Advantages to Shipping with Dry Ice/Basic Requirements for Shipping with Dry Ice
Dry ice shipping keeps your shipment cold easily and inexpensively. With three times the pound-for-pound cooling capacity of ordinary wet ice, it’s very cost-effective. Your product stays clean and dry: no messy water melt from wet ice or mess from broken gel packs. The largest advantage of shipping with dry ice is that unlike water, dry ice has no liquid state – it sublimates, or turns directly from a solid to a gas. Therefore, when a product is shipped with dry ice, the packaging material and the product itself will not be saturated with liquid and ultimately damaged.
Shipping with dry ice can also be potentially dangerous, with risks including explosion, suffocation and contact hazards. These risks can be properly managed by simply following basic rules and requirements for shipping with dry ice.
Gas Venting – packages must allow for release of carbon dioxide gas. The dry ice must not be sealed in a container with an airtight seal. Pacific Dry Ice offers a selection of appropriate dry ice shipping containers.
Package integrity – the packaging carrying the shipment and the dry ice must be able to withstand the loading and unloading process and must be closed properly in order to prevent loss of contents that can be caused by vibration and/or changes in temperature, humidity or altitude.
Packaging Materials – no plastics should be used that could be damaged or weakened by the use of dry ice.
Proper Labeling – the shipping container must be clearly labeled with a hazard class 9 label, UN 1845 on the vertical side of the container and must display the weight of the dry ice in kilograms. [see photo at right]
Dry Ice Shipping Regulations
For air transport, the amount of dry ice per parcel is limited to 5 pounds or less, but it’s generally unlimited for ground shipments. Shipments containing dry ice must carry a Class 9 DOT miscellaneous hazardous material warning label, and must be clearly marked “Carbon Dioxide Solid, UN1845” or “Dry Ice, UN1845”. With 5 pounds of dry ice, the package would need to be delivered within 24 hours, as the recommendation for ordinary cooler use is 10 pounds per day. Biological material is often a dry ice ship, which may have additional special requirements provided by the cold chain industry.
Links for shipping with dry ice, information and regulations:
- The US Postal Service Guidelines for Shipping with Dry Ice
- FedEx (USA shipping) Guidelines for Shipping with Dry Ice
Containers To Ship With Dry Ice
The shipping container, like any dry ice container, must be automatically vented to prevent pressure buildup as the dry ice sublimates to carbon dioxide (CO2). Please see our insulated shippers section. Be sure to observe the dry ice safety precautions when handling dry ice.
Ship Food With Dry Ice
Many food items can be flash frozen with dry ice and shipped great distances. Flash freezing brings us most of our fish, both commercial fisheries products and our personal catch from the fishing trip.
How Much Dry Ice Do You Need?
When shipped, dry ice will sublimate from a solid to a gas at a rate of 5-10 pounds per 24 hours when shipped in an insulated cooler with lid (see photo). Therefore, when using dry ice for shipping, it is important to determine how much dry ice is needed to maintain the proper temperature throughout the entire transit time of the shipment. The table at right will provide a guide to determine how much dry ice is needed, based on the weight of the perishable product and transit time. When you purchase dry ice from Pacific Dry Ice, our helpful staff can advise you on specific dry ice recommendations based on your product and shipping conditions.
The container brand names and vendors mentioned herein are intended to be examples only; the mention does not imply endorsement by Pacific Dry Ice.
Where Can I Get Dry Ice for Shipping?
Click here to see our locations.