Logistics Trends to Look Out For in the Cold Chain
The combination of expensive equipment, stringent temperature regulation and high-energy consumption make the cold chain one of the most demanding segments within logistics. That’s not the end of it—it’s about to get more demanding as more challenges arise from additional quality standards, sensitivity and volume being required for many cold stored goods, and the growing number of regulations.
Besides these specific challenges, the cold chain is also exposed to the same challenges as the regular supply chain, including meeting global demand, bringing down costs, developing strategy as well as meeting constraints relating to resources and capacity, and all of this must be achieved while preserving the cargo in it’s new or required state, with the bulk being derived from pharmaceuticals and food.
Here is a run down of some of the challenges facing managers within cold chain logistics:
Cold Chains are now Globalized
As consumers around the world become more affluent, the demand for high-end food products grows. This means that they must be preserved on long journeys across the globe.
Increased Focus on Product Quality & Sensitivity
The food industry is witnessing a growing trend towards focus on the integrity and quality of products and their implications for consumers’ health. This means that to maintain brand relationships with them, each experience must be of an optimal quality. This means that shippers are under enormous pressure to ensure that products do not deviate from their designated standards in transit.
The growing number of counterfeit products in the food and pharmaceutical supply chains means that regulators have their hands forced to clamp down across the globe to avoid any problems for consumers.
Markets Pressing for More Efficiency From the Supply Chain
The key words for any supply chain manager are “lean” and “agile.” This couldn’t be more true than in the cold chain, where costs can spiral quickly if they are not carefully managed.
Manufacturers are Making More use of 3PL’s
The demand for extra visibility, efficiency and fresher products is pushing 3PL’s in the cold chain towards providing more value added services, including new improved designs, racking systems and automation in their warehouses.
Mode Shifting in the Cold Chain
Fluctuations in fuel prices and globalization are forcing shippers to consider new modes such as moving from air freight to ocean, or even going completely intermodal.