USPS will offer a cold chain packaging service — used for shipping perishables and other items — to businesses and other customers, starting Sept. 12.
The organization has been testing the packaging for several months with businesses that ship food, medical supplies and other items.
Called Priority Mail Express Cold Chain Packaging, the service is designed specifically for products that must remain cold for up to 72 hours at 45 degrees or below during shipment.
The packaging consists of a Priority Mail Express box and a 100 percent reusable polystyrene cooler insert.
One pack of three boxes and inserts will be available at usps.com/postal store for $48.
The service includes next-day to two-day delivery by 6 p.m. with a money-back guarantee.
Customers must purchase Priority Mail Express postage and Extra Services — such as Return Receipt, additional insurance, and Adult Signature Required — at the time of mailing.
Customers are responsible for supplying cooling materials to keep items cold during shipment. Postage will not be refunded for temperature-controlled items that do not remain cold.
In 2019, the global cold chain packaging segment, which includes meal kit companies, was valued at $15 billion, according to a study by Grand View Research, a market data firm.
Priority Mail Express Cold Chain Packaging is expected to help USPS gain market share in this growing segment.