How to ship dry ice

Dry ice is classified as dangerous goods. So there are specific packing requirements you need to follow to ensure it’s shipped safely and securely. Find out what packaging materials you need and how to pack and label dry ice correctly.

What is dry ice?

Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide. It comes in flakes, pellets or blocks. It’s commonly used to cool biological specimens and food.

To ship it you need to be trained and understand the necessary regulations, but you can also hire a specialist to do it for you.

What type of packaging do I need?

You need to ship dry ice in the correct packaging to slow down the sublimation process (when the substance turns from a solid to a gas). It needs to be designed to allow the release of carbon dioxide gas, while also preventing a buildup of pressure that might rupture it.

The packaging must also be capable of withstanding extremely low temperatures and remain undamaged by the dry ice. The best material to use is styrofoam – but to attach the labels you’ll need to place this styrofoamcontainer inside a larger cardboard box.

How do I pack dry ice?

  1. Place the item you want to ship into the inner container and fill up the remaining space with dry ice. You must use gloves when handling dry ice.
  2. Close the inner box, but don’t use the H-method to tape it. This avoids a buildup of pressure.
  3. Place the inner package in the outer package.

What about labeling and marking?

Attach the class 9 label to the package. Mark the outside of the package with:

  • The UN number: 1845 
  • The proper shipping name: Dry Ice or Carbon Dioxide Solid
  • The net weight of the dry ice in kilograms

The shipper’s and receiver’s addresses must also be labelled on the package. Ensure all the labels are placed directly onto the package. But don’t place the labels in a plastic pouch as it won’t stay attached to the package because of the condensation.

What information do I need to provide?

You’ll need to provide extra information in the ‘Nature and Quantity of Goods’ section on the air waybill:

  • The UN number: 1845
  • The proper shipping name: Dry Ice or Carbon Dioxide Solid
  • The net weight of the dry ice per package

Shipping requirements and documentation may vary between carriers. This website is designed to provide general information related to shipping. If you’re unsure of the shipping requirements that apply to you, check with your carrier. Make sure to check the rules and regulations of the country you’re shipping from and to prior to shipping. You can find this information on government websites.

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