For Ice Cream Shippers There is No Such Thing as a Small Problem

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.

For most of us, we scream with excitement and joy about one of the most loved desserts in the world, especially on a hot summer day. From a small cup of mint chocolate chip to a large banana split, people young and old can agree – ice cream is worth screaming about.

As a logistics manager, shipping ice cream can be a challenging task due to its temperature sensitivity and the need to maintain its quality during transit. In this article, we will discuss some key considerations and best practices for shipping ice cream, as even the slightest issues will result in a major problem.

Temperature control:

Ice cream needs to be stored and shipped at a constant temperature of -18°C to -22°C. Any fluctuations in temperature can affect its texture, consistency, and taste. Therefore, it is important to use a temperature-controlled shipping solution that maintains a consistent temperature throughout the entire journey.

The reason ice cream is unique is due to the incorporation of air during the churning process, resulting in a light and creamy texture. However, when it melts even slightly, the air escapes, and refreezing it once it arrives in-store results in a solid, compact block.

Packaging:

Proper packaging is crucial to prevent any damage during transit. The packaging material should be durable and insulated to protect the ice cream from external temperature changes. Additionally, it should be leak-proof and designed to keep the ice cream from shifting during transport. Companies spend a significant amount on dry ice and other temperature-controlled packaging solutions to try and offset any temperature fluctuations. Not only does this come with a high cost, but availability of dry ice can vary by region and time of year, making this an unreliable solution.

Shipping duration:

The shipping duration of ice cream needs to be minimized as much as possible. The longer it takes to ship, the greater the risk of temperature fluctuations and damage to the product. Therefore, it is always recommended to use express or direct shipping methods that can guarantee narrow delivery windows to minimize the time in transit and damages.

Shipping routes:

The shipping route should be carefully planned to avoid any delays or extended transit times. Shipping ice cream during hot summer months can also pose a challenge as the external temperature can rise significantly, making it difficult to maintain the required temperature. This is why it is vital to choose the shortest and most direct shipping route possible.

Temperature tracking and Documentation:

Proper documentation is necessary for shipping ice cream, including temperature logs and shipping documents that show the product’s temperature throughout the entire journey. These documents will help identify any issues and enable corrective actions to be taken if necessary. New technology options can replace the more manual documentation, even providing real-time temperature readers to the shipper and receiver.

Communication:

Effective communication between all parties involved in the shipping process is crucial to ensure the timely delivery of ice cream. This includes communication between the shipper, carrier, and recipient to coordinate shipping arrangements and ensure that the product is delivered in good condition.

By now it is quite clear that shipping ice cream requires careful planning and execution to ensure the product’s quality and integrity. By following the best practices outlined above, logistics managers can minimize the risks associated with shipping ice cream and ensure its safe arrival at its destination.

At WARP, we offer DirectFresh, our guaranteed same or next day delivery of temperature controlled items. In addition to the increased speed of transit, we also eliminate the need to switch trucks or have products stored in warehouses for an extended period of time. This allows the ice cream to stay at the perfect temperature for optimal freshness and quality.

By
Troy Lester
Co-Founder and CRO

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