Cold chain logistics is a specialized aspect of the transportation industry that deals with the storing and transporting temperature-sensitive products. The cold chain helps keep food, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and other perishable goods at safe temperatures. Technology is an essential tool for ensuring that cargo is transported properly across the supply chain. If certain temperatures are exceeded or items get damaged as they’re moved, that can cause big problems for everyone from the manufacturer to the consumer. To ensure the best operation of your cold chain, you need to implement technology solutions across the board. There are plenty of amazing pieces of tech and ideas that can help. In this article, we’ll go over a few of our favorite ones. Check it out below.
Cold chain logistics is an important and growing industry accounting for a substantial amount of global trade and commerce. But with that growth comes both opportunities and challenges—something that artificial intelligence might be able to handle. Using the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the efficiency in the cold chain is an opportunity to prevent food risk, stop waste/spoilage, and avoid contamination. It can also keep fraud and other risk factors at bay. Using AI-powered predictive analytics to monitor temperature fluctuations (in real-time, of course) empowers companies to predict failures and minimize costs associated with lost products/wasted energy. AI can be useful for helping organizations take preemptive action based on their findings and ensure the resiliency of their entire cold chain.
Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence (AI), and computer science. It typically deals with the design of algorithms that can learn from data that gets plugged into the machine. In practice, machine learning algorithms are used for predictive analytics to make predictions about future events based on current data. A common kind of machine learning is statistical learning, where you’re trying to find patterns in your data and make predictions based on what you already know about the world. Machine learning can be applied in many different fields. It’s incredibly versatile in general, but it can help out considerably in cold chain logistics. This includes the amazing ability to predict temperature trends, monitor cargo temperatures as they move (with the help of other tools, of course), avoid product spoilage/damage, and integrate with your present—and future—monitoring technology.
It’s no secret that packaging is one of the most important aspects of any business. In the cold chain, it’s essential to get your packaging right the first time! Ensure it is suited to your goods and make sure that it works properly. Effective packaging ensures better product quality, maximizes shelf life, and minimizes waste. Packaging needs to be robust and innovative to ship things properly. With so many people using online grocery and food delivery services these days, the quest to innovate packaging is only growing more challenging. As an organization working within the cold chain, you need to ensure that your packaging is innovative enough to keep things safe, monitor the temperatures, and ultimately secure your goods across the chain. Using various technology tools to monitor for humidity, condensation, and other issues in your packaging can be helpful to make the most of your packaging concerns.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that has gained a lot of attention in the cold chain logistics industry lately. A few years ago, nobody knew what the IoT actually was (unless they were working in IT or incredibly tech-savvy). Today, it’s a major part of our daily lives! The IoT is essentially any device connected to the internet that can perform things on its own without human interaction. It’s like artificial intelligence, but for your toaster! IoT devices are usually referred to as smart devices because they work an awful lot like your smartphone. Basically, that just means they can process data on their own and respond based on information they receive from other devices connected with them through their networks, (NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth). These smart devices also have capabilities beyond just processing data, being able to take inputs as well. That’s what makes them so ideally suited to cold supply chain logistics. Using IoT to maintain, change, and help monitor temperature can be a godsend to any organization working with temperature sensitive goods in the warehouse, the refrigerated truck, and beyond.
Precision Temperature Indicators
Precision Temperature Indicators (PTIs) are small and lightweight devices that are used to monitor the temperature of a shipment. They are incredibly easy to use, armable in the field, offer a wide range of temperatures, and are serialized for easy tracking. PTIs can be easily attached to a shipment, completely streamlining monitoring of your cargo. Better yet, you get real-time temperature data that helps you make more informed decisions on how to handle any time-temperature abuse or other problems that come up in transit. Look for precision indicators and other powerful cold chain technologies from reputable companies. That way, you can optimize your cold chain monitoring and make your products the best the industry has to offer.