How to Protect Temperature-sensitive Materials During Transport

Sensitive, hazardous, or perishable items need special protection during transport, as even a slight change in temperature can damage or corrupt these items. Temperature-sensitive items include more than food; these may include medical specimens and medical items like vaccines and drugs, batch samples for chemical analysis, and certain computer and electronic parts.

To protect your items during shipment, you need to work with your shipper and also ensure you're doing everything possible to protect your materials once they leave your facility. Note a few ways to do that here.

1. Active packaging solutions

This refers to packaging that has some form of temperature control built in. This may include a heating or cooling element that works with batteries or some type of gel or ice pack that maintains a certain temperature during transport. These types of active packaging solutions can be needed for very sensitive materials that must maintain a specific temperature, in case temperature-controlled cargo containers are affected by outside heat or cold.

Active packaging solutions also protect materials in case of failure of outside heating and cooling elements during transport, and protect them once they leave a truck or cargo unit as well.

2. Passive packaging units

Passive packaging units are those that simply provide insulation from outside heat and cooling, but which don't necessarily change the temperature of the package itself. These types of units would include coolers for cold items and foil packs for items that need to retain heat. Vacuum packaging can also help a product to maintain a consistent temperature, so this too can be a passive packaging unit.

These units, although not actually controlling the temperature of an item, are an added layer of protection against the outside temperature. If something should fail in a temperature-controlled cargo container, passive packaging can help maintain the temperature of an item inside. These are very affordable types of packaging and this insulation can be added to crates, Styrofoam containers, and the like.

3. Temperature-controlled cargo units

Even with active and passive packaging, it's vital that you ensure you only use temperature-controlled cargo units during every part of transit. If your packaging should fail or not provide adequate insulation, the constant temperature of a cargo unit can ensure that your materials are protected. Many cargo units today are equipped with temperature controls in order to protect products from the heat of engines, and this protection becomes even more important for worldwide transit.

Weather conditions can change drastically from one climate to another, more so than simple packaging can protect against. Only use transit companies like Iceman Transport Refrigeration Repairs Pty Ltd with temperature-controlled units to ensure the integrity of your product during delivery.