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melted ice cream in cone

Can You Ship Ice Cream Without It Melting?

With the continuous expansion of the food industry, businesses are venturing into new territory by offering shipping services for perishable items like ice cream. However, many business owners and logistics managers are unsure about the feasibility of shipping ice cream without it melting.

In this blog post, we aim to address this common concern by providing valuable insights and effective strategies for successfully delivering ice cream. Let's get started.

Is It Possible to Ship Ice Cream Without It Melting?


woman enjoying icecream
Credit: Envato Elements/ YuriArcursPeopleImages

Yes, it is absolutely possible to deliver ice cream without it melting. It might seem like an ambitious endeavor, given the perishable nature of ice cream, but with the right tools and methods, businesses can successfully ship ice cream across long distances, ensuring it arrives at its destination as frozen and delicious as when it left the store.

Why Is Shipping Ice Cream Difficult?


green ice cream in cone
Credit: Envato Elements/ magone

So, why is shipping ice difficult? The main challenge is maintaining a low temperature throughout the shipping process. Remember, ice cream needs to stay frozen at temperatures well below 32°F to retain its texture and quality. If it begins to thaw, even slightly, it can change in texture, compromising the eating experience.

What's the Solution?


different flavor ice creams in see through container
Credit: Envato Elements/ klenova

The solution lies in understanding the principles of cold chain logistics. Cold chain logistics involves managing the temperature of perishable products from production to delivery. To successfully ship ice cream, follow the step below:

1) Use Proper Packaging

The first step is proper packaging. Your goal is to insulate the ice cream from the warmer external temperatures. Styrofoam shipping coolers are a great choice for this since they provide excellent insulation. These coolers should then be placed inside sturdy, corrugated cardboard boxes for additional protection.

2) Include Refrigerants

Next, you need to include a source of cold. This is where dry ice or gel packs come in. Dry ice is the colder of the two, able to maintain temperatures below -109.3°F. However, it's important to note that dry ice sublimates, transitioning directly from a solid to a gas over time, so you need to include enough to last the entire shipping period. The right amount depends on the shipping duration and the insulation of your cooler.

As an alternative to dry ice, you can always use dry ice packs. Unlike regular dry ice, these packs do not contain actual dry ice, eliminating the concern of sublimation. They also offer a longer-lasting cold source, ensuring the ice cream remains chilled for an extended duration.

3) Choose the Right Shipping Carrier

Your next task is to choose a shipping carrier. Major carriers such as UPS, FedEx, and USPS offer overnight or 2-day shipping options. Overnight shipping is the best choice to ensure your ice cream stays frozen. It might be pricier, but the alternative might be melted ice cream.

4) Opt for Express Delivery

The timely and efficient delivery of ice cream is crucial to ensure its quality and prevent melting. Regardless of the quality of insulation and refrigerants used, if the delivery duration is prolonged, the risk of ice cream melting significantly increases. Therefore, when shipping ice cream, it is imperative to choose express delivery options.

Best Practices When Shipping Ice Cream


two people holding pink and green ice creams in cones
Credit: Envato Elements/ iheartcreative

While it is possible to ship ice cream and keep it frozen, it's essential to keep in mind the following best practices:

  • Firstly, avoid shipping ice cream during the summer. Not only is the ambient temperature higher, but the shipping infrastructure itself (trucks, planes, warehouses) can be much warmer.
  • Secondly, alert your recipient about the delivery time, as ice cream should not be left on a doorstep in the sun.
  • Thirdly, be aware that shipping with dry ice has safety considerations. Dry ice is classified as a hazardous material for air travel, and carriers have specific rules for how it should be packaged and labeled.
  • Finally, consider partnering with a logistics company that specializes in cold chain shipping if you're in the ice cream delivery business. They have the experience and the resources to handle all the complexities that can come with shipping frozen foods.

Ice Cream Varieties Best Suited for Shipping


different flavor ice creams in cones
Credit: Envato Elements/ sonyakamoz

While it's possible to ship a broad range of ice cream flavors and types, some may be more suitable than others for long-distance shipping. Below are some popular ice cream varieties that businesses often choose for shipping, including an array of customer favorites:

1) Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip

This flavor is a delightful combo that merges the smoothness of peanut butter with the sweet crunch of chocolate chips. Its rich, thick texture tends to hold up well during shipping, making it a favorite choice among businesses.

2) Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ice cream sandwiches, with their ice cream encased between cookies or wafers, add an extra layer of protection during shipping. This makes them a top pick for shipping, especially popular varieties like chocolate chip cookie dough sandwiches.

3) Chocolate Ice Cream

A universal favorite, chocolate ice cream, especially those with a denser texture, can withstand shipping well due to its lower milk content which reduces the risk of melting.

4) Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip

This flavor is a combination of fruity tartness with the decadence of chocolate chips. Its robust texture is resilient, making it suitable for shipping, and its unique taste is a crowd-pleaser.

5) Peanut Butter Cup

Just like peanut butter chocolate chip, peanut butter cup ice cream has a thick consistency, which makes it ideal for shipping. This flavor offers a delightful blend of sweet and salty notes that customers adore.

6) Gooey Butter Cake

This ice cream variant features rich, buttery cake chunks in a creamy ice cream base. Its dense consistency helps it remain intact during shipping, offering a decadent treat for customers who prefer dessert-inspired flavors.

7) Vegan Ice Creams

As a business, catering to dietary restrictions and lifestyle choices is important, and vegan ice creams are no exception. These dairy-free options, often made with coconut milk or almond milk, have a slightly different texture but still ship quite well.

8) Mint Chocolate Chip

Mint chocolate chip is a classic ice cream flavor that's loved by many. Its refreshing quality combined with the crunch of chocolate chips makes it a popular choice, and its firm texture stands up well to shipping.

9) Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Chocolate chip cookie dough, with its mix of creamy vanilla base and chunks of cookie dough, can endure the rigors of shipping. Its popularity among customers makes it a must-include in any ice cream shipping list.

10) Buttercream Birthday Cake

Finally, buttercream birthday cake ice cream is a celebratory flavor that many customers enjoy. Its rich, cakey base combined with the sweetness of buttercream frosting makes it a resilient and desirable choice for shipping.


Shipping ice cream might be a tricky business but it is indeed possible. By implementing the steps outlined above and adhering to the guidelines discussed in this blog, you can have ice cream delivered frozen in perfect condition, no matter the distance. So go ahead, send that pint of joy across the miles!

And to make your ice cream delivery experience even better, consider using Nice Packs dry ice packs, the ultimate solution for preserving frozen goodness during transit. Whether you want to ship your best ice cream sandwiches, your coconut cream birthday cakes, or even your raspberry popsicles, Nice Packs guarantees the ideal conditions for your items. Shop with us today.

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