Cold Chain Challenges In The Perishables Logistics

Cold Chain Challenges in Perishables Logistics

Cold chain logistics mainly involves the transportation and storage of perishable goods at controlled temperatures to preserve their quality and safety. This complex supply chain is vital for ensuring that all kinds of perishable foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy , meat , and seafood , reach consumers in optimal condition. The cold chain system includes various stages, from post-harvest handling, processing, and packaging to transportation, warehousing, and distribution.

Besides its importance, the cold chain faces several challenges that can have an impact on its efficiency. One major challenge is the need to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the supply chain. There could be spoilage and food waste in the wrong temperature range. You need to overcome these challenges that are essential for the food industry to reduce waste, ensure food safety, and meet the consumer’s demand for premium-quality perishables.

What are the Challenges Faced in the Cold Chain Industry?

The business and establishment need to undergo various challenges in the cold chain industry as follows:

  • Deficiency of Infrastructure: More than 90% of the cold chain logistics industry in India is unstandardized, privately held, and dispersed. There are no equipped cold storage facilities that can handle a particular commodity, which, as a result, degrades its quality. Reefer vehicles are not available to load perishables and are prone to breakdowns that cause major losses in the supply chain.
  • Heat Exposure: When temperature-sensitive goods are loaded and unloaded, there is a high chance of risk to their integrity from prolonged exposure to heat. These stages are crucial because they expose the goods to external factors, which result in temperature fluctuations.
  • Temperature Fluctuations: The biggest obstacle in cold chain logistics is maintaining a constant temperature range. Fresh vegetables, fruits, sea food, and poultry products are prone to damage if temperature fluctuations occur during transit. As these are perishable in nature, there can be excessive spoilage due to inclement weather and potential delays.
  • Real-time monitoring: A reefer container needs constant, real-time temperature monitoring to protect the perishable goods. Data loggers and temperature sensors offer up-to-date information about the environment while in transit. This allows logistics companies to respond immediately if temperatures rise higher or beyond the required range. In such circumstances, the company can shift the shipment to another cold storage facility.
  • Lack of Visibility: The absence of visibility and transparency can pose a serious threat to cold chain logistics. You should be aware of the location and monitor the condition of the perishables as they go through several phases and involve multiple stakeholders.
  • Ecological: Environmental issues in cold chain logistics extend beyond excessive power consumption and the burning of fossil fuels required for active cooling systems. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), one type of refrigerant gas that has a major contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, not only damage the environment but also make it difficult to comply with regulations when exporting goods across nations.
  • Improper Packaging: Perishable goods need to be packed with extreme caution. Wrong packaging practices can easily deteriorate the quality of a product. At the outset of transportation, temperature fluctuations must be avoided to safeguard the perishables.
  • Human Error: When it comes to handling, loading, and unloading perishable goods, human error can be a major obstacle in cold chain logistics. Experienced professionals should be recruited to handle the operations of transportation. Lack of efficient handling, improper practices, and wrong documentation can eventually lead to other problems that might increase the cost of cold chain logistics.
  • Growth of Microorganisms: Damaged freezer doors and a poorly maintained temperature environment can lead to microbial growth in cold chain storage. If the freezer walls are duly checked, then the process of contamination can be reduced. You can use chemical-free components to clean the inner surface area of the freezer to stop mold buildup.
  • Equipment Failure: Unexpected equipment failure can be a serious problem with cold chain logistics management. The powered cooling systems may malfunction due to power outages or changes in the electrical supply. These can include broken freezer doors, malfunctioning refrigeration equipment, problems with temperature sensors connected to GPS, or power supply outages. The integrity of goods that are sensitive to temperature during storage and transit may be compromised by these malfunctions.
  • Supply Chain Management: If you are engaged with the cold chain industry, you need to coordinate with multiple stakeholders, including producers, distributors, retailers, and consumers. Maintaining the right temperature throughout the supply chain is challenging and needs careful planning and execution to ensure smooth operations and cargo safety.
  • Regulatory Compliance: It takes a lot of effort and money to abide by the industry and guidelines to maintain the safety and integrity of perishable goods. In addition, it becomes a complex process for the shipment to cross international borders as several nations have to undergo strict laws regarding temperature-controlled goods.
  • Damaged Goods: Your business can be significantly impacted by factors outside your cold storage facility's control, such as receiving damaged or spoiled cargo. Cold chain logistics can encounter various issues in the shipment if perishable goods are not maintained at the required temperatures.

Though the cold chain logistics for perishable goods pose complex challenges, on the other hand, they also provide innovative opportunities to expand the perishable business. If you want your business to run on a global scale, you need to address these challenges, ensure the quality and safety of perishable goods from production to consumption, and make investments in efficient infrastructure and reliable cold chain facilities.

Throughout the transit, Citrus Freight ensures to protect your perishable goods, irrespective of rigorous weather conditions. The effective reefer containers enable the shipment to arrive at the desired destination without any interruptions.

At Citrus Freight , we ensure that the perishables are stored in the right reefer temperature control containers.