One of the most significant developments that support today’s lifestyle is that of cold chain logistics. The concept of preserving food with cold storage originated in the early 1800s. British seamen revolutionized the fishing industry by using ice to preserve their catches until they could reach shore.
Modern Cold Chain Management
Railroads began experimenting with the shipment of produce in the early 1900s with some degree of success. It was not until 1938, however, that Frederick Jones, an American inventor, introduced the first air cooling unit that was practical to use on vehicles. This was just in time for the logistics needs of World War II. While railroads played a growing role, it was new technology and the Interstate Highway Act of 1956 that made the trucking industry the key player in what is now called cold chain logistics.
Consumers today take for granted the fact that their ice cream was safely frozen and their milk was kept at the right temperature, from the point of manufacture to their grocery shelves. However, this is only the case because of the use of sophisticated cold chain logistics.
It is this process that allows food to arrive that is safe from bacterial growth, has not been bruised, has the right color and texture, and ready for use at locations that may be thousands of miles from production. Likewise, many medicines and vaccines benefit from the same care.
Today, trucking shipments follow strict regimens and processes to provide global shipment of perishable foods, medicines, and other items in a practical and affordable manner. In fact, the recent pandemic illustrated the necessity of and sophistication of cold chain logistics.
We are proud at Road Scholar to be a leading force in the advancement of and utilization of cold chain shipping. The Food Safety Modernization Act establishes clear guidelines that detail every aspect of providing and guaranteeing secure shipment of items from production to delivery at the end user facility.
The first goal of this legislation is to ensure the integrity, safety, and useability of products and goods that depend on cold chain management. This involves the use of efficient thermal packing and the latest in temperature tracking and monitoring. Products must not just arrive at their destination at the right temperature, they must be monitored throughout shipment to avoid any unacceptable temperature extremes.
In addition to the paramount issues of safety and quality, the modern cold chain logistical network helps:
- Reduce Losses and Waste. Temperature-sensitive items are protected only when the entire cold chain operates as designed. In the earliest days of shipments, as much as fifty percent or more, and often full loads of produce and other items, were lost due to delays and temperature inconsistencies. Today’s protocols not only make that rare, but they also provide monitoring that documents specific temperature ranges the entire time the product is in transport.
- Focus on Efficiency. The recent delays and challenges of the pandemic proved that just shipping items is only the start of the process. Having them arrive in time to maximize the transport, storage, and delivery of items at desired times is a challenge that can only be met by professional management of the cold chain.
- Ensure Full Regulatory and Legal Compliance. Government oversight of the cold chain has increased at all levels and globally. We ensure our protocols are consistent and compliant with the latest requirements of the World Health Organization, FDA, and CDC regulations and laws.
Protecting Non-Perishable Items
It is easy to understand why certain foods and medicines require careful cold chain management. However, many other products and services, such as electronics, plastics, and liquids, also require protection from temperature extremes.
Firms that ship products during the winter months can suffer significant losses if unexpected temperatures are encountered. This is especially the case today as delays and trans-shipments may leave products and items exposed to extreme cold for extended periods of time and outside climate-controlled warehouses.
Take time to evaluate how cold chain logistic protocols will add a valuable layer of protection for your shipments during the coldest and hottest times of the year.