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Shipping With Dry Ice Packs: How Long Does Dry Ice Last in Shipping?

Shipping With Dry Ice Packs: How Long Does Dry Ice Last in Shipping?


Dry ice packs are a popular choice for shipping products that need to stay cold. People often use them to send frozen food or other temperature-sensitive items. But a common question is how long these packs can last during shipping. In this blog, we'll explore this topic and offer advice on making sure your products reach their destination in suitable condition and at the right temperature.


What Are Dry Ice Packs?


nice packs dry ice packs original

Credit: Nice Packs


Dry ice packs are a special kind of ice pack. When they're not in use, they look like flat sheets of paper. But once you activate them, they expand into a flexible material that can fit into any container. They're called "dry" ice packs because they don’t get wet when they melt.

Unlike traditional dry ice blocks, these packs don't contain actual dry ice. When regular dry ice sublimates or melts, it releases frozen carbon dioxide gas that gives it that smoky look. On the other hand, when these packs melt, they simply go back to being a flat sheet. Another great thing about them is that, even though they're extremely cold, they don't cause freezer burn when they touch frozen products, which can be a problem with regular dry ice.


How Long Does Dry Ice Last in Shipping?

 truck on highway

Credit: Envato Elements/ oleghz


How long dry ice packs last during shipping depends on how much dry ice is in the pack, the size and weight of the package, and the temperature outside during shipping. If everything is just right, a typical dry ice pack with 12 cells can last up to 24 hours.


Tips for Maximizing the Longevity of Dry Ice Packs


Tips for Maximizing the Longevity of Dry Ice Packs


To ensure that your dry ice packs last as long as possible during shipping, here are several steps you can take:


1) Pre-Cool the Package

 ice cubes melting
Credit: Envato Elements/ liufuyu


Before you pack your items with dry ice packs, make sure to first cool them in a fridge or freezer. Doing this reduces the initial temperature difference, which helps the dry ice packs last longer and keeps a steady temperature during shipping.

Also, think about adding more dry ice packs if you're shipping over long distances. This way, you can make sure your products stay at the right temperature throughout their journey.


2) Use a Good Quality Shipping Container


shipping boxes stacked up

Credit: Envato Elements/ FabrikaPhoto


When shipping with dry ice, it's essential to use a shipping container that is sturdy to ensure that it will be able to withstand the potential rough handling during transportation, including being dropped or bumped. If the container is not sturdy, it could break open, your products could get ruined and become unsafe to use.

Also, make sure the container is sealed up well. This stops heat from outside, like sunlight or heat from other packages, from getting in. A good seal also helps keep the temperature stable and makes the dry ice packs last longer during shipping.


3) Use an Insulated Styrofoam Cooler


insulated styrofoam container

Credit: Envato Elements/ dezign56


A Styrofoam insulated cooler can be a great choice for shipping frozen goods and other temperature-sensitive items. Styrofoam is an excellent option for keeping things cold since it has lots of tiny air pockets that slow down the heat from getting in. This means your dry ice won't melt as quickly, and your products will stay safe during shipping.


4) Use Appropriate Packaging Materials


bubble wrap

Credit: Envato Elements/ alexstand


In shipping, it's important to use appropriate packaging materials such as foam and bubble wrap to ensure that your products arrive safely and in good condition. Foam is an excellent insulator and can help to maintain a stable temperature range inside the container. This is especially useful when shipping perishable items that can easily spoil with a dip in temperature.

Bubble wrap, on the other hand, provides cushioning and protection against impact or compression, which can help to prevent breakage or damage to fragile food items.


5) Use Gel Packs


gel ice packs

Credit: iStock


Another option to consider is using gel packs along with dry ice packs. Gel packs are excellent at soaking up the heat and keeping the container cooler. When you combine dry ice packs with gel packs or even ice cubes, they can stay cold for a longer time. It's a smart way to make sure everything stays chilly during shipping.


6) Use Enough Dry Ice


dry ice pack sheets

Credit: Nice Packs


To ensure that your dry ice packs last as long as possible during shipping, it's important to use the appropriate amount. Using too much can lead to the package becoming too cold, causing the products to become damaged. Alternatively, if you don't use enough dry ice, the temperature to rise too quickly, leading to spoilage or contamination of your products.

So, how much dry ice should you use? A good rule is to use at least 1 sheet of dry ice for every 7-8 liters of space in your cooler. For example, if your cooler is 50 liters, you should use at least 7 sheets of dry ice packs.


How to Store Dry Ice Packs When Not in Use?

 nice packs dry ice packs displayed in kitchen

Credit: Nice Packs


When you're not using your dry ice packs for dry ice shipping, it's important to store them right. You can use a freezer or an open plastic bag for storing dry ice. If you store them in the freezer, make sure to press your thumb into each cell to let them expand while freezing.

Also, keep in mind that dry ice packs can become dehydrated over time and lose their effectiveness. To rehydrate them, you can put them under running water for a few minutes to restore their moisture.




Dry ice packs can last up to a day in shipping, depending on several factors. If you are planning to ship dry ice with your frozen products, make sure to follow the tips and tricks above to ensure their longevity. By following these tips, you can have peace of mind that your perishable products will arrive at their destination at the desired temperature range.

If you are looking for high-quality dry ice packs for your shipping needs, consider Nice Packs. Our dry ice packs are made with top-quality materials and designed to keep your products at the optimum temperature range for extended periods of time. Order yours today.

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