Cold chain logistics is the technology and process that enables the safe transportation of temperature-sensitive goods and products along the supply chain. It relies heavily on science to evaluate and address the relationship between temperature and perishability.
Any product that is known or designated as "perishable" is likely to require cold chain management. This includes foods such as meat and seafood, fruits and vegetables, and medical and pharmaceutical products.
Cold chain logistics has many moving parts. Some of the elements are:
Cold storage - facilities where goods and products are stored for transportation.
Refrigeration systems - systems that bring and maintain food at an appropriate temperature during all aspects of the supply chain, including processing, storage, and transportation.
Refrigerated transport - Ensures that goods remain at a stable temperature and humidity levels.
Cold processing - Equipment that enables goods to be processed in a hygienic manner.
Cold Distribution - Deals with the loading of boxes or crates and pallets for the distribution of goods.
The importance of maintaining the cold chain correctly
Failure to maintain optimal temperatures at each stage of the cold chain, even for short periods of time, can lead to many undesirable outcomes. These include the following:
If the cold chain isn't kept cool at every link in the chain, the quality of the shipment can be compromised, resulting in unusable products. This can be extremely detrimental when shipping vaccines, pharmaceuticals, and imported food products.
Wasting money on suppliers
When cold chain cargo spoils because the constant temperatures required for preservation cannot be maintained, the owners of the shipment lose money. The extent of financial losses can depend on a number of factors, including the type and quantity of products affected.
For example, the financial impact of losses on a full lorry is greater than on a smaller LTL shipment. Similarly, high-value refrigerated products result in greater losses than cheaper products in the same truckload.
Deterioration of business partnerships
When shippers suffer large losses due to mistakes made by their freight forwarding partners, they're forced to take legal action against them. They may also sever relationships with their partners.
This can lead to litigation, which not only takes time to resolve, but also consumes valuable time and financial resources.
End consumer dissatisfaction
When cold chain products fail to reach the consumer market due to quality issues, consumers at the end of the supply chain are inevitably upset.
You must refer to “ A Comprehensive Guide to Cold Chain Logistics” for a better and detailed understanding.