Dry ice packs have become a go-to solution for shipping products. Whether it's shipping frozen goods or other temperature-sensitive items, these frozen packs are a reliable and effective way to maintain the desired temperature. However, one question that often comes up is how long dry ice packs last during shipping and whether they are a suitable solution for specific shipping needs.
In this blog, we will delve into this question and provide tips on how to ensure that your products arrive at their destination safely and at the desired temperature range.
What Are Dry Ice Packs?
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Dry ice packs are a unique type of ice pack that may appear like a flat sheet of paper when in their dry state. However, once activated, the material within the pack expands into a flexible sheet that can be tailored to fit any container. They get their name due to the fact that they remain dry even when they melt.
Although these packs do not contain any dry ice blocks, they are far superior. 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. Additionally, although these packs are extremely cold, they do not cause freezer burn when in direct contact with products that need to be kept frozen, unlike dry ice.
How Long Does Dry Ice Last in Shipping?
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The longevity of dry ice packs in shipping depends on several factors, including the amount of dry ice used, the size and weight of the package, and the ambient temperature during shipping. When all of these factors are optimized, a typical 12-cell dry ice pack can last up to 24 hours.
Tips for Maximizing the Longevity of Dry Ice Packs
To ensure that your dry ice packs last as long as possible during shipping, there are several steps you can take. These include:
1) Pre-Cool the Package
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Before adding dry ice packs, chill the package in a refrigerator or freezer to reduce the initial temperature difference and minimize temperature fluctuations. By reducing the initial temperature difference, you can extend the life of the dry ice packs and maintain a more consistent temperature range during shipping.
In addition to pre-chilling the package, it's also important to consider the need for dry ice replenishment during shipping. Depending on the duration of the shipping process, you may need to add additional packs to maintain the desired temperature range.
2) Use a Good Quality Shipping Container
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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. A container that breaks open can expose your products to the elements, rendering them unsuitable for consumption.
In addition to being sturdy, the container should be properly sealed to prevent any external heat from getting in, such as sunlight, heat from other packages, or even the temperature inside the shipping vehicle. This will help to maintain the temperature range and ensure that the dry ice packs last as long as possible during shipping.
3) Use an Insulated Styrofoam Cooler
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Using an insulated cooler made of Styrofoam can provide a reliable and effective solution for shipping temperature-sensitive items. Styrofoam has excellent insulating properties, which can help to reduce the rate of dry ice evaporation.
The insulating properties of Styrofoam come from its structure, which is made up of thousands of tiny air pockets that trap air and slow down heat transfer. By using these coolers, you can be sure that your products will be well-protected during shipping.
4) Use Appropriate Packaging Materials
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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, as it helps to keep them fresh and prevent spoilage.
Bubble wrap, on the other hand, provides cushioning and protection against impact or compression, which can help to prevent breakage or damage to fragile items.
5) Use Gel Packs
Another option to consider is using gel packs in addition to dry ice packs. Gel packs can help to maintain the temperature range by absorbing heat and keeping the container cooler. By packing the dry ice packs with gel packs, ice cubes, or other cooling materials, you can ensure that these packs last for longer periods of time.
6) Use Enough Dry Ice
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To ensure that your dry ice packs last as long as possible during shipping, it's important to use the appropriate amount of dry ice. Using too much dry ice can lead to the package becoming too cold, causing the products to become damaged. Conversely, not using enough dry ice can cause the temperature to rise too quickly, leading to spoilage or contamination of your products.
So, how much dry ice should you use for your specific shipping needs? A general rule of thumb is to use a minimum of 1 sheet of dry ice pack for every 7-8 liters of cooler size. This means that for a cooler with a capacity of 50 liters, you would need at least 7 sheets of dry ice packs.
How to Store Dry Ice Packs When Not in Use?
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When it comes to dry ice shipping for frozen foods and other temperature-sensitive items, it's important to know how to properly store and maintain your dry ice packs when they're not in use. These packs can be stored in a freezer or in an open plastic bag. When storing dry ice packs in a freezer, it's important to leave a thumb impression in each cell to allow for expansion during freezing.
Additionally, dry ice packs can become dehydrated over time and lose their effectiveness. To rehydrate them, you can run them underwater 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.