Cold Chain Logistics: Managing & Maintaining Standards
Globalization has given a boost to world trade. To provide your clients with best possible services, you need to maintain strong business standards throughout your supply chain and geographies. However, the concept is further complicated in the global supply chain process when we add temperature-controlled items to a portfolio of products.
This is where the concept of ‘Cold Chain’ comes into existence. Thanks to modern technology, the cold storage and transportation process is much less complicated than it was decades ago. With the advent of equipment such as temperature sensors and robots with temperature resistant bodies, the concept of Cold Chain Logistics is now a reality.
Importance of Cold Chain Logistics
Consider a scenario where a state of the art healthcare facility is transporting lifesaving vaccines from the head office in the US to another part of the world. At the destination, it is considered a life-saving drug. Temperature is key to the effectiveness of this drug. Sometimes a rare blood group is transported from one end of the world to the other end.
In such circumstances, maintaining cold chain standards becomes a matter of life and death. Consider another scenario – when you go to a grocery store and all the fresh fruits and vegetables are displayed on refrigerated shelves, the feeling of freshness is maintained from the time they are picked (sometimes from the east coast) to the time they are displayed on shelves on the west coast. All this is possible with the cold chain effect.
For many years, loading and receiving of items were considered as the weakest link in the Cold Chain events. However, with the advent of technology, this link of the chain has also been strengthened. The latest and most efficient cold storage facilities use two crucial elements.
One of them is called the ‘reefer’ which is temperature control equipment that is able to maintain the temperature of cargo as per the product requirement. This equipment helps in maintaining the temperature of the item such as edible products or vaccines – even after the products are dispatched to another cold storage facility.
Secondly, the latest concept of loading and unloading stock is done using robots. These robots are temperature resistant allowing businesses to load and receive freight within the warehouse under freezing temperatures.
Tips to ensure temperature control
Cold storage warehouses should employ the latest technology to maintain and monitor temperature. Temperature can vary in a refrigerated environment. Selection of containers should be done wisely as the material of the container may influence the temperature also. While working with third-party vendors in the Cold Chain process, businesses should acquire assurance documents about their facilities.
Ensuring proper compliance with cold storage standards helps. While transporting products the optimal route should be chosen for maximum temperature control efficiency. For example, moving a product container from the Nevada desert by road may influence the temperature more than by transporting it through the air.
Cold Chain is an important and integral part of global transportation today. Businesses maintaining proper cold chain standards create customer satisfaction. This leads to higher revenue generation. Businesses should employ latest Cold Chain technology to compete in the global marketplace of high-quality perishable products.