packed food immensely, especially if not packaged correctly to withstand extreme temperature.
Spoilage is a major challenge that sellers face. Customers need food delivered in good conditions, not spoiled. If the food isn’t properly packed, spoilage may occur. That is why we recommend the use of insulated boxes and good refrigeration.
How to ship frozen food cheaply
Customers expect quick and cheap delivery. So, as a business owner, reducing expenses should be your priority. Expenses can reduce your profits if you don’t address them perfectly. There are various strategies to use while shipping frozen food:
Choose the appropriate shipping containers
Choosing a frozen food shipping container is essential for quality delivery. When shipping frozen food, use any of the following packages;
· Dry Ice Boxes
· Foam insulating containers
· Insulated Cardboard boxes
· Perfect shipping needs an insulated container.
No matter the type of shipping container you use, ensure that it’s sturdy enough for transportation. Also, it should be bigger than the items to give rooms for dry ice or ice packs to maintain low temperatures while shipping.
Also, water leaks can cause inconveniences while shipping. That is why a waterproof safe container is needed to avoid delivering soggy boxes to customers. You can use a thick plastic liner inside your box to prevent water from going through.
We are going to discuss these features later on.
Use Dry Ice
Dry ice works as a refrigerant. It’s not advisable to use regular ice for shipping as it’s heavier than dry ice. Dry ice is the best option if you need the food to stay wholly frozen. If you’re thinking of gel packs, you should know it is suitable for products that need the temperature to be maintained between 32 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
What makes gel packs different from dry ice is that it dampens once they melt. Essentially, dry ice stays dry. And yes, gel packs are longer-lasting than dry ice. Also, wear gloves when handling dry ice to avoid burns. Frozen food should also not come into direct contact with dry ice. Dry ice cannot be wrapped because it requires carbon dioxide to expand.
Choose the right courier
Speed is the key if you’re shipping frozen food. The estimated period should be either 1 or 2-day to lower the chances of melting. Melting can be a significant problem when shipping which is why it’s recommended to use a thick plastic liner and lay an absorbent on top of the liner.
Shipping carriers have different shipping services. A carrier like FedEx, UPS, and USPS offers reliable services with strict shipping regulations. Most of these shipping companies have fleets. Cold freight carriers use air conditioning trucks and train employees to monitor their products throughout the delivery process.
Transit time and movement
Transit time is a vital factor of consideration when shipping frozen food. The best way is to select a reliable service provider to assist with your shipping. Always prepare your container about 30 hours before shipping so that you don’t have to worry about package delays.
While shipping packages are prone to move. However, you can minimize the movement by using bubble wrap, padding, or packing peanuts to stabilize the goods at the center of your container. The protective layer can be 2-3-inches. Lastly, ensure all the seams of the box get sealed by pressure-sensitive packing tape.
Find a reliable fulfillment service provider
How to ship frozen food entirely depends on your budget and services. Many frozen food companies use fulfillment services to handle their logistics and shipping requirements. It can be the best option if you don’t have enough workforce, resources, or time. Also, with a fulfillment service provider, you get time to focus on your other important business aspects.
Frozen food fulfillment services offer inventory management, packing, cold storage, shipping, and distribution solutions. It’s much cheaper if you know how to prepare your goods for shipping.
Find the best rates
Once you’ve found a few interesting fulfillment service providers, you’ve to compare their rates. Not all fulfillment services are suitable for your business. Ask them about their bulk shipping rates, if any, or discounts offered to first-time customers. If you send your goods in bulk, your staff will be ready to prepare for shipping if you designate 1-2 times for carrier pick up. More so, if you will pack similar items together, ensure they are packed simultaneously once taken away from the freezer. That brings us to the next facto.
Optimize the packaging of each product
Product packaging optimization is essential, especially if you don’t want to cut your profits. Look at your goods to check if you’ve optimized product packaging. Are you using large containers to ship small items to be safer? Are you paying more for shipping? Look for well-insulated containers to avoid inconveniences. Also, you can consider using a separate refrigerated room for your boxes to sit before the pickup time arrives. These recommendations can be useful both for shipping properly temperature-sensitive items, as well as for shipping chocolate, shipping beer, or other specific types of products.
What’s the best way to ship frozen food?
There are various ways to ship frozen food, including using polystyrene containers with padded aluminum box liners, ventilated dry ice, and more. Any of the methods listed above is the best choice to use as long as it matches your goods.
Ideally, shipping frozen food depends on your goods, locality to be shipped to, and customer’s preference. Also, as a good marketing strategy, you can offer customers extra add-ons of packaging materials or dry ice. It’ll build customers’ confidence, brand trust, and stronger relationships with your business.
If you’re selling cold or frozen food, proper shipping is vital to reach customers while still fresh. From fruits ice cream to seafood, shipping food is possible with services like FedEx, USPS, USP, or any other courier service. How to ship frozen food depends on the correct preparation of shipping goods. Therefore, find a reliable fulfillment service provider for your food and drinks business.
Click the links below to read on how to ship other items: