Dry Ice Capabilities for Ecommerce Shipping Needs
Are you an ecommerce business in the frozen food fulfillment or perishable food sector? Here are 7 reasons why you should use dry ice for shipping!
If you are an ecommerce business in the frozen food fulfillment or perishable food fulfillment sector, working with a third-party logistics company that has dry ice capability – increases your product’s freshness, quality, and food safety. Shipping with dry ice can increase the distance your frozen food or perishable goods product can travel safely, increasing your customer satisfaction, providing a larger potential market, and ultimately increasing revenue for your ecommerce business.
Shipping with Dry Ice
No one likes the fragrant smell of rotten fish, especially not your customers when they excitedly open a box on their doorstep expecting a fresh catch dinner a few days after ordering delicious frozen tilapia from your ecommerce website. It’s not good for their sense of smell or appetite, and it’s really not good for your growing frozen food or perishable food direct-to-consumer fulfillment business.
The secret to not making this scenario a reality in your ecommerce business lies in the use of dry ice for frozen food fulfillment, as well as the expertise of working with a third-party logistics company.
Before we talk about the 7 reasons your ecommerce business should use dry ice for shipping, it is important to first understand what dry ice is and how it works.
What is dry ice?
Dry ice is pure, solid carbon dioxide that exists at a temperature of about -109 degrees F. For comparison, gel cold packs are typically found to be at about 17 degrees F. This makes dry ice ideal for frozen food fulfillment ecommerce shipping. The extreme cold temperatures allow frozen food items to arrive safely from our direct-to-consumer fulfillment center to your customer’s doorstep at the exact ideal temperature for the peak quality of your particular frozen food product. In addition, dry ice allows for delays. Sometimes things happen in the course of shipping. If that is the case, the extremely cold temperature of dry ice allows your frozen food product to stay cool longer, ensuring quality, food safety, and no rotten fish.
How does dry ice work?
Unlike traditional ice packs, dry ice doesn’t “melt.” Because dry ice is pure, solid carbon dioxide, as opposed to the traditional water ice that turns to liquid, dry ice sublimates, meaning it goes directly from its solid state to a gas state. This sublimation process is what keeps dry ice colder longer and makes it the ideal coolant for the frozen food fulfillment and shipping process.
How long does dry ice last for shipping?
That depends! There is a very specific scientific process for packing ecommerce shipping products with dry ice. The equation includes knowing what the ideal temperature of your frozen or perishable food product should be for optimal freshness, safety, and quality (not sure? Check out our guide here), knowing the distance the product needs to travel from the Burris Logistics direct-to-consumer fulfillment center to your customer’s doorstep, and knowing how long that journey should take, accounting for any potential delays. From there, it depends on what type of dry ice you use, how much dry ice you use, and how it is packaged. If this all sounds a little complicated, that’s okay. Using a third-party logistics company like Burris Logistics makes your job easy. We have plenty of guides, resources, and experience to make sure your direct-to-consumer fulfillment product is shipped with the exact right amount of dry ice packaged exactly the right way to ensure a safe, fresh, and temperature-controlled delivery anywhere in the country.
What types of dry ice do we use to support our perishable fulfillment programs?
Burris Logistics offers the flexibility of several types of dry ice, adding versatility to your packaging needs. Our capability allows manufacturing of both several sizes of blocks, and pellets. Our blocks range from 2.5 to 10 lbs allowing for a custom package with just the right amount per weight of shipped product. The combination of blocks and pellets is just another value add for your ecommerce fulfillment needs.
What do you need to know before shipping with dry ice?
- What temperature your food needs to be maintained at.
- The distance your package will be shipped.
- Estimated time it will take to ship your ecommerce package.
- The size and amount of product in each box. More steak = more pounds of dry ice!
Should you use dry ice or gel cold packs?
Dry ice is often used for frozen food fulfillment or perishable fulfillment that will have an extended time in the shipping process. The biggest question to ask yourself when deciding between using dry ice and using gel cold packs is what temperature does this item need to stay at, how long do I need to preserve that temperature, and will there be harm to the product if the item drops below 32 degrees. If the item has a minimum temperature, gel cold packs may be a better option, such as with fresh flowers. However, if the item needs to stay frozen or needs to stay extremely cold for a long period of time, such as ice cream or meat and seafood, dry ice is likely the way to go. Often, you will find dry ice and cold packs used in conjunction with each other to prolong the sublimation process of the dry ice, allowing for further shipping and longer delivery options.
Here are 7 reasons to ship your frozen food fulfillment or perishable food fulfillment direct-to-consumer package using dry ice.
- Freshness– The freshness of your product upon delivery matters. No one likes smelly fish. Also, no one likes fish that tastes like it was caught three months ago. Consumers enjoy frozen food products because it keeps a fresher taste while greatly prolonging the shelf life. Allowing that temperature to drop can result in freezer-burned shrimp, ensuring a guaranteed trip to the trash for the shrimp and no return customer for you. On the other hand, allowing the temperature to get too warm can cause items to melt, and melted ice cream is no fun either. Likewise, depending on the direct-to-consumer items you are shipping, a drastic change in temperature can pose serious food safety concerns.
- Food Safety– As a frozen food fulfillment company, food safety is your top priority, and as your third-party logistics company, it’s our top priority too. Sour milk, rotten fish, and warm meat are not only gross but can also pose a serious health risk to your consumer and a considerable risk to your business. Working with a third-party logistics company that specializes in handling dry ice and knowing how to pack it properly to the exact specifications of your particular product greatly reduces the food safety concern of your frozen or perishable food business.
- Less product waste– When a product spoils because it is not properly maintained, your business is losing money. Plus, no business wants to contribute to the 100,000 pounds of food waste Forbes cites existing in the US each year. When ecommerce fulfillment packages are delayed in transit, an improperly prepared box can result in food spoilage before it reaches its final destination. The prolonged sublimation process of dry ice gives more of a buffer for any unforeseen circumstances throughout the process.
- Save Money- Dry Ice is more affordable than you think, especially if you work with a third-party logistics company that has dry ice-making capability, like our warehouse in Waukesha, Wisconsin. It definitely costs less than a product spoiling from improper packaging does. Want to get a better idea of what using dry ice would cost your business? Learn more.
- Proper preparation prevents poor performance. Things happen, especially in the logistics industry. Preparing your packages to stay colder for a little longer than you really think is necessary could be just the thing that prevents the decaying fish. There is a very fine line between making your ecommerce fulfillment package too cold and not giving yourself a buffer just in case. Dry ice can help.
- No mess – In business, presentation does matter. No one wants to open a soggy box dripping with water from melting ice packs. Not to mention, a pool of water on the product just can’t be good for the taste. Because dry ice sublimates instead of melts, there is no puddle of water and leaking packages. When properly packaged, you can and should easily prevent the dry ice from being exposed to the product and changing the taste.
- Have dry ice. Will travel. – The use of dry ice allows you to ship your frozen food fulfillment package farther safely by maintaining an optimal cold temperature for a longer period of time. Being able to ship farther gives you a bigger potential customer base, likely resulting in higher revenue.
If you are still reading and have decided that dry ice is the way to go for your ecommerce fulfillment business, let’s talk about how to accomplish that goal. Actually, it’s pretty easy. Find a third-party logistics company specializing in frozen food fulfillment with on-site dry ice capability.
What advantage is there to using a third-party logistics company with dry ice capability?
- Lower cost. Who doesn’t like to save money? On-site dry ice-making capability eliminates the cost of outsourcing from another company. Not to mention, having the dry ice readily available takes away the transportation time from the dry ice facility to the ecommerce fulfillment center, meaning you will need slightly less dry ice to accomplish your goal.
- Maintains Product Integrity. Using a third-party logistics company with dry ice-making capability means dry ice is readily available in whatever quantity you need when your frozen food fulfillment order is ready to be processed. It also means there is less lead time in the dry ice packaging process. The dry ice is ready when the package is and can be packaged as close to the shipment time as possible.
- Frozen Fulfillment Experience. When a facility has dry ice capabilities, the Team Members work with dry ice every day. They specialize in frozen food fulfillment and understand the packaging process. They know what the ideal temperature for various products should be and understand the precise way to pack a box to ensure that the temperature is maintained. Working with a third-party logistics company that has dry ice capabilities takes out the guesswork for an ecommerce business and relies on knowledge, experience, and a bit of science to deliver safe and high-quality products in a timely manner.
- Reduced Supply Chain Risks from Outside Vendors. By using a third-party logistics company with dry ice capabilities for your frozen food fulfillment needs, you are eliminating a link in the supply chain, meaning you are innately reducing the risk of not being able to get dry ice, not getting it in a timely manner, etc. At our warehouse in Waukesha, Wisconsin, dry ice comes off the condenser, into a large bin, and directly to our ecommerce pick mods, which goes into packages of food destined for home delivery. You can’t get much more direct than that.
- Zero Waste By working with a third-party logistics company that has dry ice capabilities, like our warehouse in Waukesha, Wisconsin, we can produce the exact amount of dry ice needed to accommodate our ecommerce partners. Because the dry ice is harvested right before it goes into packages of food destined for home delivery, the dry ice is fresh, cold, and produced in the correct amount. This is good for the environment and good for your bottom line.
Any ecommerce business, especially a perishable or frozen food fulfillment business is centered around trust. Trust is paramount from the customer, relying on the ecommerce business to provide a safe, high-quality product. Trust also comes from the ecommerce business, relying on a knowledgeable logistics partner with experience enough to deliver quality and safety in a timely manner. As a third-party logistics company that has in-house dry ice capabilities, you can trust that Burris has the knowledge and experience to keep everyone safe from the aforementioned rotten fish scenario. Trusting a third-party logistics Partner with in-house dry ice capabilities provides you and your customer peace of mind and a delicious, properly maintained frozen or perishable meal.
Check out this video to learn more about our dry ice capabilities in Waukesha, WI.
About Burris Logistics
Burris Logistics is the operational brand of Burris Logistics offering traditional cold storage, distribution, and direct-to-consumer fulfillment for E-commerce companies. Since 1925, this family-owned company has expanded its networks of warehouses from Florida to Maine, and now out to the pacific coast of California. For more information about us please visit www.Burrislogistics.com.