How to get your packaging choices right when shipping in winter

Josie Morris. Insulated Packaging. Naturally.

Woolcool® was launched in 2008 and the innovative, sustainable design has scooped an impressive haul of awards in the packaging, business and environmental arenas.

December, 2023

Winter is here – and the colder weather it brings can produce challenges for shipping your temperature-controlled goods – but Woolcool’s adaptability offers the perfect product range to tailor your solution to the colder climate.

After all, our multi-award-winning packaging products utilise the remarkable properties of 100% pure wool, a natural smart fibre, which has been developed in nature’s own laboratory over thousands of years – evolution.

Naturally, wool has impeccable ‘green’ credentials. It’s recyclable, reusable, compostable, renewable and abundant.

But, after investing millions of pounds in scientific research, we also have the hard data to show that its properties as an insulator prove it outperforms manmade pollutants such as polystyrene in temperature-controlled packaging. Crucially, it’s just as effective in protecting your packaged goods in lower temperatures as it is in warmer conditions.

So, what are the challenges of shipping in winter, and what changes should you consider?
Different contents require different approaches when it comes to creating the right temperature-controlled packaging solution in winter. Every company and product has unique temperature requirements.

For Pharma, our clients’ main concern is ensuring their product arrives intact with its integrity uncompromised, while with Food businesses, although performance is still key, often consider the costs associated with shipping their goods. Pharma products are typically more temperature sensitive, which is why the colder temperatures need closely managing when compared to most products in the food sector. For both industries, we see that sustainability is rapidly making its way up the priority list.

One thing you have to bear in mind is the transit journey of your package, and what variations in temperature it is likely to encounter before delivery. Just because it’s winter, it doesn’t mean that every environment your box experiences will be cold.

As the winter sets in, if you want the warm, secure feeling of knowing your products are in good hands, Woolcool’s tried and tested solutions are the best choice.

Josie Morris MBE

Managing Director, Woolcool®

Fresh product delivery from Woolcool

Even at the start of its journey, you need to take this into account. In the summer months, when you might be packing your goods in a warm warehouse with the doors open, the emphasis is on adding ice packs and coolants to keep your contents cool.

However, just because the winter months bring colder outside temperatures, it doesn’t mean you no longer need that coolant, because indoor temperatures might be higher. If you are packing your goods in a warehouse with the heating on and the doors closed, ice packs could be vital to maintain the interior of your package while it waits to be shipped out.

It’s all about balance – because cooler weather means you will most likely not need as much ice as you would during warmer weather. It’s about getting the right advice, running tests where necessary, optimising your packaging for the winter and having a temperature packing protocol which helps you define how much ice you use, as well as the other elements of your box.

That protocol should also ensure that you don’t end up with too many ice packs, which in cold weather could see your inner temperature drop too low, which can be of particular concern for Pharma products.

By testing to find the best optimised packaging mix for your winter product, and then reviewing the results, you can not only develop a practical and applicable protocol that suits your needs, you can also ensure that you minimise costs. We will collaborate with our clients to ensure we are tailoring to suit, not only their box sizes, but their protocol based on climate too.

Getting it right also has the benefit of improving the sustainability of your package. Whatever the weather, optimising your packaging ensures that you reduce wastage, cost and as a result its impact on the environment.

Then there is the potential impact of winter conditions to be considered, first on the package itself and also on logistics.

When the weather is harsher, packaging needs to be suitably robust to protect the contents. That robustness could also be needed if your delivery experiences delays caused by the weather.

What we do know for sure, is that in the cooler climates where our customers use our packaging, they are getting better results – because the properties of real wool make it the ideal insulator in such conditions. Evidence shows that other solutions struggle to match the performance of wool in the winter. When the temperature outside plummets below the range you require, wool will protect your products for longer. Think woolly jumper in the snow!

As innovators in this field, we provide expertise built up over more than a decade to advise you on the best options for you and your product, to help you avoid what so many experience if they choose the wrong solution when dealing with winter deliveries: a disappointed customer at the end of the delivery chain.

Wool is a super fibre, developed by Mother Nature to withstand harsh winters. Our ongoing research and development has refined this natural material, optimising its performance to provide truly flexible solutions for clients.

As the winter sets in, if you want the warm, secure feeling of knowing your products are in good hands, Woolcool’s tried and tested solutions are the best choice.

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