7 min read

All You Need to Know About Temperature Controlled Shipping

🕒 September 20, 2022 by Reham Omar - 7 min read

When temperature-controlled commodities are transported, they must be kept at a precise temperature from when they leave your facility until they arrive at your customer’s door. Perishable dinners, fresh vegetables, and even life-saving pharmaceuticals are items that must be kept cool at all times. 

Extreme temperatures can cause perishable food to spoil, leaving it hazardous or unfit for human consumption. 

What Exactly Is Temperature Control Shipping?

Temperature-controlled shipping is carried out with specific procedures and at an appropriate level or temperature range to safeguard the contents transported.

Refrigeration is essential for transporting and storing pharmaceuticals, certain foods, and laboratory tests to maintain quality. The methods utilised to prepare the order, transfer the items, and deliver them under certain refrigeration conditions are referred to as temperature-controlled shipping.

Types Of Temperature-Controlled Shipping Depending on The Temperature

Temperature-controlled shipments are classified based on the cold shipping temperature necessary to keep them fresh and safe. In general, the division is done as follows:

  • Cold or refrigerated loads (2°C to 8°C):  For goods that must be stored at a low temperature without going below zero.
  • Frozen shipments (-20°C):  The items must be frozen at a constant temperature until they are delivered.
  • Loads with dry ice (-80ºC): They are typically used in the medical field. Humidity does not affect the items’ qualities because water is not used as a cooling mechanism.

Shipments in liquid nitrogen (-196°C):  For toxic compounds that require intense cooling. A nitrogen tank is needed for this sort of transportation.

How Do You Keep a Package’s Temperature Stable?

Temperature-controlled transport necessitates two things: 

  1. Custom vehicles with an enclosed compartment
  2. A systemic air circuit.

Most firms utilise cold packs, gel packs, or dry ice to control the temperature within a box.

During the loading, unloading, and storage processes, your things will most probably need to be refrigerated. They must be chilled as soon as possible and, if possible, in permitted places only.

Most of the time, shipping companies provide everything required to transport things without altering them. However, It is suggested to use customised packaging to boost safety and offer better protection.

Temperature-Controlled Containers, Cartons, & Other Packaging Possibilities

Thermal insulating packaging is commonly used for shipments that require temperature control shipping because it helps keep a consistent cold shipping temperature and safeguards the contents from outside temperature variations.

The following are some of the most regularly used materials for temperature-controlled shipping:


It’s a cheap, flexible, and durable material, but it’s not particularly efficient in terms of temperature. As a result, it is frequently mixed with other materials.

Aluminium foam

This dielectric material can be used to cover the container and protect it from outside temperatures and harm.


Plastic has excellent insulating qualities. It can be used as a secondary defence layer or on its own.

Ice Packs

These are placed in the shipment to preserve the cold chain under all circumstances. They are generally in the form of a gel.

Reefer or Refrigerated Container

They function as a cool mobile room, protecting the goods throughout transit and distribution.

Dry Shippers

They are exclusively used for items that require severe cooling techniques.

Top 5 Important Temperature-Controlled Shipping Techniques

The demand for perishable commodities is rising worldwide along with refrigeration logistics, often known as cold chain logistics, an already substantial industry. It is driven by the need for flowers, fresh food, temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals, and other perishable items delivered directly to the customer’s doorstep. 

However, important issues still need to be addressed, including how to keep perishables fresh and secure for use or consumption. Your decision about temperature-controlled transportation alternatives will affect your goods’ security and your client’s safety.

Trailers and Refrigerated Warehouses

Refrigerated transportation and storing goods is the most often used method for commodities requiring precise temperature control. Find a reliable refrigerated transportation partner who can detail their temperature-control procedures. This is especially true for delivery to the last mile. Shippers may now track the temperature of their product while it is in transit using some logistics cold chain technologies.

Dry Ice

Dry ice, One of the first means for shipping heavy-duty cold items was dry ice or frozen carbon dioxide. This chemical is non-toxic and keeps things very cold for an extended period, making it a suitable choice for shipping perishables, but it also has certain downsides. Dry ice progressively replaces the oxygen in space as it sublimates, which can induce asphyxiation in a tiny, poorly ventilated location and severe burns if it comes into contact with skin. Many firms still utilise dry ice as a typical chilled delivery technique. However, it must be used with caution.

Reusable Refrigerant Gel Packs

Dry ice can be replaced with reusable refrigerant gel packs. Since they contain a gel that may freeze, melt, and then freeze again, these gel packs are also characterised as phase transition materials. They may be handled without contamination or risk of damage by anybody and are better for the environment because they are entirely recyclable and biodegradable.

Styrofoam Coolers

Despite their age, styrofoam coolers provide some of the most acceptable value in chilled transportation materials. It is an excellent, low-cost insulator that can be reused with materials such as dry ice or refrigerant gel packs, making it a suitable alternative for insulated transportation.

Specimen Kits

A specimen collecting kit includes all the components required to secure a sample and transfer it to a lab for diagnosis, environmental sampling, and research purposes. Working with this equipment removes uncertainty over which swab to use with which transport medium to maintain the sample’s viability during travel. For accurate results and to avoid analysis errors, prompt specimen collection and processing are essential.

Blankets & Drum Heaters

Most methods for delivering products at regulated temperatures keep items cold. Protecting goods from falling or freezing below a particular temperature when it is chilly outside is equally important.

Limitations Of Temperature Control Shipping

Before delivering your climate-sensitive goods, be aware of the following temperature control shipping requirements.

  • It would help if you were prepared for the refrigerated vehicle to have much less capacity than usual. These trucks have less room because of temperature control shipping systems and additional insulation layers in the trailer walls.
  • Second, a reliable route planning system may significantly reduce delays and dangers associated with road diversions and densely populated regions. The reefer carrier will only be able to preserve the temperatures it needs to be to a certain extent if your page is caught in rush hour traffic carrying a consignment of perishable goods in the thick of summer.
  • You may take more vigorous preventative efforts to guarantee they don’t become a problem if you understand the differences between transporting dry freight and shipping temperature-sensitive perishables and the associated dangers involved.

Final Word

Installing a system that regulates and controls the temperature is the best approach to recognise and avoid this issue. By doing this, you can guarantee that the product receives the desired temperature when the temperature approaches the limit. 

Due to the growth of global operations, businesses need to meet the demands for perishable commodities internationally. It’s anticipated that such goods will face fewer issues during delivery and transportation with a clear understanding of how temperature-controlled shipments work and the best packaging options to utilise.

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