How to Ship Frozen Products


Frozen products such as beef, poultry, and blood plasma are highly susceptible to changes in ambient temperature, making it difficult to control against external temperature fluctuations. Shipping frozen foods usually requires the use of dry ice. To make things simple, Insulated Products Corporation (IPC) has provided a step-by-step guide on the best practices for shipping frozen products.

Shipping Meat with Dry Ice

Shipping meat with PopupLiner and dry ice (view here)

The Best Way to Ship Frozen Products

Firstly, it is important to understand that dry ice shipments stay frozen as long as there is solid dry ice remaining in the package. The length of time that dry ice will last depends on the ambient temperature, insulation thickness, and other variables. After this timeframe, the packed product begins to defrost, and eventually spoils as rising temperatures lead to the increased growth rate of microorganisms. Utilizing the appropriate amount of dry ice with the correct caliber of insulation is key to a successful shipment. A general rule of thumb is to use approximately 5 lb for every 24-hour period your frozen product will be in transit.

Shipping Frozen Products

The PopupLiner Box Liner is ideal for shipping ice cream

  1. Firstly, your insulated container should be lined with an insulated box liner, used as the foundation for building out the rest of your package.
    (Note: We advise against shipping with molded containers for either bulk or individual shipping orders. Not only are they less effective than PopupLiner insulated box liners, they are also bulky and contribute to greater landfill volume if they are not recycled)
  2. Place your frozen products inside the pre-lined container, then add dry ice as needed. Place blocks of dry ice on top of your perishable goods. You can even add pellets of dry ice to fill in the air gaps. Be sure to allow enough head space for the PopupLiner lid to shut without making contact with the dry ice. You should avoid overfilling the package to the extent that the insulator gets squeezed between the container and the shipped goods.
  3. Pre-frozen gel packs can also be used in conjunction with dry ice. Place your gel packs in any empty spaces to limit movement and keep your frozen product securely in place. Consider placing gel packs down the sides or on top for maximum efficiency.
  4. Minimize any empty air space where possible by using filling materials, such as foil insulation rolls. Extra air inside the package allows circulation of diffused heat, leading to suboptimal thermal performance.
  5. Close the insulated box container, but do not seal it off completely. It is important to ensure that a small amount of the sublimated gas is able to vent through your insulated container. Venting is necessary to prevent a dangerous build-up of pressure.
How to ship frozen products

Meat shipping requires effective thermal control during transit to protect it against odors, off-flavors, and spoilage.

Insulated Products Corp. provides the supplies you need to maximize efficiency while keeping products frozen during transport. We have been in the insulated shipping business since 1999 and strive to help businesses excel in their daily functions.

Read our case study about how well our PopupLiner insulated boxes perform in combination with dry ice.

Performance Testing of IPC Box Insulation

Thermal Performance of IPC’s EcoLiner Box Liner for Frozen Meal Shipment

Box Size:
Container Compared to:
Weight of Dry Ice
Temperature Recording Device
10” x 10” x 10”
1.5″ thick compressed EcoLiner
12 oz of frozen food
4.5 lb
Type T thermocouple

Thermal Performance of IPC’s PopupLiner Box Liner for Frozen Milk Shipment

Box Size:
Weight of Dry Ice
Temperature Recording Device:
16” x 12” x 9”
2″ thick PopupLiner insulated box liner
50 oz of frozen milk
8.6 lb
Type T thermocouple