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Cold Chain Logistics Solutions: A Cool Path To Success

January 17, 2024
 By Jacob Lee
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Cold Chain Logistics Solutions: A Cool Path To Success
Last Modified: April 11, 2024
There are many things that can go wrong when shipping temperature-sensitive products. Our article on cold chain logistics solutions will show you how these challenges are mitigated.

Cold chain logistics solutions are essential for businesses that ship temperature-sensitive items. Perishable products can easily be spoiled and require constant attention during transit. Without the right protocols in place, moving these goods can end in failure. 

The Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) describes cold chain logistics solutions as the tools, technologies, and methods used to move temperature-sensitive goods. This includes anything from insulated packaging materials to temperature monitoring devices. When used correctly, goods will stay safe and cold during transit.  

Get into the details of cold chain logistics solutions and learn how they can benefit you when shipping perishable products. 

Why Cold Chain Logistics Solutions Are Important

The spoilage of food in the United States cold chain is a serious problem. At numerous points throughout the shipping process, goods are at risk of going bad, representing a waste in both money and resources. To demonstrate how serious this issue is, consider some data we’ve provided. 

Proportions of Food Loss & Waste In the Supply Chain

Type of Food LossPercentage
Production13%
Storage, Handling & Transportation6%
Processing & Packaging1%
Distribution & Retail6%
Consumer8%

Provided by Solvoyo

These numbers show why it’s so important to find the right solution when transporting perishable items. With better practices in place, the loss of these items will be greatly reduced. 

As this picture depicts, air shipping is part of cold chain logistics solutions

How Are Temperature-Sensitive Items Transported?

Shippers often think their ability to move perishable goods is limited. However, there are various cold chain logistics services that can be used to move products requiring temperature control. 

Types of Cold Chain Shipping Methods

There are numerous vehicles and equipment that can be used to carry perishable items throughout the cold chain. Whether a shipment is domestic or international, businesses will have the coverage they need. 

Modes of cold chain transport include:

  • Reefer trailers: These are the most common means of transportation for short to medium distances. These trucks maintain a constant temperature throughout the journey.
  • Reefer ships: For international transport, refrigerated cargo ships, known as reefer vessels, are used. They have dedicated temperature-controlled cargo holds to move large quantities of perishable goods across oceans.
  • Air freight: Air freight is the fastest way to ship perishables internationally. Specialized containers with temperature control are used to protect goods during flight.
  • Reefer rail cars: Railway transport also provide refrigerated freight services using reefer cars. These are particularly useful for long distances when road movements might not be viable.

With these modes of shipping, shippers can send their perishable goods to just about any location they desire.

Advantages of Using Specialized Cold Shipping Solutions

Utilizing cold shipping solutions has many advantages aside from multiple transportation methods. 

These include:

  • Maintained product quality and safety
  • Enhanced tracking and monitoring

With the ability to move goods over long distances, businesses can expand their market thanks to temperature storage and transport. This is particularly beneficial for companies looking to grow their customer base to new geographic locations.

Modern shipping solutions for perishable goods incorporate advanced tracking and monitoring technologies. Real-time tracking allows businesses to monitor their shipments closely, enhancing transparency and control over the transportation process.

To learn more about how temperature-sensitive items are sent out, read our article on cold chain distribution. 

Crates of lettuce and other perishable being moved around in a refrigerated warehouse

How Do Refrigerated Freight Solutions Enhance Efficiency?

Efficiency is extremely important in the temperature controlled supply chain. Any unnecessary or faulty processes in the handling of perishable items can lead to product loss. Fortunately, there are many ways refrigerated freight solutions are able to boost efficiency. 

Technology In Refrigerated Freight

There are numerous high-tech tools used to keep perishable products at the right temperature during transit. 

These include:

  • Advanced cooling systems: Many refrigerated vehicles and equipment use stat-of-the-art cooling systems. These devices are able to remove cold air from warehouses, trailers, and rail cars. 
  • Real-time temperature monitoring: Maintaining consistently cold temperatures is essential. Thanks to specialized sensors, data loggers, and probe thermometers, the right level of coldness can be maintained and tracked throughout the cold chain. 
  • GPS: Cold chain logistics companies use various GPS technologies to precisely track cargo. They also give shippers access to this technology, which allows them to monitor their load. 

These technologies play an important role in cold chain solutions. When they’re combined, it leads to successful shipments of temperature-sensitive cargo. 

Customizable Options for Different Product Needs

Temperature control isn’t the only thing perishable items need to survive transit. Different types of refrigerated freight require customized treatment when on the move. Fortunately, there are many options in temperature controlled logistics that account for these challenges. 

Some include:

  • Specialized compartments
  • Shock and vibration mitigation
  • Tailored logistics plans

The inside of certain reefer trailers can be divided into multiple sections. Each one is able to maintain a specific temperature. This solution is beneficial for businesses sending unique items in one load that need to be kept in different environments. 

Sensitive products, such as delicate pharmaceuticals or electronics, require protection from shock and vibration during transport. Customized packaging solutions and vehicle suspensions are designed to minimize these impacts, ensuring the safe delivery of delicate goods.

Time is of the essence when transporting temperature controlled cargo. To guarantee the timely arrival of these products, shipping companies formulate the most efficient shipping route for goods to travel on. 

Meats that have been packaged in a box with gels to keep them cool

Cold Chain Packaging Options

Technology isn’t the only thing that keeps perishables cool during transport. There are a variety of packaging options and strategies that are used to protect items from warmer temperatures in the cold chain.

These include:

  • Insulated containers and boxes: Made from materials like expanded polystyrene (EPS), polyurethane, or vacuum-insulated panels, these containers provide superior insulation.
  • Gel packs and dry ice: Gel packs can maintain a cool temperature without freezing, which makes them great for products like fresh produce and medical supplies. For frozen shipments, dry ice will keep temperatures below the freezing point.
  • Thermal blankets and liners: Thermal blankets and liners reflect external heat and keep the internal contents of a package cold consistent. These help preserve a cool environment around the packages.

With the right packaging and temperature control technology, it’s almost a guarantee that perishable items will arrive at the final destination unspoiled. These are especially helpful when you know ahead of time that there may be gaps in temperature maintenance, such as when transferring into a warehouse. 

Guarantee Your Success In the Cold Chain By Choosing USA Refrigerated Freight

Protecting the integrity of your temperature-sensitive goods is of the utmost importance. With USA Refrigerated Freight’s cutting-edge technology and our vast network of refrigerated carriers, your products will be handled by skilled professionals.

Our suite of services includes, but is not limited to:

  • Meat Shipping: Ensuring your meats are kept at the perfect temperature from source to destination.
  • Produce Shipping: Freshness guaranteed for your fruits and vegetables through our advanced cold chain solutions.
  • Pharmaceutical Shipping: Reliable and compliant transportation for sensitive medical products.

If you’re ready to receive the refrigerated warehousing and logistics you require, then fill out your USA Refrigerated Freight quote today. Our team can also provide you with further assistance at (866) 849-2713

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