dry ice slab with blue background

How to Ship Frozen Food Without Dry Ice: A Step-by-Step Guide

Shipping frozen foods is a task that calls for some clever thinking. The most common method is using dry ice, but what if you need to send a package without it? Fortunately, there are alternatives that can help your frozen foods stay icy and fresh throughout the journey.

In this blog post, we will guide you on how to ship frozen food without using dry ice. Let's get started.

Why Choose Alternatives to Dry Ice?

While dry ice is an effective method for keeping food frozen, it is not always the best choice for every situation. Here's why exploring alternatives to dry ice can be beneficial:

1) Safety Concerns


stacks of dry ice
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Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide, which is extremely cold (-78.5 degrees Celsius or -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit) and can cause burns if handled without proper protection. Moreover, it sublimates into carbon dioxide gas, which can be hazardous in confined spaces if not ventilated properly.

2) Regulation Concerns

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Shipping with dry ice can be subject to specific regulations. Certain shipping providers enforce stringent guidelines concerning the permissible quantity of dry ice per package, and they may also mandate the use of special labels and documentation.

3) High Costs


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Often, dry ice is more expensive than alternatives such as gel packs. The additional costs include not just the substance itself, but also the special handling and packaging required.

How to Ship Frozen Food Without Dry Ice

To ship frozen food without dry ice, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Choose the Right Insulated Shipping Box


stacks of cardboard boxes
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The first step in successfully shipping frozen food without dry ice is selecting the right insulated foam containers or frozen food shipping containers. These containers have a layer of insulation, like Styrofoam, that slows down the transfer of heat from the outside to the inside, helping to maintain the frozen state of the food.

Choose an insulated shipping box that fits your frozen food items snugly. Leaving too much space can lead to increased heat transfer, potentially thawing your food items.

Step 2: Use Frozen Gel Packs and Dry Ice Packs


frozen gel packs
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Gel packs and dry ice packs are fantastic replacements for dry ice when shipping frozen food. These reusable packs are filled with a special material that can be frozen to a very low temperature. They remain flexible when frozen and provide an excellent way to keep your refrigerated and frozen foods at the right temperature. Additionally, they are great options if you want to ship frozen food cheaply.

To prepare your ice packs for shipping, freeze them for 24-48 hours. Line the bottom of your insulated box with the packs, place the frozen food on top, and then add more packs. Make sure the food is fully surrounded.

Step 3: Use Bubble Wrap and Packing Peanuts for Extra Insulation


bubble wrap with broken bubbles
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While insulated boxes and cold packs are your primary tools for keeping your food frozen, bubble wrap and packing peanuts can add an extra layer of insulation. These are lightweight and cost-effective packing materials that can fill any extra space in your box, reducing the amount of warm air that can enter.

Step 4: Final Check and Seal


man sealing shipping box with tape
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Before you seal your package, double-check everything. Make sure your frozen and cold foods are secure and surrounded by cold packs and bubble wrap. Ensure there is minimal empty space. Once everything is in place, seal the package securely.

Step 5: Opt for Expedited Shipping


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Remember, time is of the essence when shipping frozen food. The longer the transit time, the more likely your food will begin to thaw. To guarantee the safe and prompt arrival of your package, it is advisable to choose a shipping carrier that provides expedited shipping options. USPS Priority Mail Express is a reliable shipping service that can ship frozen food overnight, ensuring swift delivery of the package while maintaining its frozen state.

Step 6: Keep Track of Your Shipment


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While shipping frozen food promptly is crucial, it is equally important to monitor the progress of your shipment. Take advantage of the tracking services offered by courier companies to stay updated on its whereabouts. This allows you to inform the recipient about the anticipated delivery date, enabling them to make arrangements for the proper storage of the food upon arrival.


Shipping frozen food without dry ice may require a bit more preparation, but with the right materials and strategy, it's an entirely achievable task. By choosing quality insulated coolers, using cold packs, packing your items properly, and selecting an expedited shipping method, you can ensure your frozen food arrives at its destination in excellent condition.

Looking for the perfect solution to ship your frozen goods? Check out Nice Packs! Our high-quality dry ice packs and insulated containers are designed to keep your perishable items frozen during transit. Shop with us today.