Shipping Perishables with Dry Ice: A Comprehensive Guide for Businesses

April 18, 2024
Last Edited:
July 10, 2024
Read time:
3 minutes
Anthony Robison
CEO & Founder
Anthony Robinson
Founder & CEO @ ShipScience

How Does Dry Ice Work?

Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide, and it’s extremely cold, around -109.3°F. When you place dry ice in an insulated container, it can help maintain a consistent, low temperature that is ideal for transporting perishable items.

As dry ice warms up, it converts from a solid to a gas, a process known as sublimation. This gas is heavier than air, so it tends to stay at the bottom of the container. That’s why it’s essential to make sure that the container has adequate ventilation to prevent a build-up of carbon dioxide gas.

How to Use Dry Ice Safely

While dry ice can be incredibly helpful for shipping perishables, it’s important to use it safely. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind:

Handle Dry Ice with Care

Dry ice is extremely cold, so it can cause frostbite or other injuries if you handle it directly. Always wear gloves or use tongs to handle dry ice.

Ventilate the Shipping Container

As mentioned earlier, dry ice produces carbon dioxide gas, which can displace oxygen in an enclosed space. That’s why it’s essential to ventilate the shipping container properly. Make sure that there’s enough ventilation to allow the carbon dioxide gas to escape.

Use the Right Packaging

When you’re shipping perishables with dry ice, you need to use the right packaging. An insulated container with a tight-fitting lid is ideal. Make sure that the container is large enough to accommodate the dry ice and the perishables you’re shipping.

Tips for Shipping Meat

Shipping meat is a bit more complicated than shipping other perishable items like fruits or vegetables. Here are some tips to help you ship meat safely and effectively:

Use a High-Quality Cooler

When shipping meat, it’s essential to use a high-quality cooler that can keep the meat cold for an extended period. Ideally, the cooler should be able to maintain a temperature of 40°F or below.

Use High-Quality Dry Ice

When selecting a supplier for dry ice, it is important to choose one that has a reliable supply chain and produces high-quality dry ice. Poor-quality dry ice can evaporate quickly, causing inconsistencies in temperature and potentially damaging the perishable goods. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the dry ice supplier complies with safety regulations and provides proper packaging and labeling for shipping.

Freeze the Meat Before Shipping

Before you ship the meat, it’s a good idea to freeze it. This will help ensure that it stays cold during transit. Make sure that the meat is fully frozen before you pack it in the shipping container.

Use Enough Dry Ice

When shipping meat, it’s essential to use enough dry ice to keep it cold. A good rule of thumb is to use 10 to 20 pounds of dry ice for every 24 hours of shipping time. Make sure that the dry ice is evenly distributed throughout the container.


Shipping perishables with dry ice can be an effective way to ensure that your products arrive at their destination in good condition. However, it’s essential to use dry ice safely and effectively. By following the tips in this post, you can help ensure that your perishables arrive safely and without any damage. Whether you’re shipping fruits and vegetables or meat, dry ice can help you get your products to your customers quickly and safely.

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