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What to Look for in Cold Chain Packaging Manufacturers

There are many products and packages that require cold chain packaging when being shipped from one location to another. Some of the industries that make use of such packaging include pharmaceuticals, vaccines, blood transportation, human and animal specimens, and the food industry. In this article, we will discuss the types of cold chain packaging available as well as provide you with tips on how to find the best cold chain packaging manufacturers for your shipping needs.


What Are the Different Types of Cold Chain Packaging?

Depending on the amount of cooling that is required for a specific package, there are different types of cold chain packaging. The three most commonly used cold chain packaging items and/or materials consist of:

  • Polystyrene Shipping Containers: As one can imagine, insulation is key to cold chain packaging. Polystyrene is often used to manufacture shipping containers as it has high-insulating properties. These types of containers are typically available in a variety of sizes.
  • Polyurethane Shipping Containers: Manufactured from polyurethane foam, these containers are sure not to let any air or heat into the container once it has been sealed. Therefore, this is fantastic for maintaining cold temperatures during transport. Polyurethane is also completely environmentally friendly.
  • Gel Packs: These packs are frozen before transportation. Once in the container, they keep the package cold during transport. These gel packs can maintain cold temperatures for several hours.


What Temperature is Cold Chain Packaging?

There are typically three ranges of temperatures that are adhered to in cold chain packaging. Each of these temperatures ranges caters to different products and packages. Depending on what type of package you will be shipping, you will choose the correct option for your product. The three temperature ranges consist of:

  1. Controlled Room Temperature - This is between 20°C and 25°C.
  2. Refrigerated - This is between 2°C and 8°C.
  3. Cryogenic - This is between 0°C and -150°C.


Finding Reliable Cold Chain Packaging Manufacturers

There are a variety of factors to consider when searching for the right cold chain packaging manufacturers. After all, you are transporting very important packages that can in some instances save someone’s life. Some of the things to look for in a cold chain packaging manufacturer include:

  • Quality: As the main aim of cold chain packaging is to retain a consistently cool temperature throughout transportation, it is imperative that the manufacturer you choose has a high-quality product. If not, the temperature-sensitive goods being transported will perish. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the materials used by the manufacturer have insulating properties and can maintain the required temperature for long periods of time.
  • Regulatory Compliance: There are certain regulations surrounding the transportation of perishable goods. These include the temperature to be maintained throughout transportation, the materials used, and so forth. The manufacturer you opt for should be able to produce documentation stating that they do comply with all relevant and required regulations. This will ensure that you are working with a company that does uphold its standards and understands the importance of the packages that are being transported.
  • Customisation Options: Cold chain packaging is not a one size fits all industry. It is, therefore, important that you are able to pick and choose from a variety of options that will suit the product that is being shipped. Factors to keep in mind include the route of transportation, the environment, and the perishable product being shipped. Customisation options should include the size, shape, insulation level, and materials of the cold chain packaging.
  • Experience: As the packages being transported contain very important items, it is extremely important that the manufacturer truly understand the industry and the challenges that come with transporting such sensitive items. This is something only experience can give. It is therefore advisable that you opt for a company that has many years of experience and has already faced all of the challenges that could arise. Such a company will also be able to provide you with advice on the best way to tackle a specific shipment.
  • Sustainability: Sustainable packaging is becoming more of a concern and focus point on a global scale. While the quality of the packaging should be your first priority, it is important to find a company that also has a focus on manufacturing cold chain packaging in a manner that is environmentally sustainable.


African Box Works is a cold chain packaging manufacturer based in South Africa. They have been in the industry for over ten years and have all of the features, expertise, and products you could possibly require when searching for a high-quality cold chain package.


Visit the AgrifoodSA directory to find out more about what Africa Box Works offers.

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African Box Works | What to Look for in Cold Chain Packaging Manufacturer