1. What is temperature controlled packaging?
Temperature controlled packaging (also known as “chilled packaging”, or “cold chain logistics”) is used to package items that need to remain within a specific temperature range. Consumer goods or medical specimens in particular need precise temperature control and attention to maintain their condition. For example, with pharmaceuticals, if not stored under the right temperature, their chemical composition may change. Temperature controlled packaging is vital in shipping sensitive products to preserve their quality.
2. What is thermal packaging?
Thermal packaging is designed for temperature sensitive products that require specific temperatures to be maintained during transportation. It acts as an insulator between a product being shipped and the outside air, protecting it from any contamination. Thermal packaging could include an outer pack made of corrugated board, moulded polyurethane foam and frozen gel packs.
3. How do I ship a frozen product?
For shipping frozen products, the temperature control requirements are that the product should be kept at a temperature of -18 Celsius and no warmer than -15 Celsius. To ship frozen goods, you can use either our gel packs or dry ice in combination with insulated packaging material.
4. How to dispose of temperature controlled packaging?
If you are not interested in re-using them, you can dispose of coolants such as gel packs by cutting the corner of the pack and disposing of the contents through the normal domestic waste system. As for other temperature-controlled packaging, it depends on the material. PLA insulation can be fully degraded into carbon dioxide and water after composting. Insulated box liners are curbside recyclable and polysytrene is 100% recyclable.
5. How to choose the best temperature controlled packaging solution?
Finding the right solution depends on several aspects of the product and it's journey. Different products require different temperature controlled solutions depending on several factors such as product characteristics, time in transit and required temperature maintenance. These are just a few aspects to take into considerations. With over 40 years experience, our packaging experts can help you find the right solution for your sensitive products.
6. What are the legal temperature requirements for food deliveries?
- Frozen food: should be kept at a temperature of -18°C or colder.
- Cold food: below 8°C with 5°C being the most recommended.
- Hot food: 63°C or above.
7. What size gel packs should I use?
It all depends on what you are shipping and for how long. A heavier gel pack will take longer to melt and so maintains the product temperature for a longer period of time. This also applies if you put a couple of gel packs together as it will take longer for three gel packs in a stack to melt than three packs that are separated. The trick is to choose the largest gel possible without your package becoming difficult to fill or seal.
8. Can gel packs be recycled?
Firstly, we recommend trying to re-use the gel packs. If this is not possible, it is recommended you let the pack thaw and then cut into the package to allow the gel to drain. After the gel has been removed, the plastic sleeve can be recycled.
9. How should I label my temperature controlled packaging?
Always clearly mark your packages with the appropriate hazard labelling if you are shipping dry ice. In extreme cases, the carbon dioxide dry ice emits can create a suffocation hazard in confined spaces, it can also carry risk of explosion if you do not vent the carbon dioxide from your containers or workspace. Clearly label the packaging with ‘perishable’ and ‘keep refrigerated’ to ensure the package is kept at the required temperature throughout transit.
10. What factors are considered with temperature controlled packaging solutions?
Several points are taken into consideration to ensure an effective temperature controlled solution is achieved. These include:
- Size, dimensional weight and ergonomic requirements of the product.
- Shipping method, duration and costs attached.
- External temperatures during shipping.
- Acceptable temperature range for product over given time frames.