It’s hot out there, isn’t it? Shipping via ground in the heat of the summer is something that causes problems (and worry) for a lot of people. Fortunately, Chocolates à la Carte and OnTrac are taking the concern out of shipping something as delicate as chocolate in the exceptionally hot months of the summer. We spoke with them to get some insight on their revolutionary packaging techniques, and gain some knowledge that may be helpful to you as well.
1. What kind of packaging techniques do you use to keep chocolate cold when it’s so hot out?
All of our shipments use an outer case with variations of inner cases holding the actual product. The outers are designed to allow custom made insulated bags to be used as a liner. The liners are rather simple, using reflective type bubble wrap. We either use dry ice pellets bagged in zip lock bags or thin gel packs to line the space between the insulated bags and the outer shipper.
2. How did you figure these techniques out?
We actually tested the boxes with a print out thermometer in different temperature ranges with different amounts of dry ice or gel packs. The unit prints out the interior temperature every 15 minutes. Once graphed, we were able to determine what temperature range required what amount of ice or gel. We are fortunate that we only require the product to stay below 68 degrees and not the low 30s for most refrigerated items.
3. Do you have any tips for someone else who ships delicate products that need to stay cool?
Test in house first. Stage everything needed first. Case the items at the end or if you can, keep cases in a refrigerated environment just prior to shipment. Ice gel packs freeze at normal freezing temperature (32 degrees) but if you get them even colder they will last longer. We use dry ice to freeze the gel packs. Dry ice is -109.3 degrees and allows the gel packs to stay colder much longer.
Thanks to their innovative packaging techniques, Chocolates à la Carte’s products are guaranteed to arrive untouched by the searing summer heat. Shipping their products via OnTrac helps too, because we deliver their products within 2 days to our entire service area—so the package is only on the truck for a short amount of time. Shipping with OnTrac saves you time and money, now that’s sweet!