Cold Chain Industry Overview
For a cold chain logistics company, the world has completely changed, especially in last decade. Whether it is complex fleet management, difficult cost structures, or pressures of keeping the overhead low, daily operations are becoming tougher by the day. So, Cold Chain transportation has evolved significantly from dry-ice packaging to refrigerated trucks. And let’s not forget, these problems are not relevant only to ‘bigger’ businesses. With strict temperature requirements, a relative increase in quality standards and ever-increasing regulations, the daily operations are difficult even for smaller businesses. Therefore, the primary task at hand is to responsibly oversee a quality management system that ensures timely and correct delivery of products. With rising everyday costs, addressing the capacity, resource and quality constraints is tough. You need all the help you can get.
Let’s face it, clients require the raw materials and the finished goods to be transported under strict temperature-controlled conditions. They’re looking for a minimum loss of quality, texture while maintaining the overall utility of the products. For a cold chain logistics company, you can classify their customers into 3 broad categories:
- Food industry – Suppliers, exporters, and restaurants want only the safest foods to reach to the ultimate consumers. Example – Meat & Poultry, Fresh Fruits, FMCG & Dairy.
- General industrial products – From electronic equipment to chemical products, there are millions of temperature sensitive materials that need to be carried from one location to another. Example – Paints, synthetic temperature sensitive products.
- Life sciences – It’s important to monitor the time and temperature of biological and pharmaceutical products to ensure the health-based services are not affected because of transportation. Example – Medicines and other temperature-controlled devices.
In addition, based on active requirement and product nature the products are further classified based on temperature zones (Chill, Mid-Chill, Frozen, Normal).
External Challenges faced by the industry
As you can see there is a palpable need to find realistic ways to manage the products, vehicles, employees and clients. In fact, as a cold chain logistics business owner, you should expect major changes in near future. Let’s take a closer look at few of them:
Increased focus on quality and product sensitivity –
If you’re looking to gain repeat business from your clients, ensure an optimal experience for them. With the entry of more premium products with a shorter shelf life, there is an intensified focus on quality and the consumer experience.
Be ready for increased environmental regulation pressures –
NGOs and other regulatory bodies are prompting governments to tighten regulations on production and supply. Be ready for even stricter quality controls on temperature-sensitive food items.
Substantial increase in competition-
There is a definite market pressure to manage cold chain logistics processes at a reduced cost. The business is cut-throat and you can’t afford to relax even for a single second.
Operational Challenges faced by the industry
For a regular business owner, day-to-day management is getting tougher. You need to manage the vehicles, the on-field employees, and thousands of customer orders. Tracking the vehicle manually is both outdated and impractical in an ever-changing business scenario. Even if you’re monitoring cold chain logistics, everything goes through the hand of humans in every step. This is wrong on so many levels. Activating and attaching manual temperature loggers is not efficient, easily prone to risk, and not accurate as well. With increasing cost of human labor, and the escalating pressure of competitiveness even from developing countries, the cold chain managers are facing a war of their own.
Why is AssetTrackr best suited to manage a busy cold chain logistics business? How does it work?
AssetTrackr provides complete web-based fleet management solution with a cold chain equipment and support for real-time monitoring of temperature and humidity in reefer vehicles as well as the refrigerated warehouse which helps in temperature controlled shipping. A GPS unit with RFID receiver can be installed in the driver’s cabin of the truck. Multiple wireless temperature and humidity sensors can be installed inside the goods chamber. The wireless sensors work on a 433MHz frequency and are able to communicate with the GPS receiver unit in the driver’s cabin across the metallic containers. The refrigerated warehouse can be divided into multiple zones based on what threshold temperatures need to be maintained. Temperatures from each zone can be monitored in real time. Entire temperature and humidity data is stored in the cloud which can be accessed from anywhere/anytime using a standard web browser and smartphones. The user-friendly Mobile and Web apps will inform you about the temperature of your cargo from anywhere in the world, allowing you to track their location in real time. This means you will get quick insights to take any necessary action to optimize your transportation.
Once you’ve installed the system, what’s the immediate benefit for a cold chain logistics business owner?
- Complete control and tracking capabilities with individual tracking for each shipment from the point of pick-up through to final delivery.
- Wholesome monitoring with detailed temperature/humidity graphs for the trips which they can be easily shared across to your customers.
- Real time GPS tracking with optimized route planning so you can keep a track of potential delays.
- A market leading cloud platform that helps you manage transportation costs and monitor your fleet live information on the status of each shipment.
- Using AssetTrackr platform, you can check entire trip history along with stoppages, idling, over speeding information.
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