Optimizing the logistics of cold transport is one of the biggest challenges companies face.
If you don’t have the right systems and equipment in place you can see significant losses.
Thankfully cold chain management is becoming more and more efficient due to advances in technology.
Use this guide to learn the basics of cold chain logistics and how you can improve your own operations.
Know Your Supply Chain
Cold chain logistics can only be as successful as your supply chain. You need to have a firm grasp on your logistical systems and how they impact cold transportation.
Start by looking at your inventory management systems. You need to have a firm grasp on how goods move through your distribution centers. Once you can track an item from shelf to truck you’re better prepared to improve efficiency.
Don’t forget about third parties involved in your supply chain. It’s important that you monitor exactly how suppliers move product and what your distributors are doing. It’s essential that you understand every step in your product’s chain of custody.
If your business is on a smaller scale it comes down to how you track and sell your goods. You must be able to verify and maintain proper temperature levels at all points.
The Cold Chain Management You Need
A large pharmaceutical manufacturer will have a very different cold supply chain to a brewery. Not only is the scale much larger, they also have significantly more regulatory hurdles to leap.
Look at the latest trends in the industry and find what works for you. Many retailers with a cold chain system are moving from large periodic deliveries to smaller on-demand ones.
This requires a different setup from a single large cold trailer. Multi-temperature delivery vehicles are rapidly becoming essential for this market.
You should also consider investing in remote monitoring equipment. Significant advances have been made to IoT tracking devices related to temperature control. This gives extremely accurate real-time temperature data for every cold case or delivery vehicle you use.
Invest In Quality
Chilled and frozen products can only maintain their quality in temperature-controlled settings. For medications such as insulin, this can be a matter of life or death.
Make sure you aren’t using an older vehicle that should have been retired in your cold supply chain. Now, purpose-built cold trucks and vans are designed for everything from vaccine shipments to mobile beer trucks.
Find a high-quality manufacturer and purchase a vehicle that will last. The upfront cost can be high but you’ll see significant savings in reduced product loss and more satisfied customers.
If your business needs allow, you should try and integrate cold packaging directly into your product. However, for small scale goods like ice pops this isn’t feasible. High-value products though definitely benefit from the additional protection.
Always Look To Scale
Make sure whatever cold chain management upgrades you choose have the potential to scale. Business needs can change instantly and it’s much better to be able to adapt on the fly than to completely overhaul your supply chain.
If you’ve been pulling your hair out trying to figure cold chain logistics out, contact us for a free quote on a customized chilled transport vehicle.