If you use a dry ice container to transport temperature-sensitive goods like perishable food, you know that it’s robust, easy to handle and cost-effective. But you also know how tricky it can be to work out the right quantity of dry ice to maintain your cargo’s set temperature for its entire journey.
VRR has seen this opportunity to help out the users of their cool ULDs and came up with an ingenious online tool to help with this very predicament.
It’s called the Dry Ice Calculator, and yes, it does exactly what you think.
The dry ice container challenge
Of course, just like ice made from water, dry ice doesn’t stay solid forever. Rather than melting, it goes through a process of sublimation. In other words, it gradually changes back into a gas. So, every time you put cargo into a dry ice container, you need to calculate how much dry ice to put into the dry ice bunker to last the whole journey.
RKN Cool container by VRR
How long will your dry ice last?
The average dry ice sublimation rate in a RKN and RAP cool container (the containers most commonly used as dry ice containers) can range between 0.2 kg/hour and 2 kg/hour, depending on the temperature difference between the set temperature and ambient temperature. However, there are a lot more other factors to take into consideration, such as:
- Type of container (RKN or RAP)
- Desired internal temperature of the container (the set point)
- Total shipment time (container preconditioning, loading/airport, tarmac/aircraft loading, flight time, unloading/to destination)
- Ambient temperature of each stage of the journey (cargo hold, loading ramp, warehouse, truck, etc.)
Clearly, it’s not easy to estimate how much dry ice to put into your cool container. Okay, too much dry ice is definitely better than too little. After all, you don’t want to put your vulnerable cargo at risk. On the other hand, you want to control costs. You pay for dry ice by the kilo, so you don’t want to pay for more than is necessary. That would be a waste.
The easy way to calculate how much dry ice your shipment needs
VRR’s free, online Dry Ice Calculator takes all the hard work out of this calculation. All you need to do is enter a few basic details about the entire journey of your cargo, press a button, and the tool will compute the amount of dry ice you need for the shipment.
Loading a cool container with dry ice
Pretty cool, right? (Excuse the pun.)
A nice bonus is the report you get if you also enter an email address. The report shows the calculation and lists the details you input. You can then share this with your colleagues and with operators of your cool container.
Results are based on the technical data found in the operations manuals of the RKN and RAP cool containers but note that they are only advisory. However, you should find the tool will save you a great deal of time and maybe even the odd headache or two.
Try it out and let us know what you think.