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Temperature-Controlled Shipping

Guide to Temperature-Controlled Shipping

Unlock the secrets of temperature-controlled shipping with our comprehensive guide! From preserving freshness to protecting delicate cargo, we illuminate the path to seamless cold chain logistics. Explore our expert advice and ensure your goods arrive at their destination in optimal condition!

Guide to Temperature-Controlled Shipping

Regardless of seasonality, properly knowing how to pack and ship your shipments for a temperature-controlled environment directly impacts the supply chain. When the winter months seem endless, and the promise of spring harvest is on the horizon, now is a good time to stay ahead of the game regarding temperature-controlled shipping.

Temperature-controlled shipping plays a much larger role in the supply chain and logistics industry than many realize. There are several circumstances in which temperature-controlled shipping may be needed, including inclement weather, preparing for produce season, and distributing vaccines on mass. Let’s review some tips on packing and shipping for temperature-controlled shipping.

Pack and Ship For Temperature-Controlled Shipping

Temperature-controlled freight shipping refers to products that need to remain at a specific temperature during transit. Produce, food, flowers, and pharmaceutical items are often shipped via this method.

This type of freight requires special handling to protect the integrity of the cargo while in the back of a freight truck.

Temperature-controlled shipping also refers to protecting sensitive items from external weather conditions. A route that takes your cargo through freezing cold conditions could mean you should opt for freeze protection services to keep your freight safe.

If you’re shipping during the hot summer months and your cargo is temperature-sensitive, you may also need to select temperature-controlled shipping. Refrigerated shipping mistakes result in damaged or spoiled cargo, which is not only money out of your business but also products not getting to your customers.

So, make it a win-win, and select temperature-controlled shipping for your temperature-sensitive items.


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Why FreightCenter Should Be Your Go-To for Shipping Solutions

Choosing the right shipping partner can make a difference in your logistics game. At FreightCenter, we’re not just another quote provider – we’re your comprehensive shipping solution, streamlining the process from quote to delivery. Here’s why FreightCenter stands out:

Instant Quotes, Endless Options: Whether sending a single pallet across town or a full truckload across the country, FreightCenter gets instant quotes for LTL, truckload, rail, air, and more. Compare rates from a vast network of carriers to find the perfect fit for your budget and timeline.

Effortless Management: Say goodbye to paperwork mountains and scattered tracking details. Our user-friendly platform centralizes all quotes, shipments, and invoices, giving you complete visibility and control. No more frantic searching – it’s all in one convenient location.

Expertise at Your Fingertips: With over 25 years of logistics experience, we’ve seen it all. Our team of dedicated professionals navigates industry changes with ease, ready to answer your questions and tackle any shipping challenge you throw their way.

Your Smooth Communication Bridge: We act as your trusted intermediary, ensuring clear and efficient communication between you and your chosen carrier. No more getting lost in translation – we ensure everyone’s on the same page every step of the way.

Competitive Rates, Optimal Routes: We leverage our extensive network and industry knowledge to secure the best possible rates and optimized routes for your shipments. Save time and money by letting us handle the legwork – you focus on your business while we focus on getting your cargo where it needs to be.

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Proper Packaging Is Key

Setting your supply chain up for success means choosing suitable packaging. You should follow all guidelines when preparing to pack and ship for temperature-controlled shipping. The most common packaging for temperature-controlled freight includes:

  • New corrugated boxes.
  • Insulation (foam cooler, foam planks, thermal bubble wrap).
  • Cushioning (bubble wrap, packing peanuts, foam).
  • Temperature-monitoring device.
  • Labels for hazardous materials (including dry ice).


Choosing the correct coolant is also a vital step in the packaging process. The best coolants for temperature-controlled freight are dry ice and gel packs. Traditional ice melts and could damage your freight.

What’s the Difference between Coolants?

Dry ice is generally the best choice when shipping frozen items. With that in mind, never pack dry ice with live seafood or flowers. Additionally, do not let dry ice come into direct contact with any food items.

As dry ice becomes warmer, it converts into carbon dioxide. Thus, packaging containing dry ice must have ventilation for the gas to escape.

Gel packs are the ideal coolant for keeping goods between 32 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you pack enough gel packs to keep your cargo at the ideal temperature range it needs to be within.

Always secure gel packs and similar coolants with tape to protect your cargo. Additionally, include enough padding to prevent movement within the package further. This could consist of peanuts and bubble wrap.

This is especially important when shipping delicate items, such as flowers. Place a layer of packing material between the coolant and flowers to reduce damage.

For more information on other types of freight packaging, download our free guide to freight packaging. You can explore your options and choose the best packaging method for your shipments.

Monitoring Temperature-Controlled Goods During Transit

Consider add-ons for extra-sensitive shipments to help you monitor the shipment during transit. For example, you can choose to add a temperature monitoring device. This provides you with real-time updates on your item’s temperature.

Remember, any additional services you choose will come at an additional cost, but help ensure your cargo arrives safely and securely, giving you added peace of mind.

Additionally, you can add on services to receive delivery updates. This allows you to know exactly when your shipment has been delivered. It also provides delivery alerts so you can ensure someone gets the package upon delivery.

As mentioned, freeze protection services ensure your freight won’t get too cold during transit. Some items that are susceptible to freezing are:

  • Dyes
  • Paints
  • Glues
  • Pastes
  • Grease/Oils
  • Cleaning Detergents
  • Solutions
  • Inks
  • Glycerol

Carrier Experience is Vital

Next, pick a carrier that has experience shipping temperature-controlled freight. Carriers with reputable experience know how to regulate temperature during transit and keep a temperature log, tracking your shipment’s temperature at every step.

This is especially important when shipping cold chain items like pharmaceuticals, biologics, or lab specimens.

Additionally, temperature-sensitive items often need to arrive within a strict time frame. So, selecting a suitable carrier is essential to ensure your item arrives on schedule. Be sure you have someone available to accept the delivery of your shipment, too.

Remember that carriers are generally busier during the holidays, and shipments don’t always move over the weekend. If you have a shipment that needs to arrive by a specific date and time, let your carrier know your shipping needs before you ship your item.


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Q. What is temperature-controlled freight shipping?


Temperature-controlled freight shipping involves transporting goods in vehicles with regulated climate settings, which is crucial for preserving the quality of perishable products like food, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals during transit, regardless of external weather conditions. This method ensures that temperature-sensitive cargo arrives unspoiled and safe for consumption or use.

Q. What temperature ranges are maintained during transportation?


The range depends on the product being transported. Here are some standard temperature ranges. Refrigerated temps (2-8 degrees Celsius or 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit. The controlled ambient temperature range is (15-25 degrees Celsius or 59-77 degrees Fahrenheit). 

Q. What regulations govern temperature-controlled shipping?


Regulatory agencies such as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the WHO (World Health Organization) are the governing bodies that set pharmaceutical and food transportation standards. Compliance with the Good Distribution Practices (GDP) is also usually required. 

Q. How is dry ice used in temperature-controlled shipping?


It is used to keep products frozen during transportation. It transforms from a solid to a gas while maintaining a consistently low temperature. 

Q. Can temperature-controlled shipping be affected by altitude?


Yes, temperature-controlled shipping can still be affected by altitude. Air pressure decreases at higher altitudes, affecting the performance of refrigeration systems. 

Q. Are there emerging technologies that improve temperature-controlled shipping?


Yes, blockchain technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) help enhance transparency and traceability of temperature-controlled shipments. They provide real-time data and improve supply chain visibility. 

Q. How are challenges in last-mile deliveries addressed in remote or hard-to-reach locations?


Carriers use innovative methods like drone deliveries or specialized vehicles to navigate terrains while maintaining temperature control.  

Q. What role do passive temperature-controlled shipping solutions play?


Passive systems change materials and do not rely on external power sources. They are used for shorter durations or when power sources are not available.

Q. How are temperature-controlled containers monitored in real-time?


Various cutting-edge technologies are used to monitor these temperature-controlled containers in real time. These technologies include IoT (Internet of Things), GPS tracking, and data loggers. These tools provide incredible insights into the amount of control and visibility during shipping. 

Q. What is temperature-controlled transport?


Temperature-controlled transport is the specialized logistics service for moving perishable or climate-sensitive goods. It ensures a consistent temperature range is maintained throughout the journey, safeguarding the quality and integrity of the products, from pharmaceuticals to fresh produce, during transit.