5 Tips for Shipping Food Across the Country

shipping food

shipping food

If you have a child away at college, sending a care package with his or her favorite baked goods can make your student less homesick. But, what’s the best way to ship baked goods?

During the holiday season, you may want to send relatives your famous homemade chocolate truffles as gifts. So, how does one send perishable foods?

Or you might be thinking about starting a cupcake business that would include shipping your delicious treats across the country. Is there a particular way to ship cakes or cupcakes?

All of these situations involve shipping food, which requires special care and protection from the elements. In addition, these packages can be subject to extreme temperature conditions which can affect the quality of the contents.

When sending food in the mail, it’s important to consider proper packaging, refrigeration, and insulation to keep food safe and intact when it reaches its final destination.

It’s also important to choose the right courier service.

If you follow these five tips, you can ensure the food will arrive safely when sending edible gifts and perishables across the country.

1. Place Goods in Appropriate Container

After baking, allow the food items to cool completely. If you pack up baked goods before cooling, they will release condensation and will become soggy.

Place in an airtight container that is a snug as possible. If the container is too big, items will move around and may fall apart. If there’s extra space, fill that space up with something soft to cushion the food.

You can also use a zip-locked bag. Containers or bags should be wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to help maintain the temperature. Also, it will contain possible spillage.

2. Keep Cold

Even perishable foods that don’t normally require refrigeration should be kept cool, especially during the summer. Duct tape a cold pack to the bottom of the container. Cold packs can keep food cold for a long time.

If shipping meats or poultry, then attach the cold pack to the top with duct tape. Then wrap the whole thing with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

It’s important to keep fresh foods from freezing, or frozen foods from melting or thawing. Non-frozen foods should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Place Contents in Box

Put the entire contents in a box with room for packing peanuts. The box should be either foam or corrugated cardboard and be new. Old boxes degrade over time and become weak.

Foam is a good choice for foods that must maintain a certain temperature, and especially if it needs to stay cool.

If you’re shipping items in glass, such as mason jars, wrap the glass containers in bubble wrap and then surround with peanuts.

Newspapers are not a good source of insulation. It can get wet, tear and doesn’t provide sufficient protection.

Wrap and seal the box with shipping tape only, and not duct or masking tape, which can melt in the heat.

4. Choose a Reliable Shipping Courier

Find a courier service that is experienced in handling and quickly delivering last minute packages that contain food item. Some courier services do not necessarily prioritize these kinds of shipments.

Food shipped in the mail should be sent as quickly as possible. Ship it early in the week to make sure that it doesn’t get slowed down over the weekend. This is especially important over the holidays.

Packages mailed on a Thursday or Friday, or just before a holiday, sometimes experience a delay or end up sitting in a warehouse until Monday.

Properly label the box and write “keep refrigerated”, “perishable” on the box. You will need to let the carrier know that you are shipping food items.

When you mail the package, you should receive a tracking number and an estimated date of delivery.

At this time, notify the recipient to be on the lookout for the package, so that it doesn’t sit out on a porch for too long. You should also remind the recipient if the package needs to be refrigerated or placed in the freezer right away.

5. Make Sure Packages Arrive Safely

When the food arrives, check with the recipient to make sure it arrived safely. Food that should be frozen should arrive at least partially frozen. Ice crystals should be visible.

If food is warmer than 40 degrees, notify the shipping company immediately and do not eat the food.

How to Ship Perishable Foods Review

For review here are the steps for Shipping Refrigerated Items:

  • Use gel coolant
  • Freeze coolant a couple days prior to use
  • Pre-cool the shipping container
  • Double-bag foods with liquids
  • Line the inside of the container with plastic if shipping liquids
  • Place the container in a box and surround completely with packing peanuts
  • Seal inner liner
  • Place styrofoam container into a corrugated box
  • Seal with shipping tap on all seams

And for Shipping Frozen Items:

  • Freeze food items before packing
  • Precool the container
  • Line the container with plastic
  • Place dry ice in the container all around the item
  • Seal and place in a corrugated box
  • Fill the box with packing peanuts
  • Seal all seams with shipping tape

Dry ice is considered a dangerous good/hazardous material. Prior to shipping you must fill out all required paperwork and label the box appropriately.

Shipping seafood requires some additional steps:

  • Seafood should be double-bagged in plastic, with each bag individually sealed
  • Place absorbent materials on the bottom of the container, such as paper towels.
  • Ship overnight if possible

To ensure speedy and safe shipping, it’s important to take these necessary steps.

Shipping Food through the Mail

If you take all the above steps, you should have no problem sending thoughtful and delicious packages to your friends or loved ones.

If you’re sending food as part of your business, using a reliable shipping company is essential and makes all the difference between a bad Yelp review and a repeat customer.

Contact us for more information on courier services or for a free quote.

8 Ways to Reduce Shipping Air Freight Cost

Air freight is much faster than shipping freight. Especially when ships have already slowed down to the pace of a sailing clipper to save on fuel. And when confidence in the ocean shipping market is looking a little shaky compared to air.

But the freight cost covers that speed difference. Shipping your goods in a plane is speedy but pricey.

The good thing is there are ways to optimize your air freight routine to reduce the transport costs, and we’re going to share these tricks with you.

1. Space Out Your Shipping

More cargo, less often. That’s the golden rule to keep air freight costs low.

There are two main things to consider when pricing up a freight job: the distance and the weight of whatever you’re shipping.

If you send lots of small and light packages, the price you pay covers the distance factor each and every time. If you combine these into one large shipment, you’ll pay a lump sum all at once, but it’ll probably be cheaper overall than the first option.

Of course, while it’s ideal if you’re able to space out your shipping, that doesn’t match up with every business’ needs. Or it might not match up with your cash flow. So if this isn’t for you, how else can you keep those air freight costs low?

2. Use a Consolidation Shipping Service

Consolidation services take small packages and bundle them together in the ‘spare space’ within other shipments.

This is an ideal solution for any business that can’t avoid sending relatively small packages on a regular basis.

Rather than paying for your own, expensive, shipping space, you ‘fill in the gaps’ in another shipment, paying only for what you use. The company sending the larger shipment save money by not paying for empty space, and you get a great shipping cost.

3. Negotiate a Long-Term Agreement

To cut down on the amount you spend on shipping, don’t just keep using the same service. But we don’t necessarily mean shop around for a better price.

Developing a relationship is more valuable than the short-term gains of looking at other providers. Talk to your regular provider about setting up an agreement which benefits you both in the long term.

You may be able to make a commitment to ship a set amount of goods each month, for example. If that’s the case, to ‘lock in’ that business for themselves, the courier service is likely to be able to negotiate with you on the price.

4. Prioritize and Keep Freight Costs Low

One other way to keep overall shipping costs low is to prioritize your shipments by order of urgency. Things that can’t wait go by air. Things that can wait go by road or boat, whichever is suitable.

Using a mix of transportation solutions means that only your urgent shipments cost you air freight prices.

It’s a simple and easy way to save money. Just make sure all staff involved in your shipping process know what types of shipments take priority.

5. Do You Need All That Packaging?

We understand that people are a little more cautious when shipping by air. Airplanes’ speed and the potential for turbulence, make many customers a little nervous when shipping their precious cargo.

But in many cases, the packaging we see is just a little over the top.

Take a proportionate view of the risk of damaged goods. If you’re shipping very sturdy items, save cash by stripping back some of the packaging. You’ll save both on weight and on the packaging materials themselves.

If you’d like some advice on suitable packaging for your needs, just ask us.

6. Let the Carrier Pick Up Later On

Most businesses have closed up shop by around six in the evening. Which means the carrier can’t pick up their goods.

Reduce transport costs by allowing them to come by later on. When you do this, you’re helping to maximize their efficiency – as they can pick up more items in a day. So they might be able to offer you a better price.

It can also be a good way to build a good relationship with the carrier. Which in turn should affect the rates you’re offered.

Of course, if you’re not willing to hang around yourself, you’ll have to pay staff to stay on until later in the evening. Do the math and make sure it still makes financial sense.

7. Ship Off-Peak

Some days are more expensive than others. This depends on demand, though it’s generally the case that Friday is the cheapest day to ship on.

This is because many recipients want to be stocked for the weekend rush, and will be looking to receive goods on Thursday or Friday. These need to be shipped on Wednesday or Thursday.

So if your shipment can wait until Friday, you might bag yourself a better deal.

8. Outsource Transport Needs

A small business probably doesn’t have much call for a freight team.

Outsource your shipping management needs to a reliable logistics company. They’ll sort everything out for you at a fraction of the cost of a full-time member(s) of staff.

Plus, they already have the in-house expertise to keep all your logistical needs running smoothly.

Are You Ready to Ship?

ASAP Courier provides national and international shipping solutions for time-definite delivery needs.

Set up a new account in minutes and get a quote for your next vital shipment. Our licensed and insured staff will make sure your package arrives when it’s needed.

If you have any questions about air freight costs, or any other shipping queries, we’ll be very happy to help you.

6 Instances When It’s Cheaper To Hire A Local Delivery Service

local delivery

Even in the era of non-stop digital communication, there are still thousands of bike couriers in cities like New York alone. Local delivery is essential to businesses like law firms, food and beverage companies, and major institutions. While it might be appealing to have things handled by your standard national mail delivery service, a local delivery service can guarantee cheap delivery.

If you need your forms downtown by the end of the day, hiring a package delivery service could cost your hundreds. Hiring a local courier service could cost a fraction of that and get done right on time. While you might think the service level of a local delivery service would cost more, it’s more efficient and effective than a national service.

There are a number of ways that hiring a local delivery company can save you money. Here are 6 instances when you should rely on local delivery.

1. Shipping Perishables

Shipping perishable items can be costly with a large national chain. You’ll be paying for a special refrigerated vehicle, likely be storing it overnight, and could run into all kinds of risks in the interim.

If you simply need these perishables sent across town, hire a local delivery service. They can often pick them up and drop them off within an hour. Given that you don’t know how long your packages could be sitting on a dock with a nationwide chain, a local delivery company provides services they can’t.

This could save you a lot of money in potentially lost or spoiled inventory. You’ll have satisfied customers, and you’ll have provided service few companies can. There are very few companies, aside from local pizza delivery, that can get you a perishable food or medication within a couple of hours.

Hiring a local service ensures that customers get what they want at a price point that could cost you less than if you went with another service.

2. Dealing With Legal Documents

When you’re dealing with a legal matter, time is often of the essence. A delayed transfer of ownership could cause one party to develop cold feet and back out of a deal. That could cost you or your firm thousands to millions of dollars.

Don’t trust these vital documents to go out with the 5 PM mail. Hire a local delivery service to pick up the papers and drop them off immediately.

Local couriers know the quickest route to get to Point B. They won’t throw your vital forms on the back of a truck and deal with them when they get a chance. Your needs will be the priority of the moment and will be met with top priority.

You won’t have to worry about a deal going south so long as you’ve got a local delivery company handling your package.

3. Working In The Medical Industry

While many industries claim that their matters are “life and death”, this can be true in the medical industry. If older x-rays or files need to be brought from one end of the city to the next, a local delivery company is your best option. Rather than having medical staff leave their post, you can have a much less costly delivery professional bring them to the office they’re needed at.

If a sample needs to get across town for an important test, you might not be able to wait until the next business day. A local delivery company can get it there safely and securely within an hour or two.

You’ll save money for your medical office by retaining patients who love the efficiency of your services. You’ll also be saving on the costs you would be spending to do a same-day delivery with one of the big 3 or 4 national delivery companies. A local delivery company can help to ensure patients get the care they need when they need it.

4. You’ve Made Mistakes In The Past

If you’ve had trouble with other delivery services or have had a lot of returns from a certain client, a local delivery company can be a lifesaver. They can offer your clients the kind of personal and professional attention that they demand.

Instead of shipping items out at the end of the day as most companies do, you can send a single personalized shipment to a customer you’re on the mend with. Repair your relationship with a customer who is skeptical by giving them the time and attention they deserve. They’ll take notice and will begin to rebuild their loyalty to you and your company.

5. You Want To Outdo Your Competitors

Most businesses don’t offer same-day or local delivery. Other than flower shops on Mother’s Day, people don’t expect to have their orders delivered on the same day. If you can work this service into your budget, you will increase sales with just a simple gimmick.

Every industry is competing online now. Take things to the next level by giving customers the option to have things delivered in a few hours. Team up with a local delivery service to do this more cheaply than customers could imagine.

6. You’ve Seen A Drop In Sales

Every industry seems to be competing with Amazon. People love the convenience of their services even though they often have to wait a few days to receive their shipments. As a viable alternative, you could offer same day shipping on most local orders.

If you specialize in one particular city, you can build a strong following by getting your products into the hands of customers the day they make their orders.

A Local Delivery Service Is Good For Profits

The rarity of being able to receive your orders on the day you make them makes a local delivery service a must-have for your business. Local delivery can increase sales by showing customers a personalized and caring approach to their needs. You’ll see loyalty, profits, and brand reputation increase when you pair with a great local service.

Autonomous or drone delivery is coming to revolutionize the industry. If you want to know more about how it can affect your company, check out our guide.

6 Times When You Might Need A Same Day Document Courier

You need to get this package delivered today.

But you don’t have time to take it yourself. You also can’t spare anyone to send them out with it. They’d end up stuck in traffic for hours anyway and it would ruin their productivity for the day.

What do you do? The answer might be easier than you think. A reputable same day document courier can get your package where it needs to go at the speed of light.

…Well, maybe not quite that fast, but almost.

Let’s look at 6 instances when same day document delivery would come in handy for your business.

1. You Want to Shine at Customer Service

Customer service can make or break a business. Businesses lose about $62 billion in revenue due to poor customer service. You don’t want your business to be a part of that statistic.

What is an excellent way to go above and beyond and provide stellar customer service? Use a same day document courier to deliver important papers like contracts or invoices.

Same day delivery services are fast. What if traffic is so bad that the delivery truck or van can’t get anywhere quickly? Many services use bicycles or even send a walker to bypass the gridlock and deliver your document on time–or even ahead of schedule.

Your customers will also be impressed that their documents arrive hand-delivered. It shows them that you take their privacy seriously and want to meet their needs as best you can.

2. You Want to Cut Costs

Using a same day document courier can actually be cheaper than delivering documents yourself. When you go yourself, you take time out of your day and put wear and tear on your vehicle.

To get around that, you might send an employee. But you’re still paying that employee, perhaps hourly, and they’ll go in a company vehicle. So you’re putting wear and tear on your vehicle.

Depending on where you are and the time of day, you could be sending them out to sit in traffic. Traffic can turn a 30-minute errand into an hours-long nightmare and increases the wear and tear on your car.

By that time you’ve spent far more paying your employee than the cost of delivery.

Courier service can save money by moving packages in bulk or using some of the alternate means of transportation we mentioned earlier.

3. You Want to Avoid Extra Training and Liability

Do you tend to send a lot of documents? You might think that it is worth it to you to create your own in-house delivery team. But that delivery team comes with a price.

You’ll have to pay someone (or several people) to handle the deliveries. You’ll also need to purchase and maintain a company car to use for deliveries.

Another thing you might not think about is that you’ll have to train those people. There are also certifications they have to keep current on.

Plus, you are now liable in certain cases. For example, what if your in-house delivery driver gets into an accident? The whole thing gets even worse if it turns out to be your employee’s fault.

Now you’re liable and it falls on your insurance. That can turn into an ugly situation pretty quick and at the very least, your insurance premiums will go up. We don’t have to tell you how much of a headache and a financial risk this can be.

It’s easier to avoid all that and use a reliable same day document courier. You can rest easy with the peace of mind that your package will get where it needs to go. And you’re not liable if something goes wrong.

4. You Send Packages Infrequently

An in-house delivery team would also be extremely impractical if you don’t send packages that often. Even if you send a few packages a day, that doesn’t warrant paying a full-time employee to handle deliveries.

Your wallet will be much happier if you simply hire that out. A courier service will get it delivered faster anyways. They have the process far more streamlined than you can make it.

5. You Need Last-Minute Delivery

At times you may have an emergency package that needs to go out at the last-minute. You’re closing down and people are already heading home for the day. How will you get that package where it needs to go?

Many rush couriers are available 24/7. They can get your emergency packages where they need to go at any time of the day. That’s far more than you can expect from an in-house crew.

6. Specialized Services

A same day document courier will often offer useful specialized services. For example, they may serve legal papers or provide last flight out services. Final mile delivery ensure that your packages make it where they need to go as fast as possible.

Some places even offer luggage transportation. That can come in handy for those business and personal trips when your luggage must travel separately.

Find Your Same Day Document Courier Today

There are many instances in which a same day document courier can come in really handy. Most of all it has to do with the convenience of getting your packages delivered fast and on time.

It can be expensive to maintain your own in-house delivery team. Building a relationship with a dependable courier service is a great alternative. Fewer headaches for you and, in most cases, you’ll save money at the same time.

Looking for a quick quote on a package? Get your quote from Need it Now Delivers! today. We make sure that your package arrives at its destination on time. We can even offer same day international delivery within certain parameters.

Check us out today to find out how we can get your business moving at the speed of light!