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20% longer running times? How payload influences the running time of Thermo boxes

Payload beeinflusst die Laufzeit von Thermoboxen

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A look at an important factor that could redefine your decision making for reliable thermal packaging solutions: In this article, we discuss the impact of payload on the runtime performance of pre-qualified, i.e. climate chamber-tested, thermal boxes.

Keep an eye out when buying thermo boxes

Before you make your next thermal packaging purchase, here’s the inside scoop: the stated runtime is not a static number. In fact, it can be up to 20% longer when tested with payload, i.e. products inside the box. But here’s the catch – not all Thermo box providers test under the same conditions. It’s time to consider the nuances and make an informed choice.

How reliable are the stated running times for thermo boxes?

As is so often the case: it depends. The reliability of the runtimes of thermal packaging depends on the test design. Some suppliers choose worst-case scenarios and test the thermo box empty, i.e. without payload. This approach allows buyers to evaluate the basic performance of the thermal box. This information is valuable to understand the efficiency of the box under extreme conditions and give buyers crucial insights into its reliability in different usage scenarios, e.g. when the payload is minimal, such as when transporting small or lightweight items.

Others, on the other hand, test with (a lot of) payload and achieve significantly longer running times. This is because the payload introduces additional thermal mass into the thermal box, which helps to stabilize the internal temperature of the box and ultimately leads to longer runtimes.

Finding a thermo box with sufficient runtime – what you need to consider as a buyer

So, what does this mean for you as a buyer? If a thermo box is just below your desired running time on paper, this does not automatically mean that it is unsuitable for your needs. Before you make a decision, ask the supplier about the test design. Has the box been tested without products? If so, despite a slightly shorter stated runtime, it could still be a suitable option for you as the runtime will be extended with the products you will be transporting.

On the other hand, if you choose a thermal box that promises a suitable runtime on paper, ask about the test design. Was the box tested with products, and if so, how much payload was used? The box may have been tested with a larger amount of payload than you plan to transport, or with a product design that doesn’t match your actual logistics, which could mean it won’t achieve the advertised runtime in your real-world application.


To ensure that your products are transported safely and reliably, it is crucial to consider the payload quantity used in the test designs of pre-qualified thermo boxes and, if necessary, ask the thermo box supplier. An informed decision based on this information will help you choose the right packaging solution for your requirements.

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