Cold Chain Logistics: Best Practices for Temperature-Controlled Shipping

Cold Chain Logistics Management: The Top 3 Practices You Can Implement Today

Posted on:
Mar 24, 2021

Temperature-controlled shipping is a critical part of the global supply chain ecosystem, as it is the primary way of distributing perishables like food and medicine. In fact, reefers, or refrigerated trucks, handle 90% of all food distributed through the US. With the produce season quickly approaching and the massive rollout of vaccines, we have gathered the best practices for managing your cold shipping

How to ship cold items: 3 best practices for cold shipping management

1. Cold packs for shipping

Packaging and storage play a crucial role in temperature-controlled shipping. Depending on the product, there are different climate conditions to consider when shipping refrigerated items. Any discrepancy or violation of standard temperature requirements results in spoiled goods and wasted money. At most, it could cause damaging effects for other parties involved. 

Finding the right carrier and service for cold shipments, as well as providing ice packs for shipping perishables, is essential to safely and efficiently ship your stock.

2. Regulatory compliance

The key thing that differentiates cold shipping from regular freight shipping is that it is strictly regulated. Shippers who transport perishable goods need to be acutely aware of the industry standards and regulatory updates. This especially applies to businesses that ship products that fall under the FDA’s sanitary transport rule and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

3. Choosing the right partner for cold shipping

Temperature-controlled shipping and operations in cold supply chains do not have the same margin for error that dry shipments have, so choosing a reliable and experienced shipping provider is essential. 

With the right logistics partner, businesses can diversify their cold carrier network, ensure better service and compliance, and mitigate risks GoShip offers convenient refrigerated shipping services. Get a quote and compare rates for your cold shipments!

What are Examples of Cold Chain Products?

Cold chain products are any products that require temperature-sensitive handling. Multiple industries make sure of cold chain logistics to ensure that their items arrive safely at their destinations. 

The demand for cold chain logistics has been steadily increasing due to customer demands and this was an invaluable asset at the height of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Not only did cold chain logistics help in delivering vaccines and other drugs to the many health centers all over the country, but its temperature-controlled vehicles also kept the medical goods in perfect working condition. Aside from medicine, what other goods require cold chain logistic management? 

Tropical fruits

Certain tropical fruits like bananas, pineapples, and even mangoes require control ripening during transit. These are typically stored in temperatures that range from 12 degrees to 14 degrees Celsius (around 53 degrees to 57 degrees Fahrenheit). This prevents the fruit from ripening too early and rotting during transit. 


Most vegetables like kale, broccoli, and cabbages are transported in temperatures that range from 2 degrees to 4 degrees Celsius (around 35 degrees to 39 degrees Fahrenheit).


This one may shock you, but wine also needs to be stored at controlled temperatures to stop it from aging prematurely and/or losing its flavor.

The recommended temperatures for wine are around 10 degrees to 15 degrees Celsius (around 51 degrees to 59 degrees Fahrenheit) when transporting at long distances.


Meat products should be frozen before transportation even begins. The recommended temperatures for transporting perishable meats are -10 degrees to -20 degrees Celsius (around 14 degrees to -4 degrees Fahrenheit).


Another item that requires temperature-controlled transportation is seafood. These should be deep-frozen and kept at temperatures around -25 degrees to -30 degrees Celsius (around -13 degrees to -22 degrees Fahrenheit).

Dairy products

Dairy products like milk, yogurt, fermented dairy, and even milk alternatives like soy products need to be transported in temperatures around 2 degrees to 4 degrees Celsius (around 35 degrees to 39 degrees Fahrenheit).

All the goods mentioned above tend to be sensitive to temperature. Too much exposure to the wrong temperature can lead to damage or items rotting during transit. 

Choosing the Right Cold Chain Logistics

If you are transporting perishable goods, you need to make sure you have the right cold chain logistics services. But with many providers popping up left and right, it can be overwhelming to narrow down your choices. Let’s go over some tips to help you find the best cold chain logistics provider for you:


You want a cold chain logistic company that is able to update the whereabouts of your goods in real-time. You need to know where your goods are at this moment, what time they will arrive at their destination, or if there are any delays that need to be put into accoun. This lowers the risks of goods going missing, taking on damges, or arriving late and angering clients.


No matter how “high-tech” a logistics company may seem, you should always look into their customer reviews. Ask around if you know any companies that have used their services. Know the pros and cons of working with them, and whether or not they are able to meet delivery dates. You should also find out how accessible their customer services are. Will you get a prompt response if you have questions? Does the company offer swift solutions should a problem arise?

Transportation Capabilities

The next thing you should look into are the company’s transportation capabilities. You want a logistics provider that has other transportation capabilities that you can use when shipping out different types of goods. Ideally, you should be looking for companies that also have cold storage warehousing and cold storage carrier services. 


Finally, you need to ask what technology they are using in their trucks, warehouse facilities, offices, etc. They should be using technology that ensures your goods stay fresh or frozen even after a long day’s drive. Now, there’s no “perfect” technology that you should be looking out for. Just make sure that the company you plan on working with is using technology and machinery that suits your needs best. 

Shipping with GoShip

Companies like can ensure the safe and timely delivery of your frozen goods. You get real-time updates on where your items are and even an early heads-up should there be any delays. 
Get your price quotations now at GoShip!

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