The Cold Chain

The greater the physical separation, the more likely freight can be damaged in one of the complex transport operations involved. Some goods can be damaged by shocks while others can be damaged by undue temperature variations. For a range of goods labeled as perishables, particularly food (produces), their quality degrades with time.

To ensure that cargo does not become damaged or compromised throughout this process, businesses in the food industries but also in pharmaceutical, medical are increasingly relying on the cold chain.

“The cold chain involves the transportation of temperature sensitive products along a supply chain through thermal and refrigerated packaging methods and the logistical planning to protect the integrity of these shipments. There are several means in which cold chain products can be transported, including refrigerated trucks and railcars, refrigerated cargo ships as well as by air cargo.”

Temperature control in the shipment of food is a component of the logistic industry that has continued to rise in relation with international trade. As a growing number of countries focus their export economy around food and produce production, the need to keep these products fresh for extended periods of time has gained in importance for commercial.

To ensure that the cold-chain is working without any problems, some steps have to be determined:

Shipment preparation:

  • Characterize the product
  • Characterize the conditions of the destination

Modal choice:

  • How will the shipment be moved
  • According to distance and weight and perishability

Custom procedures:

  • Is the perishable product allowed to cross borders?

The “Last Mile”:

  • The final transfer of the shipment into the cold storage facilities as there is potential for a break of integrity
  • Timing of the delivery according to critical factors like labor and warehouse space

Integrity and quality assurance

  • Recording of any known temperature anomalies



The Geography of Transport Systems, Jean-Paul Rodrigue (2017), New York: Routledge, ISBN 978-1138669574


One thought on “The Cold Chain”

  1. Very good post. Now I can define the cold chain and the factors that exist direct with the transportation.

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