Trrm Banner

20 November 2018



The Three Musketeers of Temperature Control


The Heat Pack


What is it?

  • Our heat packs are heat sources designed specifically for shipping in the pet industry that will last 40 or 72 hours.
  • They work through a chemical reaction between the contents of the heat pack and oxygen in the surrounding air. (Oxygen flow is regulated through the perforated red line. Never cover the red line with tape or anything else.)
  • These are NOT hand warmers, foot warmers, or any other heat source designed to last less than 40 hours.

How is it best used?

  • Used to keep packages from becoming too cold during cold-weather shipping.
  • A heat pack should be used when the high temperature at both the origin and destination range between 38°F and 69°F. (Please see our Temperature Guidelines and Standards for more details on how to handle different temperatures.)
  • ONE heat pack per box, unless you are using our largest box (#5), in which case, you may use two heat packs (one at each end of the 30” long box).
  • Heat packs should be activated two hours prior to use. Fold a towel around it during the activation phase. (The heat pack will not heat up properly if you leave it in open air.)
  • Tape the heat pack on the underside of the TOP panel of insulation. Make sure the red line is facing out and do not cover that line with tape.
  • Review our Using a Heat Pack section for more detailed directions and critical warnings.

Some Heat Pack Facts

  • Before use, a heat pack feels like a bag of soft, loose sand. After it has been used, the contents become hard and inflexible. If your heat pack is hard to start with, it has been compromised and will not work. Use a different one.
  • Depending on the type purchased, your heat pack will last either 40 hours or 72 hours.

What are the pros/cons of using heat packs?

PROS: 

  • Allows reptile and aquatic shippers to ship live animals during cold weather.
  • They are an excellent resource to have on hand in an emergency, such as a power outage.

CONS:

  • Improper use of heat packs is the number one cause of deaths in shipments.Using hand warmers or other shorter duration packs, using a 40hr+ heat pack during warm weather (temps above our guidelines) or using more than one 40hr+ heat pack are the most common and easily avoided errors. 
  • There are risks involved in using heat packs that all shippers should be aware of.
  • They have a shelf-life of about one year.
  • They are not reusable.

 

The Phase-22 Pack


What is it?

  • The Phase-22 pack (aka Cryopak) is a magical product that helps maintain steady, stable temperatures inside a shipment. We sell them in malleable plastic pouches, but they can also be purchased in rigid plastic panels.
  • They start life off as a pack of gel at 22°C, hence, the name. (22°C = 72°F)
  • When chilled, it becomes solid. When warmed, it becomes liquid. Over time, it works to regain and maintain its gel state at 72°F. This unusual property helps to reduce temperature changes in the box and allows it to hold the internal temperatures of your shipment closer to 72° than without Phase-22.

How is it best used?

  • To chill, place it in the refrigerator (not the freezer) until it becomes a solid.
  • To warm, place it in a bowl of warm (not boiling) water until it becomes liquid.
  • Once it is solid or liquid, as needed, that is enough. There is no benefit to making it “colder” or “hotter” and you risk damaging the pack with extreme temperatures.
  • These may be included in any shipment in its gel phase to help maintain a steady internal temperature.
  • Multiple Phase-22s can be used in a single shipment. They are generally more effective when used in multiples.
  • For warm weather shipping, they may be used in combination with cold packs to help maintain cooler temperatures for a longer period of time. Place cold packs on either side of the solid Phase-22.
  • For cold weather shipping, they may be used in combination with a heat pack to help maintain steady temperatures and also absorb excess heat that may build up in the box. 
  • The Phase-22 pack(s) can be placed in the top or bottom of the box, but should be fixed in place, wherever you put them.

What are the pros/cons of using Phase-22?

PROS:

  • Safe for use with all shipments.
  • Helps maintain steady, stable internal temperatures.
  • No shelf-life or expiration date.
  • They are reusable.

CONS:

  • They work best if more than one is used. The more used, the more stable the temps.
  • Can be ineffective in extreme temperature conditions.
  • They are heavy and will add weight to your shipment.
  • They are expensive. 

 

The Cold Pack


What is it? 

  • Our cold pack is a thin envelope filled with tiny gel beads that will swell up when soaked in water, then can be frozen just like ice.

How is it best used?

  • Used to keep packages from getting too hot during warm-weather shipping, particularly for amphibians from cooler, moist climates.
  • We do NOT have any guidelines for using cold packs to ship snakes and lizards.  They are just for amphibian shipments. If it is too hot for your snake and lizard shipments and you think you "need to use a cold pack" then you should wait for milder weather and not ship. 
  • Soak it in water for a minimum of 15 minutes to fully saturate the gel, then freeze solid before use. (Make sure the plastic side is face-down in the freezer.)
  • On shipping day, don’t seal up the box until you're ready to hand it over to FedEx. Wait until then to pull the cold pack from the freezer and add it to the package. This will keep it coldest, longest.
  • When ready, wrap the pack in newspaper to absorb condensation and tape it to the inside of the top panel of insulation.
  • Make sure there is some padding material between the cold pack and the container the animal is in.

What are the pros/cons of using cold packs?

PROS: 

  • Inexpensive
  • Simple and safe to use
  • No shelf-life or expiration date
  • Reusable

CONS: 

  • They only last for a few hours (the exact length dependent on the size of the box they are in, how well it is insulated, and the temperature ranges the box is exposed to)
  • Require preparation the day before shipping and cannot be used for a last-minute shipment

 
If you have any questions at all about which (if any) of these are best suited for your particular shipment, please ask us! We'll be happy to help you figure it out.


Click here to SUBSCRIBE and be the first to read each week's Newsletter!