A Guide to Warehouse Logistics: From Shipping Materials to Fulfilment Efficiency

 

From the time you place an order to the moment your purchase arrives at your home or place of business, your merchandise goes through a complex chain of procedures. It takes several steps to get a product from a warehouse shelf to your mailbox. From storage, customer service and packaging to shipping and tracking, warehouse logistics is a complex process that ensures deliveries arrive safely and in a timely fashion. Continue reading…


The Science Behind a Styrofoam Cooler: How Does It Keep Items Cool?

 

When you need to ship something that needs to stay cool, you probably know that using a Styrofoam cooler is your best bet. Do you know why, though? Whether you are shipping food that needs to be kept cool to stay fresh or you are sending a live reptile, you need temperature-controlled packaging to ensure that the shipment arrives safely.

Much like wrapping up in layers of clothing helps you stay warm during cold weather, Styrofoam keeps items cool by insulating them against heat. Let’s take a closer look at the science behind a Styrofoam cooler.

What Is Styrofoam?

Let’s start with the basics. Styrofoam is the trademarked name for polystyrene foam. This petroleum-based plastic is lightweight and serves as an effective insulator. As such, it does a great job of keeping heat out of things like coolers. Because it is relatively firm, it also helps provide a degree of protection for items while in transit from one place to another.

Thermal Conductivity

Thermal conductivity refers to a material’s ability to conduct heat. Some materials — especially metals — conduct heat well while others — like Styrofoam — conduct it poorly. Both types are useful in certain circumstances, but when it comes to protecting items in a package from the heat of the outside environment, you need a material that is a poor conductor. This helps keep the cool air inside the package while keeping the hot air out.

How Styrofoam Insulates

Styrofoam is primarily made of air. This makes it a poor conductor of heat but an excellent insulator. The air is trapped in small pockets in the polystyrene, and it blocks the flow of heat. In shipping, a small Styrofoam cooler creates a cold zone within a package that allows heat from the outside in at a very slow rate. This makes it possible to ship frozen and perishable items safely, even when it takes a few days for a package to reach its destination.

closeup of cooler box

While a Styrofoam cooler does a great job of keeping cold items cool for long periods of time, they don’t cool items that are already warm. Therefore, ice or cold packs must be used to cool the inside of the container.

Benefits of Using Styrofoam Coolers

When you need to ship items that are temperature sensitive, Styrofoam coolers are an effective and affordable solution. They are favored by the food service industry because they are less costly than other products and they provide better insulation to keep food fresh longer. Because they are made mostly of air, they are extremely lightweight and don’t drive up shipping costs.

Styrofoam coolers come in numerous sizes. Whether you need a small or a large Styrofoam cooler for shipping, it’s possible to find exactly what you need. From tiny boxes used to ship pharmaceutical products to larger containers that are suitable for fresh meal delivery kits and more, there are different sizes for every application.

Because they are durable and easy to clean, Styrofoam coolers can be used and reused several times. They work just as well for camping or fishing trips as other styles of coolers, and they are great to throw in the back of your car for when you pick up frozen groceries. Compared to other types of coolers, they are extremely affordable and lightweight.

Conclusion

Styrofoam coolers are the perfect solution when you need to ship frozen or perishable items. Their light weight means they won’t significantly increase your shipping costs, and their simple design makes them affordable to purchase. When used with ice or cold packs, they can keep food and other items cold for several days.

spring crappie catch in styrofoam cooler

It’s important to note, though, that Styrofoam isn’t one of the most environmentally friendly materials. It takes centuries to break down in landfills, so it’s extremely important to recycle your Styrofoam coolers. Many recycling programs accept Styrofoam, and in some instances, shippers will take them back for recycling. You can also reuse your Styrofoam coolers for camping trips, hunting and fishing expeditions, road trips or even backyard barbecues. You may also have some luck offering them for free on a community sales site. There are a lot of people who will gladly take them off your hands to use for their own purposes.


How to Determine the Right Shipping Tape for Packaging Hazardous Materials

 

When shipping hazardous materials, even the smallest details matter. You obviously need to choose boxes and containers that are suitable for your application and then label them properly, but there is one part you may not have even considered: the right shipping tape. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has rules in place for just about every aspect of shipping hazardous materials by air, ground and sea, so it should come as no surprise that there are regulations on the types of tape that can be used and how that tape should be applied. Continue reading…


Five Shipping and Storing Benefits of Using an Amber Glass Jug

 

When you think about an amber glass jug, you probably imagine it containing a fresh batch of moonshine or some old-timey pharmacy elixir. While they are certainly used for those applications, glass jugs and bottles can be used for so much more. Often found holding beer, soda, wine, essential oils, medicinal syrups and more, they are a common choice for several reasons. Continue reading…


All You Need to Know About Hazmat Placards

 

Transporting hazardous materials is serious business. Getting these potentially dangerous goods from point A to point B without incident is a huge concern, and there are several laws and regulations in place to ensure public safety. Carriers must be licensed, and all hazardous materials must be properly labeled.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that hazmat shipments be placarded in most cases, and if your business plans to transport hazardous materials, you are responsible for providing the carrier with the appropriate placards. Continue reading…


18 Unusual Uses for Shipping Containers

 

Taking an object designed for one purpose and modifying it to create something totally different is a major trend. We hear a lot about repurposing these days, and we are repurposing everything from small craft items to large industrial buildings. Warehouse conversion, for example, has become a booming industry that breathes new life into relics from the past. On the smaller end of the scale, even things like bottle caps can be repurposed to make tiny tea lights. Continue reading…


What Materials Should Be Cushioned with Air Pillows?

When it comes to keeping items safe while in transit, traditional materials like packing peanuts and bubble wrap have largely been replaced by air pillows. If you’ve ever ordered anything from Amazon, you probably know exactly what we are talking about. The e-commerce giant was one of the first to embrace these air-filled plastic pouches, and several other companies have followed suit. Continue reading…