Active and Passive Packaging

Active and Passive Packaging

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Choosing the right packaging option to maintain the required temperature of the shipment is a vital part of the supply chain movement.  Active containers have electrically controlled cooling and heating systems or cooling with dry ice. Passive containers are insulated boxes or containers with no active temperature control. The risk profile of the product will usually determine the nature of the packaging chosen.  Our experts can guide you through the process of choosing what is best for your shipments.



Active containers can hold specific temperature ranges without significant deviations and they are generally rented. Temperature sensitive alarms will provide peace of mind as if any fluctuation occurs, standby units are immediately triggered.

Active shipping containers are usually leased and feature advanced temperature controls that are often powered by electricity and/or battery. They are considered to be more secure than passive systems, as the units lock and are never opened during transport.

Active containers may have a heating and/or cooling systems built in, and can work using dry ice as a coolant to maintain a specific set temperature.

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Passive containers are suited to use in a controlled room temperatures (CRT) environment or as general protection for shipments with a low-risk profile.

A passive container maintains a temperature-controlled environment inside an insulated enclosure.  This can be with or without thermostatic regulation, using a finite amount of pre-conditioned coolant such as chilled or frozen gel packs, phase change materials and dry ice.

Passive containers are typically insulated with polystyrene, polyurethane or vacuum insulated panels. Many are designed to hold a particular temperature for a given amount of payload capacity for a specified period of time up to 96 hours.

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