How do I pack a cooler?

Modified on: Fri, 10 Feb, 2023 at 10:38 AM

It is important to ensure the safe arrival of your samples at our receiving locations.  


Properly packed coolers avoid smudged or missing labels, minimizes the potential for breakage and cross-contamination, and supports constant temperatures throughout the cooler.


  1. Double-check all containers to make sure that all samples are clearly identified and that labels are legible; ensure caps and lids are securely tightened. 
  2. Line the bottom of the cooler with bubble wrap and ensure that glass containers are packed in bubble pouches prior to placing them in the cooler. 
  3. Ensure all containers are wiped down and placed in resealable bags. In case of bottle breakage, this can help to prevent any leakage of sample into the cooler and possible cross-contamination. Pack all containers with the same sample ID in one resealable bag so they are all accounted for. 
  4. Pack bottles and vials in an upright position, in such a manner as to avoid damage and leakage of contents during transport. 
  5. If possible, place plastic and glass bottles next to each other in an alternating fashion. 
  6. Fill all voids with bubble wrap. Ensure containers are unable to move laterally in the cooler during transport. 
  7. Add enough ice cubes to keep the samples cool for the duration of the transport. Loose ice should never be used to fill spaces between containers or to secure samples, as the ice melts during transport.
  8. Place another layer(s) of bubble wrap on top of the samples, enough to avoid up-and-down shifting of the items inside. 
  9. Insert the Chain of Custody in a resealable bag and place it on top of the samples inside the cooler.
  10. Make sure any external labels are securely affixed and the cooler is taped closed if using a courier for shipments.

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