What distinguishes the cold chain system from a standard supply chain? A different kind of supply chain than your typical one is the cold chain. It entails transporting chilled or frozen goods from temperatures as low as -2 degrees Celsius (or 35 degrees Fahrenheit) to as high as -70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit). Industries like food and beverage, medicines, and chemicals are involved in the cold chain.
The integrity of cold chain shipments is protected by logistical planning and management. To ensure that what is expected occurs, this calls for the use of appropriate packaging, appropriate transportation equipment, carefully selected transportation routes, perfect timing, and visibility throughout. Technology and data should be used throughout the cold chain process for the best results. Aspirants looking out for a career in Logistics and supply chain management need to be learned about all these details.
IMPORTANCE OF THE COLD CHAIN
The cold chain ensures that perishable products remain safe, high-quality, and potent when consumed or used. Failing to maintain those products at the proper temperatures causes microbial development, deterioration, and coloration. Customers who are delighted with your cold chain products will increase demand, which will safeguard the general populace’s health.
Moreover, cold chain service companies provide significant economic and labour contributions. The GCCA estimates that the refrigerated storage sector generates about $6.1 billion yearly. Not to mention that the North American refrigerated storage sector employs over 62,774 people full-time each year, with 92 percent of those being permanent rather than contract or temporary workers.
WHAT CONSTITUTES THE COLD CHAIN’S MAIN ELEMENTS?
The first step in the cold chain is the product’s storage in a refrigerated location. However, if manufacturers lack the necessary storage equipment to maintain product quality, they must outsource to partners who can provide it.
Reefer containers, cold rooms, chillers, coolers, blast freezers and vaccine carriers are the regularly used refrigeration equipment.
To keep products cool, common refrigerants used in packaging include phase change materials (PCM), dry ice, gel packs, gel blocks, and EPS sheets.
It is essential to keep track of specialised data for particular cold chain products. Included are temperatures as well as other environmental aspects like humidity levels. Suboptimal conditions could arise without monitoring, lowering the product’s quality.
The term “cold chain monitoring” frequently relates to the application of additional sensor software or the Internet of Things (IoT). By integrating sensor data with supply chain management software like transportation management systems, monitoring systems can identify temperature issues, track all cold chain products on a single platform, and enhance predictive maintenance.
Delivery of shipments is also a crucial aspect of cold chain management. Delivery is dependent on the preferred means for receiving cold shipments from the end-user consumers.
WHY IS A RELIABLE COLD CHAIN PROCESS KEY?
Contrary to transporting non-perishable goods like furniture, a break in the cold chain might cause the product to lose quality and become useless. Monitoring is a key component of an effective cold chain process, which also minimises handling throughout.
To maintain the quality of the products, the cold chain industry has classified and established temperature zones. These categories are:
Tropical foods including oranges, pineapples, and even potatoes, as well as bananas, range in temperature from 12 to 14 degrees Celsius (53 to 57 degrees Fahrenheit). This prevents ripening while being transported.
Temperature requirements for the majority of medicinal items are two to eight degrees Celsius (35 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit).
For many other fruits, vegetables, and fresh meats, this classification is between two and four degrees Celsius (35 to 39 degrees Fahrenheit).
For frozen meat, cakes, and bread, this temperature range is between minus 10 and minus 20 degrees Celsius (50 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit).
Colder temperatures, between minus 25 and minus 30 degrees Celsius, are required for deep-frozen seafood, ice cream, and other frozen delicacies (minus 77 to minus 86 degrees Fahrenheit).
This new and expanding temperature range is frequently used for medicinal items, notably certain vaccinations, which require temperatures as low as minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 158 degrees Fahrenheit).
WHAT SECTORS OF INDUSTRY USE COLD CHAIN?
Food and Drink
Transporting food and beverage products like milk, fruit, or meat requires controlled temperatures. Bacterial or mould growth may result from breaks in the cold chain. As was already established, many fruits, including bananas, ripen while being sent.
The temperature of many pharmaceutical items must be controlled. Vaccines, medications, and biologicals like blood or plasma are examples of such items. If left unchecked, spoiled items might lose their effectiveness and pose a risk to the public’s health.
When it comes to some dangerous compounds, temperature regulation is essential. Specifically, those that might be subject to heat-related reactions. Heat loss from a chemical product that must maintain a specific temperature might result in sparks, flames, or explosions that could damage the product and endanger other people.
Gas and oil
Explosion-proof refrigerated containers are used in this industry on oil rigs, oil tankers, and other offshore facilities.
The U.S. military is required to regulate the temperature of its medical supplies, which frequently travel through vast, challenging terrain. As a result, processing supplies for the military might make the cold chain process more challenging.
COLLABORATE WITH A TRAINED PROVIDER
Several temperature-controlled goods exist. Because each product is distinct, the cold chain must use tailored solutions. Third-party logistics firms (3PLs) are increasingly being used by cold chain manufacturers to manage their complicated difficulties. You must be sure to engage with a provider who is familiar with your industry, rules, and product specifications if you want your cold chain to be effective.
Fortunately,. In specialist areas like the cold chain, Trinity has more than 40 years of experience.
Get in touch with us right away to discover the tailored logistics solution for your cold chain operation.
ABOUT THE INSTITUTE
Reliant Institute of Logistics has a prominent name in providing various Logistics and Shipping courses in Kerala, and it is one of the best Logistics institutes in Kerala.