How to protect your parcels and palletized goods in hot weather
Posted 25th August, 2021
We may have been relishing the rather un-Britishly hot weather that the first week of the summer holidays has gifted us with – but for those who have sensitive goods to protect, excessive heat is not desirable. While warmer weather can obviously be a problem for perishable, heat-sensitive goods such as chocolate, produce, flowers and pharmaceutical products, it can also be harmful to a wide range of other products including precision equipment, musical instruments, paints and finishes and more. Read on to discover how to make sure your parcels and palletized goods do not fall victim to the heat this summer.
1. Identify perishable and heat-sensitive goods
Although it is a legal requirement to regularly monitor temperatures of chilled and frozen foods in transit, not all goods will fall into this category. It is, however, worth noting that the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) defines any shipment that contains items that will deteriorate over any given time period if exposed to harsh environmental conditions, including humidity or temperature as perishable goods. This means that the list includes not just meats, seafood, dairy, produce and plants but anything else that fits the definition. On the other hand, it does not include other sensitive items such as scientific apparatus, musical instruments and other technology that is best kept at a stable temperature. If you are intending to ship any such items, it is important to discuss your requirements with your logistics provider in advance.
2. Plan your shipping times
Even if your products do not require specialist temperature-controlled storage and transportation, there are some simple ways to help prevent the risk of heat damage. One way is to speak to your carrier and try to schedule deliveries in the early morning or later in the evening to avoid goods standing in strong sunlight and travelling in lorries or vans during the hottest periods of the day.
3. Choose the right packaging
Remember that some materials absorb more heat than others, while certain packaging materials are also sensitive to climate. Darker colours absorb heat rather than reflecting it, for example – so it may be advisable not to use black foil to wrap goods.
It is also useful to know that shrink wrap is best stored at lower temperatures. If your premises has areas of high heat that exceed normal room temperature of around 18 degrees celsius, you may wish to consider the optimum location for storage as it may prematurely shrink and compromise its ability to protect your goods. You should not, however, refrigerate your films! PVC can become brittle if placed in extreme cold and will be no longer be functional. If you are packaging frozen foods and other items that must be cooled in a refrigerator, it is recommended to use a quality polyolefin film designed for this purpose instead.
4. Ensure packaging is not compromised
Keeping an eye out to make sure that raw packaging materials and shipments aren’t compromised can help to ensure your deliveries get from A to B safely, and can even save you money by reducing wastage.
If you are using shrink wrap, look out for rolls that are beginning to stick to each other as these may have lost integrity and could fail in transit. You should also look out for rolls that look saggy or droopy at the ends, as this is also a sign that they have become heat damaged. With cardboard packaging, make sure that the layers haven’t begun to peel away as this can significantly impact the strength.
5. Label consignments clearly
If your goods must be stored within specific temperature parameters or, for example, must be kept out of direct sunlight, make sure this is clearly reflected on the labels. In addition, it is worth speaking to both your courier and the recipient so that they are aware of how to best handle your goods to ensure customer satisfaction.
For all your national and international parcel and palletized shipping needs, get in touch with the experts at Station Couriers today. Call now on 01686 621190.