It's getting to be melting season again. Does anyone have any tips or tricks for keeping summer shipping effective and affordable?
I'm looking for insulated shipping supplies that ideally collapse down to save storage space. Is there a space age solution I should be aware of?
Also, are certain carriers better than others at handling perishables?
Any input is appreciated.
A 6x6x6 box might be large enough, if you were shipping something very, very small and it was well insulated. "Empty" space in a box is insulation and so it's always better to go larger than smaller when there is any question of it making it through.
As for how many gel packs it depends on how big they are. One 4- or 8-ounce pack is not nearly enough for 2-day delivery in hot weather from Atlanta to California, especially if there is no insulation in the box. Try it yourself, put a gel pack in an empty box and leave it outside when it's hot and time how long it takes to melt. A couple of hours, maybe, even for big ones.
Insulation serves two purposes: keep heat out, keep cold in. There are many forms of insulation: the insulated bubble wrap is one I happen to use and like. I also recycle polystyrene sheets from shipments I receive.
Tape up the seams of the box to keep hot air out (and cold air in).
Line the box with the insulating bubble wrap. Make sure it covers all six sides completely. Use cornstarch peanuts (or similar) to fill the empty space in the box - bottom and top as well as sides. I like the cornstarch because they will absorb some humidity.
I'd recommend at least two gel packs, taking care to make sure they weren't all on the same side of the box (i.e., one on top and one the bottom, front/back, left/right).
Make sure the packs don't actually touch the container with the chocolate in it.