Ice cream is one of the most challenging items to ship, considering it is volatile to temperature fluctuations. For many sellers, how to ship ice cream is a common question that, if not answered correctly, may cause misleads. Without careful packaging and planning, shipping ice cream becomes a logistical nightmare.
And as summer approaches, many people would love to enjoy some of their favorite treats at home. But, can you ship ice locally and internationally? Since it’s a temperature-sensitive product, extra care is needed when shipping to get the item in good condition. In this article, we’ll discuss in detail how to ship ice cream, the considerations to take before shipping, and different packing strategies to use.
Why Ship Ice Cream?
There are so many reasons that individuals and small businesses find it vital to ship ice cream. Some include;
· Businesses that supply stores, supermarkets, ice cream parlors, and much more order ice cream in bulk using refrigerated and temperature-controlled transport.
· Supermarkets and other stores with online presence targeting to reach more customers will have to ship when a customer purchases online.
· Private shippers who want to send ice cream cake to their families internationally
· Buyers on vacation are looking forward to tasting new local flavors and may need more shipped to their locality.
Challenges of shipping Ice Cream
As mentioned earlier, ice cream is very sensitive to temperature changes. And as much as people love the taste and flavor associated with it, there are so many challenges with how to ship ice cream. Here are some of the challenges;
· Risk of melting
These are the most obvious challenges during transit because of being volatile to temperature fluctuations. To maintain its flavor and freshness, ice cream has to remain frozen. Also, you can check out how to ship frozen food.
· Shipping various flavor combination
Different flavor combinations can be a challenge, especially when shipping. If you blend different flavors, it changes how ice cream reacts to temperature change. Different flavors melt differently, responding to changes in temperature. It isn’t easy to ship different ice cream flavor combinations.
· Adding new components
Different flavors melt differently, and if treats like chocolate chips are added, it complicates the refrigeration requirements further. Customers will be disappointed if a lumpy or icy texture is delivered rather than a creamy texture. A component like marshmallows reacts poorly to cold; that is why it’s necessary not to complicate your item.
So, how do businesses ship ice cream to customers?
Most ice cream businesses use refrigerated, temperature-controlled transport to distribute their ice cream. The shipping and packing of ice cream in bulk make it easy to ship internationally and offer more protection.
This type of transportation is a cost-effective solution for businesses looking at how to ship ice cream often. However, this may not be affordable and reliable for shippers who want to mail ice cream to their loved ones locally or internationally.
How to mail ice cream
There are a few ways to ship an individual package or ship ice cream internationally while still maintaining its freshness, thus minimizing spoilage risk.
· Use dry ice to pack ice cream.
The use of dry ice is the best method for sending frozen food. Refer to how to ship frozen food. It’s lighter than regular ice; therefore, there is no additional shipping cost because of weight. Regular ice is heavyweight and melts; therefore can dampen your shipment, thus not recommended by couriers.
When handling dry ice, use goggles and gloves to avoid burns. Also, ensure your ice cream package is not airtight because dry ice can explode without proper ventilation. Beware that using dry ice to pack ice cream poses a few risks while shipping and some restrictions and regulations apply. Lastly, consider the time it will take to ship the package to know how much dry ice you’ll use.
· Use gel packs
If you’re looking at how to ship ice cream locally, using gel packs for packing is the best option. Gel packs keep used to keep food at a temperature of up to 15 degrees. This means if you opt for this alternative, the shipping transit time has to be short enough. And as said earlier, drastic temperature change affects ice cream flavor; therefore, gel packs are not ideal for keeping ice frozen for longer hours.
· Use insulated boxes
Though you can opt to use dry ice or gel packs, an insulated polystyrene box will offer the best alternative. Insulated foam shipping boxes keep ice cream frozen for up to 48 hours. You can buy Insulated boxes from a storage supply store or post offices. Or, insulate your cardboard box if you don’t have insulated boxes. Select thick corrugated cardboard, and line it inside with sheets of foam.
· `Consider the transit time
It is essential to consider how long it’ll take to ship ice cream locally or internationally. The maximum transit time for shipping ice cream should be 30-hours. No matter how well your item is packed, your ice cream quality can get compromised after 30 hours. To reduce these vulnerabilities, ensure the minimum transit time to safeguard the ice cream flavor and freshness.
· Track the shipment
Frozen goods are susceptible, and you must keep updated information about your shipment until it’s delivered. Use an online system like Easyship global tracking to keep tracking your package. The system is designed with branded emails, text alerts, and dedicated tracking pages. It will give you peace of mind with shipments in progress.
Lastly, to avoid losses and inconveniences once the package arrives at its destination, it’s essential to have someone receive the package. You can organize for someone to pick the package or provide the recipients with contact with the courier services to be informed once the package arrives.
Who will help ship your ice cream?
It would be best to find shipment companies to help with your shipment. Shipping companies like UPS, FedEx, and USPS are very reliable and convenient for shipping goods. While mailing ice cream with such companies, there are some restrictions that you’ve to observe.
1. Shipping using FedEx
FedEx offers some of the best alternatives for mailing frozen goods. The restrictions associated with these shipping companies include;
· Your outer carton must have the correct markings, classifications, labeling, and identification if you’re shipping with dry ice.
· FedEx offers cold shipping packaging and temperature control solution
· They recommend using insulated foam containers then placing your container inside a strong outer container.
· The minimum transit time for perishable packages is 24 hours if using FedEx express.
2. Shipping using UPS
UPS is somehow similar to FedEx and the best option for shipping frozen items. Some of the guidelines you should take note of include;
· IATA regulations apply when you ship dry ice internationally
· There is a restriction for shipping over 5.5 pounds of dry ice through air
· Packaging your ice cream with gel packs or dry ice is acceptable though frozen water is not acceptable.
· They recommend a maximum of 30 hours for frozen shipments
· Inside your packages, use a thick plastic liner and the shipment enclosed in a plastic bag.
3. Shipping via USPS
You should be aware of this when shipping ice cream via USPS.
· Dry ice packaging is allowed for domestic shipments but not international shipping.
· There are no specific refrigeration services for any frozen shipment
· Your package shouldn’t be airtight
· Your package containing dry ice should have a hazardous material warning label marked as “Dry Ice.”
· Packages have to be clearly packed with the frozen food name being cooled and contain the dry ice’s weight measurement.
· There has to be a shipper’s declaration for any dangerous item organized in triplicate and attached to the package.
How much will it cost to ship ice cream?
Same as shipping any package, there is no affixed amount charged to mail ice cream. Factors like shipping distance, package weight, delivery speed, package dimensions, and the selected courier service are considered.
Since ice cream is a sensitive product, shipping ice cream can lead to additional handling charges. That’s why it’s best to enquire from your courier in case of any additional charges. Also, consider gel packs or dry ice costs in your list.
After you’ve fully packed your ice cream adhering to courier and IATA requirements, measure the weight of the package and use an online system to calculate shipping rates, then make a shipment booking right away.
As aforementioned, various challenges come with shipping ice cream both locally and internationally. How to ship ice cream depends on the distance being covered, the time it will take to ship the item, and the different flavors. Ice cream is a susceptible product, but with correct shipping strategies, your customers will receive the package in good condition, which will benefit your online store through positive reviews.
Click the links below to read on how to ship other items: