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Can You Ship Ice Cream With Dry Ice?

As a business professional, you understand the importance of delivering high-quality products to your customers, irrespective of their location. One such sensitive product is ice cream. It's a treat adored by many, and having the ability to ship it flawlessly can drastically widen your market. Traditionally, dry ice has been the go-to method for maintaining ice cream's temperature during transportation. But does dry ice truly provide a reliable solution for shipping this frozen delight? Scroll down below to find out.

What Is Dry Ice?


dry ice in a bowl
Credit: Envato Elements/ Wavebreakmedia

First things first, what is dry ice? Dry ice, unlike its name suggests, is not water in a solid state. Instead, it is the solid form of carbon dioxide. It is incredibly cold, with a typical surface temperature of -78.5 degrees Celsius (-109.3 degrees Fahrenheit). 

A remarkable property of dry ice is that it sublimates, meaning it transitions directly from a solid to a gas without passing through a liquid phase. This property makes it an excellent candidate for preserving temperature-sensitive goods like ice cream during shipping.

Can You Ship Ice Cream With Dry Ice?


berry ice cream in cone
Credit: Envato Elements/ Shaiith

When it comes to getting ice cream delivered and shipped, dry ice is a reliable option. When packed correctly, it can maintain the ice cream's quality and consistency, preventing it from melting during transit. However, it is important to note that shipping ice cream with dry ice necessitates meticulous planning and execution to guarantee the utmost product quality and safety.

How to Ship Ice Cream With Dry Ice


dry ice slabs displayed
Credit: Envato Elements/ thichaa

To successfully ship and deliver ice cream with dry ice, follow the steps below:

1) Choose the Right Shipping Container

To ensure the successful shipment of ice cream using dry ice, it is essential to select a container that is both sturdy and well-insulated. Many businesses opt for polystyrene boxes or robust insulated coolers as their preferred choice. These containers offer superior insulation capabilities, effectively preserving the temperature of the ice cream, while also providing protection against physical damage during transportation.

When choosing a, it is crucial to ensure that it is both sleek and lightweight. This not only prevents any movement inside the container but also helps reduce the overall flat-rate shipping cost incurred.

2) Use the Right Amount of Dry Ice

The exact amount of dry ice you will need depends on several factors: the size of the shipment, the travel distance, and the expected delivery time. A standard guideline is to use around 5-10kg (10-20 lbs) of dry ice for every 24 hours of transit. Always consult with a dry ice expert to determine the correct amount for your specific needs.

3) Pack it Properly

Start by placing your ice cream products inside the container. Now, add the dry ice on top. Remember, cold air travels downwards, so putting the dry ice on top allows the cold to circulate downwards onto the ice cream. However, ensure there is a layer, such as cardboard, separating the dry ice from the ice cream. Direct contact with dry ice could cause the ice cream to become overly frozen and potentially damage the packaging.

4) Seal the Container

Once you've arranged the dry ice and ice cream inside the container, it's time to seal it. The box should be closed tightly to prevent warm air from entering, but it should not be completely airtight. Since dry ice sublimates into gas, it's important to allow for a small vent where the gas can escape, preventing any build-up of pressure.

5) Label the Package

Labeling the package correctly is not only crucial for handling instructions but also a legal requirement when shipping with dry ice. The outside of the box should be marked with a UN1845 label indicating that the package contains dry ice. Also, be sure to include the net weight of the dry ice in kilograms.

6) Double Check the Shipment

Before sending off your ice cream shipments, take a moment to double-check everything. Confirm the box is securely sealed, the dry ice weight is correctly marked, and the label is clearly visible. Additionally, verify that the shipping address is accurate to avoid any delays or returns.

What Type of Ice Cream Products Can You Ship With Dry Ice?


chocolate ice cream in tub being scooped out
Credit: Envato Elements/ magone

Dry ice isn't picky when it comes to the types of ice cream it can keep frozen. From traditional flavors to innovative creations, you can confidently ship a wide variety of ice cream products using dry ice:

1) Chocolate Ice Cream

A classic favorite, chocolate ice cream can be safely shipped with dry ice. The extreme cold maintains its creamy texture and rich flavor, ensuring it arrives as delicious as it was when packed.

2) Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ice cream sandwiches, a time-honored delicacy that everyone adores, are another product that travels exceptionally well with dry ice. These delightful treats consist of a generous slab of velvety ice cream, comfortably nestled between two cookies or wafers.

3) Ice Cream Cake

A birthday party favorite, ice cream cakes can also be shipped using dry ice. By maintaining a sub-zero temperature, dry ice ensures the cake's structure stays intact during transit. A range of ice cream cakes can be safely shipped with dry ice including coconut cream cakes, skillet cinnamon roll cakes, and chocolate chip ice cream cakes.

4) Peanut Butter Cup

For those who love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, shipping peanut butter cup ice cream is a breeze with dry ice. It maintains the perfect balance of the two flavors without the risk of melting.

5) Gooey Butter Cake

Ice cream variants that feature chunks of gooey butter cake or buttercream birthday cake remain well-preserved when shipped with dry ice. This ensures the customers receive their ice cream with all the gooey goodness intact.

6) Vegan Ice Creams

Dairy-free options, like vegan ice creams, can be shipped just as efficiently with dry ice. Whether they're based on almond milk, coconut milk, or other dairy substitutes, the texture and taste of these plant-based delights are well-preserved with dry ice.

What Are the Alternatives to Dry Ice?


woman looking at dry ice pack
Credit: Nice Packs


If the idea of handling and shipping with dry ice seems too complex, there are alternatives. One such popular alternative is dry ice packs.

Despite their name, dry ice packs do not contain actual dry ice or solid carbon dioxide. Instead, they are essentially refrigerant gel packs that stay dry and do not melt into a liquid, preventing a watery mess. This unique characteristic lends them their name. In addition to their convenience, dry ice packs offer the advantages of reusability, cost-effectiveness, and safe handling without the need for specialized equipment.


Shipping ice cream using dry ice is indeed feasible and is practiced by many businesses today. By following the steps above, you can ensure that your ice cream reaches your customers in perfect, ready-to-enjoy condition.

Are you looking to upgrade your shipping game? Check out Nice Packs. Our specially designed insulated containers and dry ice packs ensure your products remain perfectly frozen and fresh during their journey. Whether you're delivering your best ice cream sandwiches or delightful ice cones, Nice Packs can be your trusted partner for temperature-sensitive deliveries. Shop with us today.

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