Solving the Unique Challenges of Shipping Perishables
Cold chain shipping requires precision. The best temperature loggers collect and track shipment temperature and identify where and when temperature fluctuations occur.
When it comes to cold chain shipping, the challenges associated with supply chain management are magnified because perishable products must be shipped in a carefully controlled environment—during both storage and shipment.
According to FAO Statistics, approximately 1/3 of all food products are lost or wasted during harvesting, packaging, transportation, or trade—often due to temperature non-compliance.
An effective loss prevention strategy, centered around cost-effectively tracking and collecting shipment temperature, is more important than ever. Let’s review the most critical challenges that arise in cold chain logistics and how technology can ensure these shipments arrive on time and in full.
Challenges of Shipping Perishables
With products that move through the cold chain, stakeholders need insight into the temperature of shipments to address two potential failure points:
- Inventory management. Managing inventory is a complex—yet vital—objective for all retail companies. For those that ship and sell perishables, inventory management is even more challenging: these products have a limited shelf life, and must be restocked more frequently and in a more controlled manner.
- Increasing regulatory requirements. Regulations regarding perishables shipping are only growing stricter. Retailers, manufacturers, and logistics service providers must meet a range of regulatory requirements (such as FSMA) regarding how those products are shipped, processed, and stored. These requirements often create a heavy burden for those shipping, receiving, or selling these products.
Why is Temperature Tracking Important?
Temperature tracking ensures complete transparency when shipping temperature-sensitive cargo. Did the product get too hot? Too cold? Should the customer reject the load before it hits store shelves?
The ability to track and analyze temperature data enables shippers and logistics service providers to ensure the safety and quality of deliveries. Although some spoilage can be identified upon arrival, without shipment temperature visibility, it can be difficult to keep compromised products from winding up in customers’ hands.
The best temperature loggers collect and track shipment temperature and identify where and when the temperature has fallen outside of acceptable thresholds during transit—making it simple to ensure safety and quality.
Use Cases: Implementing Cost-Effective Temperature Logging Solutions
Modern technology solutions enable food shippers, manufacturers, and logistics service providers to ensure the safety and quality of cold chain shipments.
Apotek (a subsidiary of Phoenix Group, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company) has found a simple, cost-effective solution for transporting temperature-sensitive drugs using Tive Tag, a cloud-enabled temperature logger. The Tive Tag is in the form of a thin, flexible shipping label, and half the cost of a conventional logger.
According to Petter Bojan Herlufsen, logistics at Apotek, “We’re particularly pleased with the innovation and ease of the technology, as well as the support developing the system according to our wishes. It takes about 30 seconds to start and read a Tive Tag, saving both time and money.”
HAVI Freight Management, a global strategic logistics provider for McDonald’s, also simplifies and ensures the safety of its food transport using temperature logging technology. Ainars Dobulis, project manager at HAVI, stated, “Tive Tag’s innovative cold chain solution fulfills McDonald’s high requirements for food quality and customer safety.”