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Benefits of Cold Chain Warehousing Solutions

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Benefits of Cold Chain Warehousing Solutions

Not many people are familiar with cold chain warehouse solutions. However, if you are in any type of business dealing with perishable items, this is right up your alley. Cold chain warehousing is used to store items that need to be left in cool surroundings and that have a short shelf life. By using them you can prevent your items from spoiling, being attacked by insects and rotting. So, the goal is clear. Life of certain items needs to be prolonged and one of the most effective ways to accomplish this is by using cold-chain warehousing, also known as cold storage or refrigerated warehousing.

Types of products that are in need of cold chain warehousing 

First, you need to know which items are suitable to be stored in such a place. Not all items respond well to cool temperatures. The last thing you want is investing in something that you do not need, like cold storage. For example, after transporting fruits and vegetables it would be a great solution to store them in cold storage space. Hence, if your business involves some of these products you are on the right path of finding the best possible solution for your business load.

Supermarkets and other stores have a tendency to use cold storage for a lot of their goods that are not in store for sale. 

3 main groups of goods 

-Foods that are considered to be alive – fruits and vegetables

-Processed foods that are considered to be no longer alive – fish, meat and any other products that contain the fish and meat

-Items that do not necessarily need be stored in a cool or freezing atmosphere, but remain the freshest and of highest quality while in it (tobacco, beer, some oils, some types of flour, etc.)

There are two main options 

One of the great things about cold storage units is that there are many different variations. But, there are two main types of systems. First comes the vapor absorption system (VAS), followed by vapor compression system (VCS). These two systems are not cardinally different from one another. Yet, there are some important differences that need to be acknowledged. The main one being the technique in which energy input is fed to the system. To be sure you are making the right choice when making this large purchase, we strongly advise you to speak to an expert. Sooner or later you will have to learn the difference between the two systems.

Main benefits of cold chain warehouse solutions 

Still, you might not be persuaded and convinced that this type of storage will improve your business. Nonetheless, after reading these benefits, it is very likely that the next thing you do will be exploring your options in purchasing a cold storage unit. Cold chain warehousing solutions in combination with transport technologies for air cargo can be one of the best solutions for storing and moving perishable goods.

Fruits and vegetables are items that are very difficult to store because they are very sensitive to temperature and even humidity. 

The array of usage doesn’t limit you 

One great thing about cold storage is that the temperature within the unit can be easily adjusted. That isn’t all. In addition to temperature, humidity can also be controlled. Humidity, just like temperature, can be a huge factor in saving the freshness and quality of the items. These two benefits, with an airtight closing mechanism, make this a great storage option.

Customize to fit your needs 

More modern units can be customized so the temperature range and size of the unit specifically fit your storage needs. For instance, if you do not need freezing conditions, but dry and cool, your needs can be accommodated. This is a perfect option for those that import oils and fats. As a cherry on top, your unit can be fixed or portable. There is an abundance of options. All you have to do is choose the bests options for your business requirements.

Great backup and organizing option

This can be best described in an example. For argument’s sake, let’s say you are a restaurant owner. One day, out of the blue, the power shuts down and there is no electricity in your restaurant. If you are a fan of cold chain warehousing solutions, you might survive the electricity outage without any loses. If all goods are quickly moved and expedited to the cold storage space, it is very likely they will not lose their value and end up as garbage.

In the long run, you are saving money 

The initial investment is not small, but it will certainly save you money in the long run. Surely you know how much goods you’ve tossed in the past years. Imagine preserving and using or selling at least half of what you tossed. That can add up financially. Minimize waste and give yourself an option to purchase items in bigger bulks for a significantly lower price.

Investing in cold storage might initially turn out to be a financial hit, but it will pay off in the long run. Alt text: suitcase filled with dollar bills and with other bills around it.

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Danny Segno is a New York native, but currently, she lives in Boynton Beach Florida. For the past two years, she has been working for Authority Moving Group, a professional moving company. Danny enjoys her job because she likes working with people and helping them. Since she is a customer care specialist, she focuses on customer satisfaction. 

 

WHAT IT TAKES TO BE OR WORK WITH A 3PL THAT HANDLES PERISHABLE FREIGHT

In a world that is becoming more globalized by the second, the literal array of products being shipped in 2019 is extremely diverse. One diverse segment is the perishables industry, which distributes goods that naturally deteriorate due to time or environmental conditions. This is an understandably complex segment, requiring a logistical savviness and excellent partners to ensure products arrive in time and, most important, fresh and intact.

Meats and meat by-products, dairy, fish and seafood, chemicals, flowers and pharmaceutical products make up the perishable goods segment. According to Technavio, a leading market research firm, the sector is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of nearly 8 percent (2017-2021). A revealing report published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2000 astutely signaled this growth, arguing that the advances in transportation technology would significantly ease perishable freight trade via the reduction of shipping costs and streamlined delivery times.

A Valuable Partner

Transporting perishable freight is a multiple, moving parts effort. As such, third party logistics (3PL) providers play a vital role. Outsourcing to 3PLs allows shippers to not only hang onto their capital for reinvestment in their own, core operations, but they can additionally take advantage of 3PL technology which is generally ahead of the curve.

A good 3PL will provide access to economies of scale, enable superior elasticity in areas such as route planning (to lessen unnecessary “hand-offs”), provide access to cutting-edge temperature tracking technology and enable the use of shared, cold storage warehouses with the shipper. The latter alone offers tremendous cost savings.

Choosing the Right 3PL

Food Logistics holds annual awards, prominently recognizing the top 3PL and cold-storage providers. Jumping into a 3PL partnership should not be taken lightly. While the agencies in the Food Logistics awards list are clearly leaders in the industry, fully vetting potential partners is highly suggested, with these five areas are an excellent place to start.    

1. Proven Success – To the detriment of the “start-up” 3PLs, entrusting your perishable freight in the hands of relative novices is not the best idea. Go with a winner that can provide excellent client feedback.

2. Robust Technology – This is an area where your 3PL should be much farther ahead of the technological curve than the shipper. Good 3PLs are agile enough to have resources on-hand to stay on top of the very technology that will cut costs and increase efficiency times.  

3. Scalability – Once a 3PL is in place, the shipper is entering a shared-space environment. This is the natural advantage of outsourcing, so ensuring the 3PL can scale in a parallel manner with the shipper will facilitate economies of scale.

4. Location Networks – A seasoned, successful 3PL will take a more nuanced, strategic approach to network configuration, ensuring the shipper can count on the right distribution center locations.

5. Commitment to Improvement – While last, this is a key point because every 3PL will be faced with pressure to continuously evolve and improve. During initial conversations, addressing what these challenges have been and how the 3PL addressed them in the past will reveal much about the firm. 

3PL Key Issues

As a 3PL charged with perishable freight, the issues are frankly numerous. On the trucking side, it is not machine nor technology-based–it’s humans. Driver shortages are a major concern, with Bloomberg reporting earlier this year that the shortfall has leaped to 296,311 as of the second quarter of 2018. The root of the issue goes back to 2004, when federal law mandated stricter oversight of hours worked per day. Cuts were made, which meant more drivers were needed due to the current crop having to work less. Couple this with the aging trucker population and shortages have been rampant ever since.   

A strong economy has been another issue that partly explains the trucker shortage. Manufacturing and construction have had an easier time finding new entrants into those sectors than has trucking. The former sectors are tapping into the same general population as the latter, and weeks on the road, away from families, is not as attractive as working at a given site and returning home every evening.

To combat this, 3PLs need to provide better services and remain highly efficient. Transportation is still the weakest link in supervising what’s known as the “cold chain.” Low-cost providers can enter easily, which results in a host of marginal players making it hard for suppliers to weed out the true high performers.

On the sustainability side, shippers are increasingly seeking 3PLs with the smallest carbon footprint possible. Packaging and warehousing are well-known polluters, which has put pressure on 3PLs to generate as few pollutants possible. Utilizing eco-friendly electric vehicles to adopting “green storage and packaging” processes, logistics innovation and alternative fuel implementation are major issues larger and savvier suppliers are seeking. 

As with any industry, challenges are ever-present, but the 3PL sector is revolutionizing how we consume and enjoy perishable items on a global scale. Thanks to these nimble entities, hundreds of millions of people have regular access to affordable products in ideal states, something our grandparents and many of our parents could not have said.