“Cold Chain Logistics” The “Cool” solution for Food Industry!!

The U.S. Bureau of the Census reported that world population in 2015 exceeded 7.2 billion. The figures comprised the highest population in the world in China with 1.3 billion people, followed by population in India with 1.2 billion, and indicated an annual population growth rate, which means a proportionate increase in demand for commodities, especially fresh foods, in areas far away from raw material sources worldwide. As such, “Cold Chain” or “transport of fresh foods” to those remote destinations while the food’s quality is retained is crucial due to the need to prevent their natural deterioration and extend the saleable life cycle. Cold chain is designed to preserve them by retaining their freshness until they reach the consumers. Unless the foods are consumable at the time of being marketed, all parties concerned will be faced with pointless losses.

Cold chain is a logistics tool whereby technology is applied for use in order to extend the saleable life cycle of perishable goods and ensure that they do not perish in storage or in transit to end destinations (inevitable losses).  In other words, this is comparable with time buying to an extent en route to the distribution point and buyers in remote areas.  Keeping food in cold storage helps reduce food losses.  Still, time restrictions apply to everything stored in a cold storage. Hence, effective supply chain management enables buyers to have better access to such foods.

Food losses have direct impact not only on the physical feature of the foods but also the entire food chain as well as the ecological footprint.  As all living things have to rely on ecosystem resources for survival, to use the resources is virtually to leave an imprint of how life is spent on the world’s ecosystem.  To elaborate, a loss of six apples means a waste of more than 500 liters of water used in producing them while a loss of 12 tomatoes could mean [a gain of] 200 liters of water and, besides, increased greenhouse gas emissions which also affect global climate change.  The solution of this problem does not lie in a termination of food production but in the measure to ensure food is perfectly consumed.  Cold chain is not just a storage system but a system that allows producers and the market better access to food and, in turn, enhances productivity on the part of farms and/or the source of raw materials.  As such, cold chain can be said to provide a zero-sum solution.

Cold chain involves not only the use of coldness to maintain freshness and preserve the quality of food but also includes post-harvest crop management in food supply chain as well as enhances agribusiness management.  In India, for example, cold chain is effectively applied in multiple food businesses because the country is the world’s largest exporter of beef (it exports more than 1.5 million tons of beef), poultry and egg; is among the world’s top ten exporters of fresh grape and the world’s largest producer and consumer of dairy products, among others.  Food production has become different through the introduction of cold supply chain as fresh, new raw materials contribute partly to the quality and flavor of food.  Cold chain helps reduce losses due to deterioration of raw materials as well as reduce cost of food and waste from production process.  Those in food business not only have to mainly take into account the quantity and quality of raw materials but also need to give priority to the choice of service and/or becoming business partners with logistics service providers as these are key factors ensuring continued availability and preserved top quality of raw materials needed.  The numerous cold supply chain companies in Thailand are all striving to come up with competitive strategies ranging from the location of their cold storage warehouse near production plants and/or raw material sources, adequate cold storage logistics transport to training of professional operating personnel.

SCG Nichirei Logistics is one of cold chain logistics service providers operating under the concept “We deliver Good Taste and Freshness”.  Aside from the strategic location of its cold storage warehouse which facilitates and serves import/export solution along with distributes cold chain products in domestics market, the company adheres to the Total Quality Management System with GMP standard certificates issued by TUV NORD with EST No.257 (Official Export Establishment Certificate) guarantee that SCG Nichirei Logistics has the cold storage capacity for poultry business export (it is one of the few companies in Thailand that has obtained such certification).  Thus, business operators can be confident of compliance with standard international practice.  Moreover, to ensure effective service provision, the company’s freight management of raw materials is separated from that of ready-to-eat foods while temperature is controlled at all stages all through the entire supply chain starting with storage in temperature-controlled warehouse at 0 to -25 degree Celsius depending on the type of goods, transport from cold storage to refrigerated trucks complete with air shelter and –shutter to ensure stable temperature control to provision of a large space to facilitate repacking of goods at 5 degree Celsius.  As a safety measure in providing services, ammonia is converted into carbon dioxide before it is released into the cold storage warehouse following the most advanced technology from Japan inGreen Logistics Equipment ;Cooling System NH3/CO2;Besides, a modern gas leakage detecting system has been installed at the warehouse, among other preventive measures.

Thus, logistics service providers contribute to the reduction of food loss in the supply chain through cold supply chain solution professionally managed while taking into consideration quality, efficiency and harmoniously   retained balance of nature (being environment-friendly).  Food businesses will continue to grow steadily and cold chain services will remain in demand so long as human beings still need the four requisites for living a life. The nature of demand for food may be affected by other factors in the future in the effort to overcome time restrictions as regards product perishability and life cycle to benefit those living in remote areas so that they can survive, which might possibly compel us to adjust the entire supply chain management and come up with a brand new one.

Compiled by BLOG.SCGLogistics

Reference and picture credits linkedin.com(Neveen Joshi), bloomberg.com

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