Today’s consumers are accustomed to enjoying delicacies with out-of-season fruits and vegetables and foreign ingredients. This is all thanks to the modern supply he chain with cold storage capability or cold chain.

These cold chain benefits extend beyond food. The biopharmaceutical cold chain is the cornerstone that enables access to life-saving healthcare products such as biologics, medicines and even vaccines.

Since the pandemic, cold chains have received a lot of attention from companies and governments, especially in developing countries, due to the complexities involved in delivering vaccines. A McKinsey report says ultra-low temperatures of -70°C are required to store certain of his COVID vaccines for more than six weeks. Others require a conventional freezer capacity of -20°C. Storing at higher temperatures risks losing potency. Current cold chain storage capabilities can mostly maintain temperatures around 2-8°C, which is standard for many non-COVID vaccines. In addition to this, the current supply chain infrastructure also lacks vehicles and warehouses with cold storage capabilities to distribute these vaccines at the required temperatures.

The challenge is not limited to vaccine distribution. Nearly 1,661,000 tons of food can be refrigerated, according to the International Institute for Refrigeration. However, only 47% is refrigerated, leading to a loss of 13% of food production. He pointed out that cold storage and lack of infrastructure were the main culprits for this. According to a report by Research and Markets, India’s cold chain infrastructure remains underdeveloped and fragmented.

Bridge infrastructure gaps with rapid distribution

From government support and funding to innovation, much is being done to close the cold chain infrastructure supply gap. Meanwhile, companies must find ways to speed up the distribution of these temperature-sensitive products and minimize waste. Manual logistics fulfillment processes are inadequate to achieve the last-mile excellence you need. Technology solutions are great for this task because they are good at many things, including:

End-to-end automation

Powerful algorithms can increase efficiency while reducing the time and resources required to complete repetitive but important last-mile processes. One of these functions is the capture of shipments and assignment to vehicles. Operating cold chain vehicles often requires specialized and experienced personnel to operate and operate them. Order management capabilities ensure that high-priority cold chain products are assigned to these vehicles.

Another prime example of this is route planning. In the past, dispatchers spent hours planning fleet routes using ground knowledge, instincts and cumbersome spreadsheets. Route planning solutions leverage powerful algorithms to determine minimum travel distances, fuel emissions, delivery priorities, traffic conditions, among others.These incremental improvements

This means that more products can be protected from exposure to high temperatures.

360 degree visibility and communication

The speed of decision making also greatly affects the improvement of shipping efficiency. The Control Tower solution provides real-time visibility into all drivers and their shipments. These solutions can be configured to provide automatic alerts before service level agreements are violated. For example, supervisors can be alerted when a vehicle breaks down, deviates from an optimized route, or the temperature of cold chain cargo becomes dangerously high. We can also help you communicate seamlessly with drivers on the ground to correct these issues and prevent costly delays that lead to product damage. A tracking page provides real-time updates to end consumers. End consumers also recognize the importance of these products. It can also communicate seamlessly with drivers to prevent delays.

Optimization by analysis

Advanced algorithms can process the billions of data points generated by last-mile operations to reveal deep layers of inefficiency. It can also provide insight into growth beyond the capabilities of the average human through intuitive dashboards. These can be leveraged to reduce delivery times and provide longer shelf life for time sensitive refrigerated products.

to sum up

Excellence at all stages of transportation is key to cold chain logistics, especially since the infrastructure has yet to scale to meet the necessary demand. This means that there are often fewer storage units or refrigerated vehicles for the products to move around, greatly shortening the shelf life of these products. Technology solutions help cold chain logistics companies overcome these temperatures by increasing delivery efficiency through automation, enabling 360-degree visibility, and harnessing the power of analytics to uncover severe inefficiencies. Helps reduce spoilage of sensitive products.

The writer is the founder and CEO of Locus.

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