3 considerations for temperature controlled packaging

Truck in snow storm.

Food and drinks, pharmaceuticals, and various other products require temperature controlled packaging (TCP) solutions during transportation to protect product quality. However, not all solutions offer the same functionality, and some might lack the features you need. Additionally, as useful as TCP solutions can be, they require support from visibility tools to fully achieve their goals.  

In short, all companies who transport perishables should use temperature controlled packaging, but not just any solution will do. Additionally, TCP is just one part of a larger solution for protecting your products in transit.  

Here’s an overview of how temperature controlled packaging works and 3 things to consider when choosing your own solution. 

What are temperature controlled packaging solutions? 

Temperature controlled packaging solutions help keep in-transit products at specific temperatures or within a desired temperature range. They utilize a variety of tools to cool or heat products and monitor their temperature. Some of these tools may include dry ice, gel packs, electric cooling systems, or vacuum insulated panels. Often, temperature controlled packaging will also use phase change materials (PCM) to maintain consistent temperatures. 

These TCP solutions are essential for perishables and other temperature sensitive products. Without them, you’ll likely face spoiled food or contaminated medical products. In turn, your shipments could pose a health risk to consumers and become unusable. Your company might then experience anything from financial losses to legal or reputational issues. 

For these reasons, it’s important to only work with TCP solutions that are reliable and dependable. However, these aren’t the only things to consider when picking your solution.  

Questions to consider about your temperature controlled packaging

1. How sustainable is the packaging?

Sustainable solutions are quickly becoming a must-have for supply chains. While everyone in the industry is responsible for reducing emissions and overall increasing efficiency, sustainability is more than just an obligation. These solutions are also better for the planet, preferred by customers, and often beneficial to your bottom line.  

When it comes to TCP, sustainability refers to everything from the materials used to the packaging systems. For example, temperature controlled packaging often consists of expanded polystyrene. This plastic is not biodegradable, and it can take centuries before it breaks down. While expanded polystyrene can’t always be avoided, it’s worth considering solutions that limit its usage.

It’s also important to have a system in place for disposing of TCP once it is no longer usable. Ideally, this would involve recycling or composting so as not to contribute further waste to the environment. When possible, it’s also worthwhile to safely reuse this packaging. Either way, you should consider working with providers who make these practices an option and overall take sustainability seriously.

2. How will the temperature controlled packaging impact finances?

Ideally, TCP solutions should save you money in the long-run. Without these solutions, your cargo is susceptible to spoilage, which can equal monetary loss. Additionally, failing to keep your products at designated temperatures could mean repercussions and fines for noncompliance. 

Beyond just preventing loss, TCP solutions can also be a financial gain. For example, temperature controlled packaging can keep your customers happy with you and your brand, which means more business. These solutions can also prevent you from needing to purchase other costly equipment, such as refrigeration devices.  

In short, the right TCP solution will prevent unnecessary costs while adding to your company’s value.

3. What role does visibility play in supporting the TCP solution?

Insulated packaging can help protect products from external temperature shifts. However, shipment delays or damages can render this packaging ineffective. This is why you need visibility not only into your product quality, but also location. You’ll then be able to better understand where your cargo is, in what condition, and what you can do to prevent risks. 

Additionally, perishable products are vulnerable to far more than just spoilage. For example, pharmaceuticals are an enticing target for criminals due to their high market value and oftentimes lackluster security. Fortunately, visibility can help you identify and prevent these and related risks. You’ll then be able to protect your cargo from multiple threats simultaneously.  

For all the reasons above, it’s important to use TCP in combination with visibility solutions to keep your cargo safe. 

Picking the best temperature controlled packaging solution for your business 

Traceable, temperature controlled packaging solutions help ensure product integrity. Coupled with visibility and risk mitigation technology, you’ll have the tools you need to quickly intervene against risk.  

A good provider of these technologies should also be sustainable, forward-thinking, and cost-effective. When it comes to Overhaul, we easily fit all three criteria.  

Our commitment to sustainability has led us to sign the Climate Pledge and take active steps to reduce the amount of waste and loss within supply chains. We’re also constantly creating new solutions, such as RiskGPT, to fit the industry’s growing needs. Additionally, our tiered risk management offerings are customized to fit your security needs and budget. With our guidance and expertise, the support you need is always close at hand.  

Learn more about how Overhaul can service your cold chain packaging needs–and more. 

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