We Focus on Procurement So You Can Focus on Your Business

frozen fruits
SunLeaf Is A Convenient Way To Secure Your Fruits And Vegetables
October 29, 2019
cold chain supply

Few industries continue to grow as rapidly as cold chain supply. Today, it represents a market valued at more than $188 billion.

A variety of factors will continue to fuel this industry. They include rising population figures, urbanization, and increased international trade of perishable products.

A broader focus on healthy eating also means higher demand for fresh products with an increased shelf life. As research continues to mount about the benefits of consuming more fruits and vegetables, this trend will expand.

In 2017, North America demonstrated the most significant growth in the international cold chain logistics market.

How can it retain a considerable share of this market? Through continued vigilance in the face of challenges unique to the industry.

The bottom line? Industrial food manufacturers need dependable, convenient ways of procuring the veggies and fruits their customers demand.

Read on to learn more about cold chain management and why availability is critical.

Availability in Cold Chain Supply

Cold chain supply comes with many variables. Add to this the sensitivity of the products shipped, and it gets complicated. Quickly.

Globalization has made the world feel smaller in many ways. But geographic separation remains a physical reality. Attempting to navigate these separations often requires complex transportation operations.

These operations necessitate coordination, time, and expertise to ensure success. After all, each unforeseen delay makes the prospect of a degraded shipment more likely. Especially when those shipments prove perishable.

As a result, the cold chain represents more than a process. It’s also a science and a technology.

The Process, Science, and Technology of Cold Chain Management

The process of cold chain supply refers to the various tasks associated with transportation. These include:

  • Preparation
  • Storage
  • Monitoring temperature-sensitive products along the way

Science proves necessary for a thorough understanding of the biological and chemical processes related to perishability. Of course, perishability differs from product to product. Technology also plays an essential factor.

The technology of cold chain supply addresses physical means of guaranteeing optimal temperatures. But cost-efficiency proves crucial here, too. In other words, the cost of the technology used must get weighed against profitability.

Of course, every part of the cold chain process depends on availability. The availability of various products. And the availability of cold chain infrastructure, technology, and support at every stage of the game.

Factors That Can Impact Availability

Cold chain supply connects organizations and people on a national and global level. These connections include:

  • The farmer
  • The food processor
  • The frozen food distributor
  • The grocer or restaurant owner
  • The end-user

Along the circuitous path from farmer to end-user, plenty of factors contribute to availability. These include:

  • Wars
  • Trade wars
  • Labor shortages
  • Socio-political unrest
  • Geological events
  • Natural disasters
  • Pandemic concerns
  • Terrorism
  • Weather phenomena
  • Cultural and religious holidays

This list represents the tip of the iceberg when it comes to factors that can disrupt availability.

The supply chain will always come with a fixed amount of volatility. After all, things that happen half a world away can impact your delivery or shipment, whether that’s a political demonstration or a tropical storm.

When you add shipping temperatures to the mix, you further complicate an already tricky proposition. That’s why you need to work with a cold chain logistics expert.

Fortunately, cold chain supply continues to find innovative ways to meet these challenges with the assistance of:

  • New technologies
  • Infrastructural growth
  • A firm grasp of the geopolitical landscape
  • Understanding of national and global regulations

Mitigating risk remains the best way to avoid availability challenges at every level.

Problems Facing Cold Chain Supply

What’s one of the jobs of an excellent frozen food distributor? To expect the best and prepare for the worst.

Preparing for various contingencies requires thorough knowledge and experience when it comes to handling high-value shipments in the face of unexpected issues.

Going with the experts represents a form of cold chain supply risk management. Yes, you’ll pay more upfront. But they remain your primary defense against unnecessary loss.

Don’t believe us? Weigh the costs of risk management against the strategic importance of your product deliveries. The inherent value of risk management will quickly reveal itself.

What are the most problematic issues associated with cold chain logistics? They include pressure to stay both efficient and cost-effective.

The most reliable cold chain technologies prove among the most expensive. Cold chain supply represents a careful balancing act between providing end-users with superior products and achieving cost efficiencies.

Another major factor that can impact cold chain supply? The availability of uniform infrastructure on the international level. Cold chain technologies continue to evolve to meet the pressures of the global market. But the devil remains in the details.

Something as simple as having the right adapter and voltage can mean the difference between goods shipped at the stipulated temperature and perishables that perish.

Regulatory Issues

Besides consistent infrastructure and compatible technology, regulations on cold chain management are different around the world. On the domestic level, these regulations keep changing, too.

For example, ecologically-driven regulations have had a significant impact on the cold chain in the US. Especially when it comes to restrictions on refrigerant gases such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

On the international level, myriad legal, customs, and compliance issues can also impact supply chain logistics. Since each country has unique regulations, supply chain managers must stay on top of this dynamic legal landscape.

After all, just one slip in documentation can lead to clearance delays, inspections, and precious loss of time.

The “Logistics” of Cold Supply Logistics

What are the essential commodities when it comes to cold chain supply? Besides availability, it’s time. Both can impact the delivery of the final product in optimal condition.

Fortunately, when you work with a frozen food distributor that understands cold chain logistics, many of the risks listed above are mitigated before they arise.

Preparation remains crucial to the entire process. So, don’t leave your transportation needs to anyone less than the best.

At SunLeaf Foods, we take pride in our customer service, quality, and global sourcing for an uninterrupted chain of supply. Contact us today for all of your cold chain needs.