In the Searing Heat, Chocolates à la Carte and OnTrac Keep it Cool.

Posted on Aug 19, 2011 12:00:00 PM

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.

OnTrac & Chocolates à la Carte


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!

Topics: OnTrac Ground, summer shipping, Chocolates à la Carte, OnTrac, Ground Shipping

Staying Cool: Summer Shipping Tips

Posted on Jul 6, 2010 9:57:00 AM

OnTrac delivery truck

It's officially summer!  If you live in, or ship to the desert Southwest it's time to factor triple-digit degrees into your temperature-sensitive residential deliveries.

Most shipments may endure the heat, but chances are Fido's medication or the box of bonbons won't fare as well as they safely wait for the recipient to return from work.

Luckily, avoiding high-temperature situations is easy with OnTrac.  Both shippers and receivers have tools and options available to protect deliveries from the seasonal heat wave.

:: Shippers ::

Delivery Instructions

If your products can't stand the heat, get them out of the kitchen with the delivery instructions.  Use the waybill field to inform the OnTrac Service Provider of any special placement arrangements you've made with the recipient.

Signature Required

At no additional cost, this feature tells the Service Provider that the shipment must be signed for by someone at the delivery address.  If no one's available, a door tag is left, giving the recipient delivery options, including an area to communicate special delivery instructions.

Email Notification

In this day and age of smartphones, an email may be the fastest way to reach your customer.  Email notification not only notifies the recipient of the proof of delivery but also allows you to share the shipment's information when the waybill is created.   Receiving the tracking details before the delivery gives the recipient time to make arrangements if needed.

:: Recipients ::

Ship it to the Office

Subtract sleeping and weekends and you probably spend more time at the office than you do at home.  Plus, your office probably has a receiving department.  Even if you're not available, your shipment will be better protected from the elements in an office than if left outside.

Deliver it to the Neighbor

Good packages make good neighbors, sort of.  If you know your neighbor will be available the day of the delivery, contact OnTrac" href="" target="_self">contact OnTrac with the details and the Service Provider will be glad to deliver it next door.

Go for Gold

By upgrading to a premium service your delivery will arrive early AM, probably before you leave for work.  OnTrac Gold service is up to 50% less expensive than the early AM services offered by national carriers.  And, it has an earlier guaranteed delivery time, too.  Check the OnTrac website" href="" target="_self">OnTrac website or ZIP Code Guide" href="" target="_self">ZIP Code Guide for the exact delivery time for your ZIP.

Bottom line, you've got choices with OnTrac.  Flexibility and a "can do" attitude is what we're known for and delivering customized shipping solutions is what we do best; just let us know how we can help" href="" target="_self">let us know how we can help.

Topics: package delivery options, residential delivery, summer shipping