How EPS Answers the Challenges of Shipping Perishable Items

Sometimes it seems like expanded polystyrene (EPS) doesn’t get a fair shake. As an EPS supplier that specializes in green insulation materials, we are firmly committed to promoting EPS across a large range of applications, including shipping. For example, EPS answers many of the challenges that come with shipping perishable items.

Perishable items are of particular concern in health and life sciences. Not shipping them properly could make them worthless by the time they arrive. We take that risk seriously, producing materials that are ideal for perishable shipments. Below are some of the challenges we have personally answered with Epsilyte products.

Challenge #1: Temperature Changes

The biggest risk with perishable items is temperature change. Perishable items tend to require temperature stability throughout the entire shipping journey. EPS is a particularly good insulator thanks to its ability to slow down the rate at which temperatures change inside a package. Slow down that rate and the risk of spoilage falls significantly.

Few materials are as good for this particular purpose as EPS. With EPS, you get superior temperature stability. The end result is reliable freshness at the end of the journey.

Challenge #2: Load Weight

Shipping perishable items can be weight-intense depending on a combination of packing materials and shipping methods. Consider a typical shipment being transported by truck. A combination of heavy packing materials and refrigeration equipment can make shipping quite expensive in terms of fuel costs. Higher weights mean higher emissions.

Because EPS is a lightweight material, it cuts down on weight intensity for perishable loads. Loads are not nearly as heavy. They do not require as much refrigeration and they need less fuel to get from point A to point B.

Challenge #3: Shipping Damage

Shipping always carries with it the risk of product damage. Pallets move during transport. Packaging makes contact with other materials. The list goes on and on. Though EPS is lightweight, it is still a durable material that resists shock by absorbing it. Compared to some other materials used for perishable shipments, EPS is often more durable. It is both impact- and crush-resistant.

Challenge #4: Moisture Damage

Another big enemy to many types of perishable products is moisture. Allowing excess moisture to seep in during shipping increases the risk of spoilage. Therefore, you want packing materials to keep moisture out as much as possible. EPS answers that call as well.

A properly packed item will be protected from external moisture. Provided the item’s moisture content is at or below where it should be at the time of packing, the risk of spoilage due to excess moisture is low. EPS is moisture resistant. It is as simple as that.

Challenge #5: Cost Overrun?

Unlike other types of shipments, perishable shipments are always subject to cost overruns. This is primarily due to the fact that shippers cannot take any chances. If conditions change even slightly, a shipment could become exponentially more expensive. EPS offers an advantage in that it is very cost effective.

EPS can be produced relatively inexpensively. That means shippers are paying less from the very start. But in cases requiring more packaging due to changing circumstances, additional EPS can be procured at an affordable price. Shippers can even use extra material without running up the costs. At the same time, they know their perishable items will be safe throughout transport.

Although EPS doesn’t get the accolades it deserves, it is an excellent material we believe is perfectly suited to shipping perishable items. It offers everything shippers are looking for in a material that is easy to use and, in the case of Epsilyte, recycled afterward.