Tips for making sure baked goods make it to their destination safe, delicious and ready to eat.
Whether you have an eCommerce business, own a bakery, or just want to ship pie or other baked goodies to a loved one for a birthday or holiday, packaging and putting perishable items in the mail can leave you asking many questions. What if it is crushed? What if it goes stale? What if it is ruined by scorching summer or freezing winter temperatures?
Here are some practical tips for packing and sending pies and other baked treats.
10 pie-shipping tips
1. Let it cool
Before packing and shipping a pie, it needs to reach room temperature. In other words, a pie should never ever go from the oven to the mail, and unless you’re shipping it frozen, it shouldn’t go out ice-cold either.
2. Choose the right-sized box
The perfect box for shipping a pie is thick, sturdy, and big enough to fit a pie without being so big that the pie can jostle around and get damaged. Opt for a package made of 1.5-inch-thick insulated foam walls that can be fit inside a slightly larger corrugated cardboard box.
3. Wrap baked goods
Wrap your baked goods to keep them safe during transit. There are several ways to do this. You may freeze a product first and then hand wrap it tightly. For a more professional look, use shrink wrap. Keep in mind that shrink wrapping is not recommended for very delicate items. After wrapping your pie or baked good, put it in a domed lid or tin and tape it shut. Using a sticker with your logo is a great way to emphasize your brand while doing this.
4. Package baked goods separately
Shipping multiple pies or a pie and some cookies? Keep them separate from each other. Moisture from more buttery treats may affect firmer items and can also result in everything tasting the same, which the recipient won’t appreciate.
5. Use cushion
Your box should be big enough to fit your pie plus enough cushion to keep it safe on its journey. For cushioning, use foam or paper. Business owners might consider custom foam inserts with cutouts that create a professional look. When packing your pie, place it in the center of the box and fit cushioning all around it so there is no room for it to shift in transit.
6. Line the box
Line the box with thermal bubble wrap to help maintain a safe temperature, plus plastic wrap to prevent leaks from ruining your pie. This also helps keep outside leaks (think water from rain and snow) from getting in.
7. Consider the temperature
It’s important to keep your pie at a safe temperature so it arrives fresh and ready to eat. Even if you’re not shipping during the hot summer or chilly winter, small variations in temperature can spell disaster for baked goods.
Here’s the rule of thumb:
For baked goods that need refrigeration (this is most of them), gel coolants usually do the trick. They should be placed on and around the pie
For baked goods that need to be kept frozen (this is rare), it’s better to use dry ice. Always use gloves and do not handle it in a closed room. Also, be aware that there are air shipping restrictions on more than 5.5 pounds of dry ice.
8. Get it there fast
How much time should a pie spend in transit? UPS and FedEx both say 30 hours, maximum. This may require overnight, one-day or shipping by air. Try to ship your item out at the beginning of the week to avoid weekend delays, and don’t forget to account for holidays.
Not that FedEx will only ship overnight packages that are under 150 pounds. This is not generally a concern unless you’re sending out a literal ton of pies, but it’s worth knowing as a business owner.
9. Track your shipment
When you pay for expedited shipping and take special precautions that cost money, materials and labor, you deserve to see that item get to its destination on time. Invest in shipment tracking so you and the person receiving it are both satisfied.
10. Consider the pie
No matter how cautious you are when packing and shipping pies or other baked goods, some dessert products will travel easier than others. Pies with thick filling, such as pecan or pumpkin pies, are less fragile and do better in transit. Creamier pies, such as custard pies, have a harder time. Anything with a lot of frosting can pose a challenge. If shipping something especially delicate, consider unique packaging solutions, such as the recent trend of putting a dessert in a mason jar.
If you’re shipping pies, 71lbs can help you save money, understand costs, and get the refunds you’re owed when there's a delay. We use a trusted combination of automated technology and real humans who are there to support you with shipping and customer service knowledge. Whether you’re shipping pies, baked goods, or anything else, we’re here to ensure your items get where they need to go on time, which saves you money and makes your life easier. Reach out to us to find out what we can do for you.