“Hello, are you feeling adventurous today?” said the adorable smiling face on the other side of the counter. I had ventured out to discover new ice cream flavours – a favourite pastime given so many new ice cream parlours and trucks are opening up these days. The array of flavours and combinations are getting more mind-tickling with almost every new place I visit and it’s got me thinking that these innovative little parlours should spread their cold, creamy love a little further than the 5-foot pavement outside the shop.
So how do you get your ice cream from your shop to your customer’s tummy without compromising on taste, presentation and at a comfortable transport cost?
In some hot temperature countries, ingredients for ice cream are modified to enable the tubs of paradise to withstand higher room and ambient temperatures and hopefully prolong the ecstasy of creamy dreams before they turn into hard-hitting, real-life slush. The taste and consistency in some reconstructed recipes have slight yet noticeable differences and in turn may have some serious implications on the brand, so most of the bigger brands actually launch a separate, locally appealing brand for these “heaty” markets. But unless you’re aiming to tackle this market, this wouldn’t really be something you might have to consider for now.
Packing is the most important part of what we call the “cold chain” of supply. Well packed ice cream will enable the products to reach in a state which is almost as good as lining up at the shop for a scoop. And more importantly, the product is fresh, without any signs or symptoms of being thawed then re-frozen. You know those tell-tale signs that the ice cream has started to wee wee in the heat? Yes… good packing will help avoid all these things. Cold chain packing technology has advanced to offer businesses more than the option of dry ice inside carton boxes, thanks to the pharmaceutical and fresh food products industries so we have a lot of choices now, depending on how big your budget is and how green you would like to be. Some of the more innovative products (of course on the pricier side of the street) are packaging solutions providers like Softbox Systems from the UK which use recyclable materials, no need for dry ice – so shipping costs are under the non-Dangerous Goods category - and allow for flat packing so your customers can return the packaging to you at minimal cost. Very cool stuff! Of course, if you’re just going to send the goods by truck, you can always use good ol’ dry ice in carton boxes as your packaging. Just make sure that the amount of dry ice will last till your customer would receive their goods and a little bit more. Need help calculating? This site has a simple calculator which you could use as your reference. Or, you could always give us a call and we can help you plan your packing and shipping.
Once the items are packed for delivery, it is important to take note how far the journey might be for the little tubs of ice cream. Dropping them off at a postal or courier shop is akin to leaving a two-year old at the bus stop with a tag on her saying “send me to school” – where is the love? Ice cream and all things temperature-sensitive need more heart than that. It is always better to get the transporters or the shipping companies to pick up from your door early on in the working week so that it will get sent out within 48-72 hours of getting picked up. Friday pickups are a no-no, in case the pickup is done late in the afternoon and the delivery crew clock off for the weekend, leaving your ice cream to weep in the warehouse. All alone, with only strange parcels around for company. Alien Logistics has a network of cold and normal trucks which we use to deliver cold chain products throughout West Malaysia. For products going overseas, we are able to help you plan your cold chain from your door to the country you want to send the items to. Keen to get started? Let us know, we would love to talk to you!