New technology for Cold Chain. How will optimize productivity.
What is cold chain and cold chain logistics?
The basic definition of a cold chain is, a “temperature controlled supply chain" and it refers to an uninterrupted series of refrigerated production, storage and distribution activities, along with associated equipment and logistics, which maintain a desired low-temperature range. "Cold Chain" it requires specialized equipment such as temperature-controlled trucks to function, making it a complicated industry for shippers and trucking companies.
All temperature sensitive products have shelf life’s refering to the length of time that a product may be stored without becoming unfit for consumption. As part of the cold chain, trucking has a significant role in maintaining the shelf life of temperature sensitive products. Some of the key areas where trucking’s role can affect shelf life are transit time, transit temperature.
When dispatching trucks factors such as bad planning resulting in miles travelled per day, adverse weather conditions, driver lack of coaching, extreme traffic conditions, etc can affect delivery times. Transit Temperature
Produce loads are on the extreme side of temperature sensitive products, and a multitude of factors can affect temperatures in transit, and therefore jeopardize a product’s shelf life. It is a driver’s responsibility to always ensure that the product temperature is optimal prior to it being loaded on their trailer. This can be confirmed by taking random pulp temperature readings of the load. If a driver suspects that the product is either too hot or too cold to warrant that the air temperatures in transit will be maintained as per the bill of lading (which will ultimately affect both the product’s quality and shelf life upon delivery), they should notify the shipper and transportation provider immediately. At that point, the shipper/transportation provider will decide if the load will be taken or not, or if specific releases from liability for both the transportation provider and the carrier will be negotiated.
The cold chain for produce (and logistics related to it) requires maintaining temperature integrity. To get the best shelf life out of products means all interested parties must control the processes involved. This requires communication, coordination and an understanding that all parties involved, from shippers, transportation providers, carriers, and receivers share these responsibilities. With this understanding, it is obvious that trucking has an essential role in the shelf life of temperature sensitive products. And, with the right tools and knowledge in place, trucking can strengthen all links in the cold chain.
Below, we are reviewing what we think are the 4 most coming cold chain logistics problems for drivers and explaining how Xfleet Telematics can solve them.
Lack of Documentation
Documenting product storage conditions is of great importance in the cold chain. This is important for every step, but even more so during in-transit.
With Xfleet you will gain unprecedented visibility. The foundation of cold chain management efficiency is information. First and foremost, you need to know where your trailers and other assets are and where they’ve been. An asset tracking solution gives you full asset visibility in near real-time, including location, current status and usage history. No matter fleet size, all your vehicles will be on one interface that consolidates data, clusters multiple assets and offers fast searching or tag filtering.
Inadequate Packaging and/or Issues with Product Quality
In the produce industry, preparation of product may be done either in the field or at the packing house. This involves using procedures for proper cleaning, sanitizing, and sorting according to quality and size, and any product treatments that are approved and necessary prior to packaging into transportation containers. Drivers have direct access to notes and records, stored on Driver App, can check sanitize control and can send, in real time, pictures and notes of product with Inadequate Packaging directly to dispatcher UI interface to analyze and take any decisions
Interrupted Temperature and Climate Control
A top issue in cold chain logistics is temperature variances, which can affect the quality and safety of produce. There are times when a driver must make 25 deliveries on the same truck which means continually opening and closing the trailer doors, exposing the product to ambient temperatures that are higher than the temperature set inside the refrigerated trailer. Under these types of conditions, the refrigeration unit cannot maintain climate control. Every moment Monitor trailer temperature and status. Asset tracking is more than knowing where your trailers are—it’s knowing how they’re doing on a broad range of key indicators. Using status updates and automated alerts, fleet managers can monitor temperature data, reefer status, door closure and movement, intrusion and more. With these near-real time metrics, you can be confident the temperature-sensitive food and healthcare products you’re transporting remain at the proper temperatures every leg of their trip. In cases where temperatures move out of safe ranges, you can take immediate action. In addition, remote temperature monitoring and control allows you to improve fuel utilization. It also reduces the likelihood that drivers will turn off the reefer to save fuel, thus decreasing spoilage and losses.
Delays can affect the cold chain by producing temperature issues that are mentioned above, or by reducing the shelf life of a product because it is on a truck for longer than it should be.
By quickly and easily installing small, mountable Xfleet bluetooth beacons sensors for GPS, it’s possible to seamlessly monitor and track trucks and other assets critical to cold chain operations via a laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Xfleet Business subscription includes Delivery Management System with Full Advanced GPS Power and will give you access to:
Order management and Powerful Algorithms to Plan routes more efficient and make more deliveries in less time
Set geofence notification alerts alerts when a shipment arrived to your customer’s loading dock. Improve communication with your drivers. Driver app andGPS fleet tracking eliminates the need to call your drivers. You can be in touch any time, helping them find the fastest route, reducing unnecessary or unauthorized stops. Understand and improve fleet overall utilization understanding how often and how long a truck or other cold chain equipment ran during a certain day or time period.