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Understanding Perishable Goods

With the rise of global operations, businesses are more frequently forced to ship perishable goods worldwide. This type of shipment is carried out with special mechanisms and at a certain temperature or temperature range to preserve the goods being shipped.

What are temperature-controlled goods?

Temperature-controlled or perishable goods refer to products that will spoil unless stored at a specific temperature or, are in a controlled environment. Examples of common perishable goods include fresh meat, frozen food, pharmaceutical drugs, and flowers.

By understanding the difference between shipping dry freight versus temperature-sensitive perishables and the inherent risks involved, you can take better preventative measures to ensure they do not become an issue.

Different perishable goods have different requirements for storage and handling, which makes things complicated for air freight transporters. For instance, fresh meat must be stored at a different temperature to pharmaceutical drugs which are commonly transported via air. Keep in mind that temperature-controlled shipping includes all processes involved in the preparation of the order, the transport, and the delivery of the goods in special refrigerated conditions.

How to pack it right?

For shipments that require temperature control, it’s standard to use thermal insulating packaging since it helps maintain a consistent temperature and protects the goods from external temperature fluctuations.

Type of Packaging:


It’s an affordable, flexible, and resistant material, but it’s not very efficient when it comes to temperature. Therefore, it’s usually combined with other materials.

Aluminised foam

This insulating material can be used to cover the package and provide a protective layer against external temperatures and damage.


Plastic material with high-insulating properties. It can be used as an additional layer of protection or on its own.

Ice packs

These bags are inserted in the parcel to maintain the cold chain in any condition. They usually come in a gel form.

Refrigerated container or reefer

They work as a portable cold room that protects the product during transportation and distribution.

Always remember to use shipping labels that show the perishable condition of the products and communicate to the courier how the parcel should be handled and stored.

Understanding the rules and regulations:

Many countries have strict rules about importing and exporting food items and pharmaceuticals. This is largely dependent on the origin and destination shipping regions, or the category that the goods fall under. It is best to work with a trusted freight forwarding company, like Image International Freight, and discuss the rules and regulations required for moving your goods. Call or email us today at to discuss your perishable goods freight requirements.


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