Are you ready to become a shipping pro? In the first session of our webinar series, The ShippingEasy SpeakEasy, we’ll take you through shipping specialty items, including perishable foods, baked goods, and ice cream, and how to utilize your ShippingEasy account when shipping these products. And don’t worry, we’ll recap all of the main points from the session and link the recording below if you couldn’t attend.
Shipping perishable goods 🥩
Before we go into the shipping logistics of perishable goods, let’s classify the products we’re talking about. According to USPS, perishable mail is considered to be “anything that can deteriorate in the mail and thereby lose value…under ordinary mailing conditions.” Meat and eggs are both eligible to ship with specialty packaging though! The big thing to note is perishable items are shipped at your own risk. Reduce the amount of risk with the following steps:
- Attach labels on the inner and outer packaging in case of smearing
- Include arrows to show carriers how your box should be handled
- Use the carrier notes feature in ShippingEasy to let carriers know the contents of your shipment are perishable, right on the label*
- Label the shipment as perishable on the packaging
*Note: Only domestic USPS labels can include carrier notes.
For more information on shipping perishable items, check out How to Ship Food with USPS.
Shipping with dry ice 🧊
Products like meat and ice cream may require dry ice to keep products cold in transit. Believe us, no one wants spoiled meat or melted ice cream on their porch. However, keep in mind that most carriers regard 5-5.5 pounds or more of dry ice as a hazardous material and will need to be shipped via a ground service. Also, when shipping with dry ice, your package will require additional labels.
If you’re nervous about the added weight dry ice gives your shipments, you can package up those fears! ShippingEasy merchants can save custom packaging options to be used with shipping presets and shipping rules. When saving custom packaging, you can select an add-to weight. This weight will be automatically added to the weight of incoming shipments, so you can use it to account for the dry ice included with perishable orders. Pretty cool, right?
Shipping baked goods 🥧
Your flaky and crumbly pastries are meant to be enjoyed as a whole treat, not in flakes and crumbles! Secure baked goods by using the correct size packaging — don’t place your treats in oversized boxes. And, consider double-packaging your baked goods to create more layers of cushioning.
Lastly, despite how strange it sounds, include a piece of white bread in the container with your cookies and similar treats. The bread will provide moisture for your cookies and keep them tasty. But, like Rob Zaleski, Brand Manager for ShippingEasy mentioned, it might be worth adding a note to your packing slip, so your customers aren’t confused.
Shipping coffee ☕
Customers count on your coffee to help prepare them for a day of shipping. Don’t let their coffee arrive damaged or stale! Wrap your coffee bags in bubble wrap in case there are any rips or tears in transit. Much like baked goods, the box you’re shipping a bag(s) of coffee in shouldn’t be much larger than the actual item(s).
ShippingEasy has brewed up a few ways to help you ship coffee through your account:
- Use the rate calculator to compare rates across carriers. You can even select the best rate and apply it to your shipment.
- Enable customer marketing* to send customers reminder emails, so they can reorder coffee when running low.
- Utilize Cubic rates for packages between 2-20 pounds and with dimensions up to 12 inches x 12 inches x 12 inches. Cubic rates use Priority Mail services, so you’ll still have tracking information for your customers.
*Note: Customer marking is an add-on feature and does have an additional charge.
And there you have it! Shipping food items, highly perishable or not, is achievable for your small business. Some of these products might take extra packaging or more labeling, but features within your ShippingEasy account assist with these extra steps. If you missed this session, you can mark your calendar for the upcoming ShippingEasy SpeakEasy events below:
- Wednesday, May 10, 2023: Branding the Shipping Experience
- Wednesday, August 30, 2023
- Wednesday, December 13, 2023
- How to Ship Food with USPS | ShippingEasy
- How to Ship Ice Cream | ShippingEasy
- How to Ship Coffee | ShippingEasy
- How to Ship Baked Goods | ShippingEasy