How much is being shipped?

The following table may help in estimating cost using dry ice, assuming the use of a Styrofoam cooler with a cardboard shipping box. (Weight in US units. Please use the converter on the right for metric units.)1

How much is being shipped table

Table 1. Shipping weight estimates are given in pounds.

Please note that according to this website, “For air transport, the amount of dry ice per parcel is limited to five pounds or less, but it’s generally unlimited for ground shipments. Shipments containing dry ice must carry a Class 9 DOT miscellaneous hazardous material warning label, and must be clearly marked “Carbon Dioxide Solid, UN1845” or “Dry Ice, UN1845″. With five pounds of dry ice, the package would need to be delivered within 24 hours, as the recommendation for ordinary cooler use is 10 pounds per day. Biological material is often a dry ice shipment, which may have additional special requirements provided by the cold chain industry.”

“For gel packs, as a generality use one pound per cubic foot per day. (Most gel packs come in 1/2 pound size but newer ones are up to 2 pounds.) This will be last for up to three days. For a longer time Dry Ice has to be combined to extend the gel packs with the possibility of freezing the goods briefly in the beginning.”2

Shipping rates can be calculated via the various shipping agencies. Within the US, please see:

Amtrak (offers small package and ‘less-than-truckload’ shipping services between more than 100 cities.)

Next section: ‘Transit time’


  1. 100 ounces of milk weighs about 13 pounds (0.13 pounds per ounce, based on the weight of a gallon of cow’s milk). This is an assumed estimate, and will allow you to roughly estimate shipping costs. In addition to the weight of the milk, you will have to account for the weight of the dry ice or frozen packs used to keep the milk frozen and the weight of the container. []
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