Thursday, May 28, 2009

How does Cold Transport Work?


cold shippingIn the not so distant past, shipping temperature-sensitive and perishable products over long distances relied on the use of real ice and its obvious limitations. Today, advancements in cold shipping technology combined with rapid delivery options from shipping companies have made it possible to reliably ship perishable items much longer distances. Products such as meat, fish, produce, chocolate, pharmaceuticals and other perishable goods can now be shipped across the country or across the world without compromising their integrity.

The use for cold transport technology is vast. The medical industry relies heavily on cold shipping technology to transport medicine, vaccines and other biological materials. Perishable foods such as meat, produce and chocolate are exported and shipped all over the world using the same or similar technologies. The specialized supply chain involved with transporting temperature sensitive products is called the cold chain. The cold chain refers to an approach to logistics in which the temperatures of goods are controlled throughout all phases of transportation including loading, shipping, unloading and storage.

Dry ice makes it possible to ship refrigerated packages while keeping their contents cold, but newer cold transport technologies have eliminated some of the drawbacks involved with shipping dry ice. Packages shipped with dry ice require compliance with stringent packaging protocols and must be marked with a hazard class 9 label, UN 1845. While dry ice is still widely used for shipping temperature sensitive products, innovations in cold shipping technologies have made cold shipping safer and eliminated the need for the hazardous material designation.

Water-based gel refrigerants such as the Ice Brickā„¢ Shipping Pack from Nortech Labs have emerged as the next generation in cold transport. These water based refrigerants are designed to provide a safer, non-toxic alternative to dry ice that does not require the hazard class 9 label. The versatility of cold shipping packs makes them ideal for diverse applications, from complex cold chain activities to shipping chocolates to your mom. With many countries across the world relying on cold transport technology to export billions of dollars in perishable goods, manufacturers will undoubtedly continue to advance this logistically critical technology.

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