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Summer Shipping
San Rafael, USA
Forum Posts: 10
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May 27, 2007
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June 15, 2007 - 8:26 pm
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For those of you who have web-based businesses, how are you dealing with temperature control issues? A couple of the orders I've sent out have arrived as puddles despite having put ice packs in the box.

I am fascinated by chocolate, from its origin to its production and beyond.

www.TheXocolateBar.com Sausalito, CA
Southgate, USA
Forum Posts: 178
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February 14, 2006
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June 15, 2007 - 9:58 pm
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I live in Michigan and have my Chocolate shipped from Oregon (Chocosphere). Shipment during the summer simply is not possible. The cold packs can neither stay cold enough or long enough to be of any use.

There a couple delis I go to during the winter to get some of the good stuff, but nothing extraordinary.

Best thing is to stock up before the winter.

Forum Posts: 208
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May 22, 2005
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June 16, 2007 - 12:38 am
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Summer shipping is naturally an inherent problem for chocolate. We work with FedEx to locate our buyers and determine what location routes and temperatures are, which can help with packing requirements.

Coldest cold packs I've found are dry-ice based, and the recommendation I've received is to use 1 lb. per cubic foot per day of travel.

Confections are especially difficult, so best of luck!


http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com http://www.bittersweetcafe.com
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom

Forum Posts: 283
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October 13, 2009
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June 16, 2007 - 10:10 pm
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Originally posted by Eshra

I live in Michigan and have my Chocolate shipped from Oregon (Chocosphere). Shipment during the summer simply is not possible. The cold packs can neither stay cold enough or long enough to be of any use.
Best thing is to stock up before the winter.

Well, like most things, virtually anything is possible if you're willing to spend the money. It's all a matter of cost. Chocosphere has insulated Styrofoam boxes with ice packs, and that's decent, but if you want to go bananas you can do better. One level up is the box-within-a-box. Get your inner box (insulated Styro is one reasonable choice), ice pack that, then put that box in a bigger box filled with Styrofoam "s"'s. The inner box should be in the centre, so that it's "floating" in the bigger box and no sides are touching the wall of the outer box.

After that you can also wrap boxes (e.g. the inner box) in foil. This prevents radiative heat transfer..

Upping the ante a bit, for better insulation instead of Styrofoam you can use wool. A box wrapped in something like a wool blanket within a box is really pretty effective at insulation.

You can also get small portable ice chests (these really are small, perhaps 20cm on a side) - these offer vastly improved insulation. Seattle Caviar for example uses them to ship caviar in. However as you may have guessed by now it starts to look expensive.

Finally, of course, if you are prepared for the cost you can have the chocolate sent by refrigerated truck, however, this also puts it outside the realm of the post as well and into the realm of freight handling. It also doesn't prevent the chocolate from melting on arrival, especially if no one is there to receive the shipment (which tends to cause additional complications since shippers expect someone there to receive delivery whenever they decide to show up)

Back to reality, the key thing about using ice packs is proper insulation. Ice packs are useless if put in an uninsulated box but with very thorough insulation (such as box-within-box, foil-wrapped, wool-insulated) they can survive for 2 or 3 days. I've successfully transported meat this way, and managed to have it stay at fridge temperature or lower for 2 days, inside a car, in weather that was about 30C/88F. This makes, e.g. transcontinental shipment in the USA within reach provided you ship with 2 day shipping rather than surface transport.

The economics of this really make it practical only for larger shipments, i.e. it makes little sense to spend more than the chocolate itself in order to ship it.

Alex Rast

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
Sunnyvale, USA
Forum Posts: 18
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June 11, 2007
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June 18, 2007 - 6:23 am
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Shipping in general is all ready a nuisance. I've shipped chocolate from California to Virginia beach. What i've done is pack styrofoams with at least 2 ice packs. Make sure that the ice packs and chocolate box are ziplocked/ vacuum sealed. Surround the chocolate box with the ice packs. Then cut out a smaller styrofoam lid to fit inside the styrofoam, this will create a tight seal/ vacuum. Finally, close the styrofoam with the lid and tape the seams. Place the styrofoam box into a slightly larger box and create a tight package by filling it with peanuts/ bubbles. Tape the final packaging box and make sure that all the seams are double taped.

I've also sent out packages with dry ice. But if you are going to use dry ice, make sure that the styrofoams are complete sealed.

I've also learned that there's these gel pack sheets foiund on cameron packaging.com. They swear that these work just as well as the regular gel packs yet it costs less and possibly lighter. This will definitely help with your shipping cost.

Cambridge, United Kingdom
Forum Posts: 10
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March 26, 2008
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April 16, 2008 - 9:36 pm
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Can anyone recommend a good courier company for temperature-regulated shipping of chocolate products during the summer months in the UK?

Many thanks,


Dr S. L. Thompson
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Summer Shipping | Chocolate business | Forum