In the United States, roughly $161 billion worth of food is wasted each year. While 31% of the waste happens at the retail or consumer level, most food spoils somewhere earlier in the chain.
If you’re letting food products spoil en route to the warehouse, you might as well just flush a third of your revenue down the drain.
And it’s not just food that goes bad. Once-good medications, laboratory test products, and sanitizing chemicals stop being useful—or safe—after they get too warm.
To prevent those losses, use cold chain solutions.
Cold chain solutions are systems that keep products within the ideal temperature range for their entire lifecycles. Products stay appropriately refrigerated and contained as cargo.
No matter which ship or truck hauls the cargo, the products never overheat.
But what does that mean for a business like yours?
Read on to learn how cold chain logistics work in practice, and discover the five major benefits these systems offer.
Cold Chain Solutions: Overview
Cold chain solutions manage and maintain the temperature in the immediate environment of temperature-sensitive products. The most common temperature-sensitive products are perishable foods and medications.
Cold chain solutions typically incorporate monitoring and storage components.
Cold chain monitoring uses sensors and other devices to send managers real-time temperature data. This empowers managers to react and adjust to environmental changes.
Monitoring is a complex part of the solution. It’s worthwhile to read expert sources to learn more about it.
Cold chain warehousing and cold chain shipping are both potential solutions. No matter which specific solution you choose, you’re likely to see the same, recurring benefits.
1. Eliminate Product Safety Risks
Cold chain solutions can prevent milk—and other fresh ingredients—from spoiling.
This is because cool environments slow the growth of mold and bacteria. This is the key cause of foodborne illness. In freezing temperatures, bacteria cannot survive.
2. Improve Product Quality
Cold chain solutions can improve the quality of food products as well as safety. When food rots, it’s over-ripening. The cell walls of fruits and vegetables break down and collapse. This is the effect of enzymes that naturally exist in plants.
If a harvested plant is left alone, eventually the enzymes break down the sugars. This makes the fruit or vegetable rot.
Cool temperatures slow enzyme activity. When the enzymes are inactive, food stays fresher.
3. Increase Product Shelf Life
A product can stay on the shelf until it spoils or rots. Cold chain transportation prevents both. This means neither bacteria nor enzymes have much of a chance to activate before the food arrived on the store shelf.
4. Expand Transport Range
When a product stays fresh and safe longer, you can transport it farther. Cold chain solutions let you carry perishable products to destinations a week’s journey away.
Without cold chain solutions, the same products may go bad in three days.
This expansion is fundamental. It lets your business scale and grow.
5. Improve Accountability, Regulatory Compliance
Companies that sell products for human or animal consumption must meet FDA regulations. Many regulations, including temperature-range regulations for specific products, fall under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA).
Cold chain solutions empower companies to meet many of these guidelines and regulations.
Cold Chain Management and Smart Solutions
Cold chain solutions are an excellent asset. They make perishable products safer and improve their quality. They also increase the shelf life of fresh food and other products.
Ultimately, cold chain solutions can expand a distributor’s range. This is key to scaling and growth.
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