When it comes to Cold Chain Shipping of fresh or frozen seafood (shrimp, crab, lobster, etc.), deciding what kind of insulated shipping container to use can hinge on a balance between how much you want to lower costs (for profitability) and how well you want to protect the cargo during transit (which affects customer satisfaction).
Two options available for packaging and thermal protection are…
- Hardshell Shipping Containers – usually plastic or metal boxes filled with regular or dry ice, sometimes with frozen gel packs.
- EPS Foam Shipping Coolers – made from space-age expanded polystyrene, also utilizing refrigerants such as gel packs or dry ice, depending on shipper preference.
So, with hardshell shipping containers having been around for so many years, and with their being so readily available, one question a smart business person may ask is…
“Why Should I Switch Over To Using Foam Shipping Coolers To Get My Fresh Or Frozen Seafood Products To Customers?”
Take a look at the options below and choose which one you think makes the most sense:
A) Foam Shippers are lighter in weight than hard plastic or metal.
B) EPS foam shipping containers can be much cheaper to buy from manufacturers.
C) Expanded Polystyrene shipping coolers have better thermal insulation characteristics than dense plastics and metal containers.
D) They offer superior protection against the spread of dangerous bacteria.
E) All of the above options are correct.
No matter which of the options makes the most sense to you, the fact is they are all presented to get you to think about the possibilities of considering a non-hardshell option. “All of the above” is the best answer because foam shipping coolers have taken the cold chain shipping industry by storm in recent years and the reason why is that foam shippers are lighter, cheaper, better insulating, and offer superior antimicrobial protection (inhibits the growth or spread of bacteria).
Lighter Than Hard Plastic or Metal Containers – the leading edge technology behind EPS foam enables production of super-light material that, when properly manufactured, can fulfill every role of hardshell materials in the cold chain shipping process. The lighter weight cuts down on shipping costs, thus contributes solidly to better profits for business.
Cheaper To Buy From Manufacturers – although hardshell containers have been around for many years, that doesn’t necessarily make them the best purchasing option for businesses, and that’s because expanded polystyrene is very inexpensive to produce, even when the manufacturing standard is the highest. Again, even the added weight of hard plastic or metal makes it more costly to ship wholesale to the seafood company needing it. Thus, companies are better served by reducing such costs through adjusting their shipping logistics to include foam shippers.
Seafood Cargo Stays Colder Longer – the thermal insulation qualities and characteristics of EPS are much better from the start. There’s no desperate need to “pre-cool” the way shippers must do with hard materials in order to prevent them from prematurely warming temperature-sensitive cargo. When packages are put together in temperature-controlled environments, the foam option is already well-ahead.
Healthier Protection Against The Spread Of Microbes In Transit – the molecular structure of expanded polystyrene is very unfriendly to germs and bacteria. They simply don’t like it and have a difficult time gaining a foothold. Because of this, food naturally keeps longer inside of a foam shipping container. When cargo stays fresher longer, it boosts customer satisfaction ratings and reduces complaints while lessening the possibility of product returns.
As you can see, there are numerous reasons why businesses make a wise decision when choosing to make a change in their cold chain shipping logistics by integrating foam shippers (foam shipping coolers), and all of those reasons add up to a more appealing bottom line.