How to Ship Dry Ice Frozen Items using UPS?

Shipping perishable items, such as chilled and frozen food, confectionery, and many pharmaceuticals, requires strict adherence to temperature requirements; but how can this be achieved in a timely and cost-effective manner?


For this reason, dry ice is a common ingredient in the packaging of products that must be shipped quickly. Dry ice is an excellent choice for ensuring that your perishables arrive in perfect shape when they are shipped.


UPS does enable dry ice to be included in packages, however, there are some unique requirements for shipping dry ice frozen items. Many direct-to-consumer food companies, pharmaceutical companies, and a few other businesses ship their products using dry ice to preserve the quality of their products during travel.


If your company is contemplating using UPS for your dry ice frozen items shipping needs, this article has all the information you’ll need to get started. If utilized properly and in accordance with all regulations, it is a safe and efficient method of transporting frozen or perishable items.


What Are Dry Ice Frozen Items?

What Are Dry Ice Frozen Items?Carbon dioxide in its solid state at temperatures of -109 degrees Fahrenheit or lower is known as dry ice. Since it changes directly from a solid to a gas, it won’t melt and potentially harm the products or packaging during shipping.


The temperature of dry ice is subzero. In the process of evaporating or sublimating into carbon dioxide gas, it maintains a temperature of approximately -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result of this characteristic, it is an excellent choice for use in items that do not have a temperature threshold that is triggered by low temperatures.


Dry ice has the ability to bring down product temperatures, allowing them to remain frozen for longer. It is frequently utilized in the shipping of ice cream products and frozen desserts, in addition to frozen meat and seafood. But you should never pack dry ice with perishable items that are easily damaged by freezing, such as live seafood, flowers, fresh fruits, vegetables, or specific medications.


Additionally, it is essential to remember that any food items that are transported with dry ice frozen items must have proper packaging in order to prevent the dry ice from altering the product’s consistency as well as its flavor.


How to Figure Out How Much Dry Ice You Need

When it comes to dry ice, you should count on utilizing anywhere from five to ten pounds for each twenty-four hour period. This, of course, is based on the condition of the insulated storage container.


Using this method will ensure that the contents of a container of up to 15 liters remain frozen. Multiply the amount of dry ice needed by the shipping container’s volume and the expected duration of the shipment.


Methods for Packing Dry Ice Frozen Items

Care must be taken when packing dry ice frozen items to avoid injuries such as fire and suffocation. Dry ice must be kept in a cool, dry place with plenty of ventilation.


  • Due to the fact that dry ice emits carbon dioxide, which, when contained in a container that does not allow air to escape, can result in an increase in pressure.
  • It has the capacity to expand, which might lead to bursting. For this reason, proper dry ice packaging is crucial.
  • Protect your items from the elements by storing them in an EPS foam container inside a durable cardboard box.
  • Make every effort to maintain a barrier between the contents of your shipment and the dry ice.
  • You need to attach a sticker to the outside of the package that indicates “Contains dry ice” or “Contains frozen items”.
  • Dry ice has only one purpose: to keep your package fresh. It is essential that nothing comes into contact with the dry ice. Your only concern should be that the items remain cold while the dry ice does its work.
  • It is important to remember that dry ice boxes should not be airtight; the vapor must have a way to escape, or your shipment could burst. Use minimal pressure when applying the tape.


How Long Do Dry Ice Frozen Items Last During Shipping?

How Long Do Dry Ice Frozen Items Last During Shipping?At a temperature of 109 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, dry ice begins to sublimate. Maintaining a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours requires 5-10 pounds of dry ice. When sending things for an extended period of time, more dry ice should be used.


In addition, gel packs can lengthen the amount of time that dry ice is effective at maintaining temperatures below zero for an additional amount of time.


Using UPS’s Various Dry Ice Shipping Options

Ground Shipping

Dry ice shipments within the 48 contiguous United States can be handled in the same way as any other UPS Ground shipment. Just make sure to mention on the outside label that dry ice is included inside.


Air Shipping

Their laws vary according to the type of product and quantity of dry ice that is being shipped. When shipping non-medical commodities, including frozen food, the rules change depending on whether or not you’re transporting more than 5.5 pounds of dry ice.


International Shipping

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has rules for shipping dry ice frozen items globally. Shipping internationally via UPS requires a valid International Special Commodities (ISC) contract, as well as adherence to IATA standards and UPS’s carrier criteria, including Packing Instructions.


How to Ship Frozen Items with Dry Ice Using UPS directly from Your WooCommerce Store?

Now we’ll go on to the most important question, which is how to generate shipments and shipping labels with dry ice marked directly from your WooCommerce store, without having to switch back and forth between your website and the UPS website.


The ELEX EasyPost Shipping & Label Printing Plugin for WooCommerce is the easiest solution to this problem. This plugin will enable you to display live shipping rates for several carriers, including UPS, USPS, FedEx, UPS DAP, UPS SurePost, and Canada Post, while enabling you to indicate if a product needs to be shipped with dry ice.


It also allows you to create shipping labels, show delivery estimates, track packages, customize your own box packaging, and a lot more.


Let’s go through the process of configuring the process of shipping with dry ice using the plugin in two simple steps. If you want to know the step-by-step process of configuring the plugin from scratch, you can go through the product documentation for a complete rundown.


Step 1. Packaging

When a customer places an order for a product that needs dry ice, the first thing you should do is make sure that each item is packaged individually. You can set this up by navigating to the ELEX EasyPost Shipping & Label Printing Plugin > Packaging > Parcel Packing. Here, set the packing option to Pack Items Individually.

ELEX EasyPost Shipping & Label Printing Plugin | Packaging

Step 2. Individual Product Level Settings

When you know that a particular product will be packaged and shipped with dry ice, and want to indicate it on the shipping rates and labels, you can mark it on the individual product level with the help of the plugin.


This can be configured by navigating to the WordPress dashboard > WooCommerce > Products > Edit Individual Product.


Next on the edit product page, under Product Data > Shipping Settings >  enable the Require Dry Ice option.

enable the Require Dry Ice option

Once that’s done, when a customer places an order for that product, the pricing they see will include the cost of dry ice for packaging.


To Wrap Up

That brings us to the end of the article. We hope it has helped you understand everything you need to know about shipping dry ice frozen items using UPS.


If you have any questions regarding shipping with dry ice, please let us know in the comments section below.


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