When you operate a global supply chain, you are sending materials and products through all sorts of different climates. Shipments might travel through arid deserts or muggy swamps - and they will almost certainly spend some time in freezing temperatures.
Unfortunately, exceedingly low temperatures can cause damage to some types of materials. If you want to make sure that your shipments stay safe in cold weather, you can use the following techniques to monitor and protect your goods as they travel around the globe.
Before you pack any goods into a shipping container and send it through any type of inclement weather, you need to have a basic understanding of how your goods will react to changes in temperature. Specifically, you need to understand the temperature thresholds that could be dangerous to your materials and items, so you can prevent undue damage to your shipment. You might ask your suppliers for information about temperature safety in shipping, or you might conduct research of your own to reach conclusions about how heat and cold will affect your goods.
It is much easier to keep goods safe when you know that everything within a certain package or freight container will react to freezing temperatures the same way. When like items are shipped together, you can use the same method of protecting your goods from the freezing cold, and you can be reasonably certain that your entire shipment will survive unscathed. In contrast, when items that react differently to temperature changes are mixed into the same shipment, you will need to levy additional and diverse defenses to ensure that all your goods are adequately protected from the cold.
Allowing mostly empty boxes is a poor packaging procedure first because they allow your goods to shift during transport, resulting in shock and impact damage and second because the air is a poor insulator against the cold. You should surround your goods with insulation, like synthetic foams or natural fibers, which will hold onto the heat surrounding the goods when they are packed. You can also cover your packages with cargo blankets or pallet covers, which will further insulate against the cold.
Use Smart Thermometers for Monitoring
If you are shipping items that are extremely sensitive to changes in temperature, it is likely worth your time to install smart thermometers in your packaging. These gadgets will monitor the temperature of your shipment and send alerts if the mercury dips too low or rises too high to keep your items safe. Some smart thermometers can connect to a shipping container’s heater or reefer unit and automatically change the interior temperature, while others will prompt you or the driver to make changes to the temperature to keep the shipment protected from freezing cold.
If your goods are not so sensitive to freezing temperatures - but you still want to know how cold your goods got during shipment - you might use a temperature indicator. These tools, available from SpotSee, change color when a certain threshold temperature has been breached, and they will remain that color until delivery, at which point you or your customer can make an accurate accept or reject decision regarding the shipment. Temperature indicators are much easier to use than smart thermometers and other high-tech gadgets, as they arrive ready to use and adhere directly to your shipped packages. What’s more, temperature indicators tend to be among the most affordable option for understanding temperature in shipment, so beginner business leaders can use them as well as business experts.
To prevent sensitive cargo from sustaining damage while traveling through freezing parts of the world, you need to invest in temperature-controlled transport. Some shipping containers are equipped with heaters that will maintain a steady temperature in the cargo bay for the duration of the trip. Of course, there are risks to temperature-controlled transport - most notably the cost but also the potential that heating and cooling units will fail during shipment. You need to be certain that the shipper you use is reliable as well as affordable.
Freezing temperatures pose a real threat to many different types of materials and items, especially when they are unprotected during shipment. You should anticipate freezing cold in your supply chain and take steps to mitigate its effects on your shipped goods.