Can you ship food with UPS? Yes, of course, you can do. However, this isn’t as straightforward as shipping any other parcel. There are a lot of things to know and there are a few requirements. All you need to remember at this moment is the fact you can ship your cookies, meat, or any other type of food relatively easily. Don’t forget that all of these parcels have the same challenges. Those are humidity, low or high temperature, and also spoilage. Below, we will help you understand how to overcome these challenges.
Main points to keep in mind
To ship food successfully, you need to follow these steps or these points. They are recommended and specified by UPS so you can deduce how important they are. Do not skip one or avoid using it. That can have a negative effect on your parcel.
1. All baked foods must be wrapped in an airtight seal
The last thing you want is for your recipient to receive cookies or a cake that is smashed and melted. Use a plastic wrap for all cookies and foods that are baked. Use shrink wrap additionally and always wrap additional foil by hand. One, additional thing you can do is freeze the cupcakes before shipping them.
Always place a cupcake into a holder. Push a candy stick in the center so the lid of a packaging box cannot reach the cupcake. To get a professional appearance and result, use heat-sealed plastic. You can use shrink bags as well. Use tin container if possible. It is the strongest of them all. The container itself must be wrapped in plastic. Use strong tape for the edges.
2. Use insulation for frozen food
Containers that are designed for shipping ice-cream or frozen food, in general, are special. They have insulation. The thicker the insulation, the less ice or coolant you will need.
One of the most common options is a box that has foam insulation inside. You can use thermal bubble wrap to achieve a similar effect. Bubble mailers can be used ideally for cupcakes. Add coolant to the mailer, then add the food and all of that protect with the ample padding. Food that must remain frozen at all times, during shipping, you will need to place it in a container and add gel packs.
3. All foods that can melt should be packaged in a watertight plastic
To ship items or foods that can melt and cause a mess, alongside poor unboxing presentation, you will need an additional step to follow. You will have to place those foods in a container and wrap them with watertight plastic. Place an absorbent mat on the top.
Those of you who whip seafood should always use two plastic bags to wrap their package. If you are shipping live lobster or any similar parcel, make sure to leave a small hole for air to get in.
Shipping raw vegetables or fruits is possible. However, there are additional and different steps and processes you need to complete in order to chip this type of food.
4. Refrigerant should be chosen accordingly to the food you are shipping
Shippers can use dry ice or gel packs when shipping foods that must stay frozen at all times. These are the two best options. Frozen water isn’t a good option. Ice is heavy and it can cause a mess during transport. Regardless of the fact are you using dry ice or gel packs, make sure to well insulate the package so it is completely water-resistant. One trick you can use is to pre-cool the container.
Keep in mind that there are additional things to know here. Dry ice should be used when sending ice-cream or similar foods. Gel packs are designed when the temperature of a parcel must remain between 32 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Although dry ice is a colder alternative and more preferable for some applications, it cannot keep foods cold as gel packs. Also, it is considered a hazardous material and when used in amounts over 5.5 pounds, it comes with certain limits.
When using dry ice, keep in mind the following facts. Never touch it with bare hands, never allow it to touch the food, especially if it is live seafood, and do not wrap it. Carbon dioxide can build up inside the packaging and cause various issues.
5. Minimize movement inside a box
When shipping food, it is ideal to pack your parcels so there is no movement inside. To do that, you will have to use either a bubble wrap or packing peanuts. Make sure there are 2-3 inches all around the box so the food can have soft contact with the sides of the container.
When shipping jarred food or fruit, make sure to use bubble wrap to keep tin container in the middle of the box. Once again, you can use bubble wrap or packing peanuts to achieve this. For this purpose, you may want to consider foam inserts that have holes or openings. They are ideal for jarred foods.
Always pack all of the foods in a strong, corrugated box. All seams must be sealed at all times especially the ones on the top.
6. Minimize time in transit and your cost
Of course, even in the case of the best shipping plan, you need to minimize the time in transit. The time should be under 30 hours. UPS Next Day Air and UPS 2nd Day Air are ideal for this purpose.
To decrease the cost of shipping, you can use Ship Saving. It is a complete platform suitable for small and medium businesses. You can use it for labels, shipping features, and also warehouse management, among many other features.
7. Track your parcel
UPS offers an amazing UPS Tracking platform where you can track the parcel at any given moment. You can either track just one if you are new to all of this or you can track multiple, up to 25 individual parcels at any given moment.
The final word
Shipping food with UPS is simple and very appealing. Now you know how to do that and what you should do in order to get the job done and keep your clients happy. Take your time and memorize these steps, if you are planning on hipping food on a regular basis.