Selling Dry Ice


Selling dry ice is different from selling most other goods because the unsold amount disappears by sublimation at the minimal rate of 10% every day. Keep dry ice in a high-quality insulated storage container to reduce sublimation. It is usually sold by weight, so a good quality scale and good insulating gloves are necessary to handle it.

Very few people sell only dry ice. Do careful marketing research to establish the demand and determine the return on investment for manufacturing equipment. Start-up costs are a minimum of $50,000 for making dry ice pellets and $120,000 for manufacturing solid block dry ice. Distributing for another manufacturer is often the best way to begin.

Dry ice is usually added to other items sold at a store, service station, or supply outfitter. The most widespread are grocery stores and markets that choose to sell Airgas “Penguin” dry ice or other dry ice manufacturers. Next come compressed gas suppliers and ice companies. Finally, some companies use dry ice to market or ship their products and offer to sell extra dry ice to the public.

Our experience was at ABC Ice House for 24 years. They are a distributor selling about 100 tons a year. They have many walk-in customers for shipping frozen goods, and they supply shipping containers too. They also supply frozen gel packs for those who don’t want their goods frozen but want to keep their product cool. Their customers use dry ice for camping and traveling – to keep items frozen. Ice cream vendors purchase dry ice to keep their ice cream frozen. Many fishers stop by for dry ice to keep their catch from spoiling. ABC Ice House often sells dry ice to customers with power outages and broken refrigeration equipment. They deliver dry ice to many laboratories in the area, offering weekly delivery or immediate delivery at a higher cost. Finally, they sell dry ice for theatrical special effects. They sell to a local “Mad Science” company that does parties and school assemblies. They also rent fog machines for special theatrical productions, covering dance floors with fog and sometimes strobe lights. 

Other customers who use dry ice include airline companies, shippers, medical institutions, bio-medical suppliers, pharmaceuticals,  food processors, and various other manufacturers.

It took over six months of selling dry ice before making a profit because the sublimation rate, in the beginning, was over 70%. Even now, it is close to 30% lost. The key for selling dry ice is a constant supply either by manufacturing it as needed or regular delivery from another manufacturer.

R.N.C. Industries, Inc.
Control Temp Packaging
Insulated Shipping Containers For All Types Of Temperature Sensitive Products
2510 Mill Center Parkway
Suite 200
Buford, Georgia 30518

ABC Ice House, Inc.

 1317 West 5th Street, Santa Ana, CA

 (714) 641-3840

Sonoco ThermoSafe is a leading global provider of temperature assurance packaging for the safe and efficient storage and transport of pharmaceuticals, biologics, vaccines, and other temperature-sensitive products.

Rich Pickett
888-674-6461 toll-free
410-480-0005 office
Thermosafe Brands
HR Insulated Containers

Durable Insulated Containers available