Frozen Shipping: How to Ship Frozen Food Overnight (2024)

how to ship frozen food overnight

Shipping frozen food can be challenging.

The food must stay at a consistent, low temperature to prevent spoilage, and it must arrive at its destination in perfect condition.

Speed and safety are of the utmost importance in this case.

Whether you’re sending homemade meals to a loved one across the country or shipping perishable products for your business, it’s essential to know how to properly package and ship frozen items to preserve their quality during shipment.


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One of the most efficient and reliable ways to ship frozen food is overnight.

You can get this done successfully with the right packaging and preparation.

Table of Contents

How to Ship Frozen Food: Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these procedures to ensure that your frozen food item arrives at its destination in perfect condition.

frozen shipping

Step 1: Choose the right packaging and supplies

You’ll need an insulated box to keep the food at a consistent temperature, as well as cold packs or dry ice to maintain the cold temperature during shipping.

Choosing the right insulated box

This is essential for keeping the package at a consistent temperature during shipping.

Some factors to consider when choosing the appropriate insulated box include:

  • Size

Make sure the box is large enough to accommodate the food and the cold packs, but not so large that the cold packs won’t be able to maintain the temperature.

  • Material

Choose a sturdy, double-walled box made of foam or heavy-duty cardboard to ensure the box doesn’t collapse during transit.

  • Durability

Consider the durability of the box to ensure it can withstand the rigours of shipping and handling.

Cold packs vs. dry ice

Cold packs and dry ice are commonly used to keep frozen food at a consistent temperature during shipping.

Here are some things to consider when deciding between cold packs and dry ice.

  • Length of trip

For short trips, cold packs are a good choice. However, for longer trips or overnight shipping, I recommend using dry ice as it’s colder and lasts longer.

  • Temperature

Dry ice is colder than gel packs and can maintain a lower temperature, but it also requires special handling to ensure safety.

  • Handling

When using dry ice, follow the instructions carefully to avoid any mishaps. It can be dangerous if not handled properly.

Wear gloves when handling it and make sure to dispose of any leftovers safely.

Step 2: Prepare the frozen food for shipment

After you’ve obtained the necessary packaging and materials, it’s time to get the frozen food ready for shipment.

shipping frozen food

Ensure the food is completely frozen

It’s essential to ensure that your food is completely frozen before packing it for shipment.

Below are some tips to keep in mind.

  • Freeze the food for the recommended amount of time before packing
  • Use a thermometer to check the temperature of the food to confirm that it’s frozen solid

Wrap the frozen food

Consider wrapping it to protect it during shipping.

  • Plastic wrap

Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to protect it from freezer burn and to prevent moisture from entering the package.

  • Sealable plastic bag

Place the wrapped food in a sealable plastic bag to provide an extra layer of protection against moisture.

  • Vacuum-seal

For added protection, you can vacuum-seal it to remove any excess air and create a tight seal.

  • Double-bag

Double-bagging the food provides an additional layer of protection against moisture and accidental punctures.

Label the package clearly

Clear labelling is essential when shipping to ensure proper handling and avoid any mishaps. Use these tips for labelling the package.

  • Contents

Clearly label the package with the contents of the package to avoid any confusion.

  • Date

Label the package with the date it was packed to ensure freshness and to help the recipient determine if the food is still safe to eat.

  • Handling instructions

If the food is perishable, be sure to label it with “Perishable” or “Keep Refrigerated” for proper handling during shipping.

Step 3: Choose the right shipping carrier and method

There are many shipping carriers to choose from, but not all of them are equipped to handle frozen food.


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Research shipping carriers

Look for carriers that specialise in shipping perishable items and have experience in handling frozen food.

You can start by searching for carriers online or asking for recommendations from friends and family who have shipped frozen food before.

Choose the right shipping method

When it comes to shipping frozen food, the most common methods are overnight or expedited shipping.

These methods are more expensive than standard shipping, but they guarantee that the food arrives quickly and maintains its frozen state.

When choosing a shipping method, consider the distance the package needs to travel, the weather conditions, and the carrier’s transit time.

Check the shipping carrier’s facilities

Look for carriers with temperature-controlled facilities so your frozen food stays at the right temperature throughout the shipping process.

You can also ask the carrier about their shipping procedures and how they handle frozen food.

Consider insurance

Insurance is a good idea to consider in case of any damage or loss during transit.

Some carriers offer insurance as part of their shipping services, while others may require you to purchase it separately.

Check with the carrier to see what options are available and what their insurance policy covers.

What is the Cheapest Way to Ship Frozen Food?

what is the cheapest way to ship frozen food

Cost can be a major concern when it comes to shipping frozen food.

Let’s take a look at some steps that you can take to keep shipping costs down while still ensuring your package arrives safely and at the right temperature

Consider using a regional carrier

Regional carriers often have lower rates than national carriers for shorter-distance shipments.

This can be a cost-effective option if you want to ship within a certain region.

Compare rates

It’s important to compare rates from different carriers to find the best deal.

Don’t forget to factor in any additional fees, such as fuel surcharges or handling fees.

Opt for ground shipping

Overnight and expedited shipping options can be expensive, so consider opting for ground shipping instead.

This may not be feasible for all shipments, but it can be a good way to save money if you’re not in a rush.

Use lightweight packaging

The weight of your packaging can impact shipping costs, so choose lightweight options whenever possible.

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Foam or heavy-duty cardboard boxes can provide insulation without adding too much weight.

How to Package Frozen Food for International Shipping

There are additional regulations and requirements to consider when shipping frozen food internationally.

Research regulations and requirements

It’s important to investigate the rules of the destination country before shipping your package.

This includes any restrictions on certain types of food or packaging materials.

Each country may have different requirements, so it’s essential to do your research in advance to ensure compliance.

Use insulated shipping containers

Using insulated shipping containers that meet international shipping standards is your best bet to ensure that the frozen food remains at a consistent temperature during international shipping.

These containers are designed to maintain the temperature of the food for a specified amount of time, even in extreme temperatures.

Consider the time and distance of the shipment

The longer the transit time and the greater the distance, the more insulated packaging materials and cooling agents will be needed to maintain the temperature of the food.

Choose a carrier that specialises in international shipping of frozen food and offers expedited shipping options when necessary.

Properly label the package

In addition to labelling the package with the contents and date of packing, include any handling instructions in the destination country’s language.

Also, include information about the temperature requirements for the food and any special handling instructions.

This will help ensure the food is handled properly throughout the shipping process and reaches its destination in good condition.

Frozen Shipping: How to Ship Frozen Food Overnight (2024)

Remz is a professional who has been writing content for almost 10 years. He's a shipping and logistics enthusiast and the head of the Trust Heritage Logistics content team. He bagged an MSc degree shortly after graduating from the university with flying colours. When it comes to creating content, Remz loves to do in-depth research and provide amazing pieces of information that every reader will find helpful.

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