This topic came out while I was the other day at the supermarket and I saw the multiple destinations from where the fresh products came and their package dates, which was surprisingly just a few days before. So I thought it could be interesting to know a bit more about how a “cold chain” system works.
General speaking, a Cold Supply Chain refers to all those products that demand to keep a specific temperature during its supplying process. It ensures to keep the quality until the good is provided to the customer. The most common ones would be: frozen food, seafood, meat, fruits, vegetables, medicines, vaccines and chemicals but for sure that others come to your mind. While pharmaceutical products should keep a temperature between 2-8 degrees, in the case of food temperatures should be even lower in some cases such as refrigerated products.
The cold chain shares the same important issues such as time, security or reliability with the common supply chain. Moreover, it demands a higher control and accuracy. The reason is basically, because and inefficiency can derive on a huge waste of products that is translated to a waste of money.
Here you can find some recommendations and needs:
– Well prepared equipment. Cold rooms at airports or other transportation hubs are needed. As well as special refrigeration trucks, reefer ships and reefer containers.
– Compact design in order to be able to pack as much quantity as possible.
– Control processes during all the supply process are demanded. Related with this, workers should have the knowledge and information enough related with the product.
– Study and analyze the country regulations.
– Have a back-up plan. In the case of medicines or vaccines, it can help even so save lives.
Finally, I share a couple of videos that might be of your interest. The first one is in a big scale how a big company such as American Airlines deals with the cold supply chain. The second one, in a smaller scale, shows the importance of systems that are needed to provide and store pharmaceutical products.
Fonts: http://www.coldchainiq.com/transportation-logistics; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RU3mDWZsAG4; http://www.miebach.es/es/noticias/?news=38907cab03540bf6483f1465c454a63b ; http://www.publicaciones.san.gva.es/publicaciones/documentos/V.2719-2004.pdf