4 Best Practices For Managing Cold Chain Logistics

According to the Natural Resource Defense Council, cold chain logistic inconsistencies are a primary factor for food and drug spoilage. That’s because even the slightest change in temperature can compromise a shipment’s integrity. 

A cold chain must maintain uninterrupted refrigeration throughout storage and distribution to ensure quality. However, the problem with cold chain logistics is that they are complex, and it can be difficult to ensure proper refrigeration from loading dock to final destination. And relying on any conventional cold chain management solution that lacks the ability to monitor perishable assets in real-time is a recipe for disaster. 

“Industry consultants estimate that up to one in seven truckloads of perishables delivered to supermarkets are thrown away.”  – Natural Resource Defence Council 

Recent studies reveal that 95% of respondents are not fully capitalizing on the benefits of digital supply chain technologies. Supply chain executives are eager to make the change though. The same study found that companies are looking to implement technologies like IoT, data analytics, Blockchain, and machine learning to improve their operations.

The benefits of digital cold chain logistics technologies has been proven to add big value for businesses. Leveraging digital technology, enterprises can expect increased speed to market, higher revenues, and reduced costsThat’s why, in this blog post, we will cover just some of the best practices for using digital solutions like IoT with cold chain management. 

1) Prevent Loss With Real-times Alerts

Conventional cold chain logistic technologies typically collect data during shipment, but this information can only be analyzed after products have arrived at their destination. Today, IoT can be used to monitor cold chains in real-time and send alerts the minute something goes wrong. 

For instance, companies can leverage wireless temperature sensors for continuous temperature monitoring and real-time alerts. If a food or drug shipment inside a reefer truck gets too warm, temperature sensors can send an alert to the appropriate parties. Managers can then send out a technician to transfer the load or help counteract the problem. In this way, proactive alerts allow enterprises to remain agile and respond quickly across a cold chain. 

2) Streamline Compliance With Real-Time Monitoring

Enterprises must maintain the safety and quality standards set by the authoritative regulatory bodies throughout cold chain logistics. However, conventional cold chain logistic solutions lack real-time insights and don’t always guarantee an accurate data trail. 

On the other hand, digital cold chain logistic solutions allow companies to document real-time and historical temperature in the cloud, allowing companies to meet compliance standards. Whether you need auditable data of the temperature of food, vaccines, or medicine, IoT cold chain management can help you address compliance requirements. 

When you invest in a cold chain management solution, invest in a technology solution that can document temperature changes. IoT sensors offer real-time temperature monitoring to establish transparency in a cold chain. A compliance manager can then track the temperature and flag potential issues before a problem occurs. 

3) Improve Driver Safety and Ensure Deliver

Deploying smart, connected sensors that leverage IoT technology is critical for improving driver safety and delivery. Leveraging GPS equipped IoT devices enables enterprises to optimize routes and keep in communication with drivers. 

Telematics and onboard diagnostics can also reward and incentivize good behaviors that help drivers adopt safe driving habits. Telematics provide measurable insights, such as how often a driver speeds, if he/she is over-accelerating, taking corners too sharply, or how regularly they’re using their seatbelts. By leveraging this data, a company can rate their driver’s performance.

4) Deploy With An All-in-One Cold Chain Technology Solution

When comparing digital cold chain technology solutions, make sure you choose one that offers everything you need to monitor and track your shipments: 

  1. Reliable connectivity — Make sure to choose a platform that can offer cellular connectivity plans so you can monitor your assets no matter the location. 
  2. Real-time GPS tracking — Find a solution that already comes pre-configured with important asset tracking features such as GPS and geolocation mapping services. 
  3. Real-time temperature monitoring and alerting — Look for an embedded solution that already has temperature sensors built and configured for you. 
  4. Dashboard analytics — So you can monitor and analyze important asset metrics.

With advanced cold chain monitoring solutions, little is left to chance as cargo is surveilled from journey’s start through delivery. All areas of the supply chain can be approved with IoT cold chain-management. 

Particle makes cold chain logistics simple 

There are many digital cold chain management solutions out there that organizations can use, but if you’re looking for a simple solution that is field-ready and customizable, Particle offers a unique solution to help simplify your cold chain logistic operations. 

A geolocation interface for cold chain logistics
The Particle Tracking System for cold chain management

The Particle Tracking System is an integrated suite that provides everything you need to monitor and manage your cold chain operations: 

  1. Realtime GPS Tracking  — Monitor asset location in realtime with embedded sensors and geolocation mapping service. 
  2. Automatic alerts — Receive automated alerts the minute something goes wrong via text or a centralized dashboard. 
  3. Temperature monitoring — Particle’s platform is pre-built to support temperature monitoring through embedded sensors. 
  4. Field-Ready — Particle provides field-ready hardware solutions that come with temperature sensors for those who are looking to get started quickly. 
  5. OTA firmware updates — So you can deliver new features and updates to your sensors to ensure they are up to date. 
  6. Advanced customization — Particle also provides pre-configured hardware solutions that are customizable for those looking to build a more sophisticated solution.

Particle works with customers across a wide range of industries including supply chain and logistics providers, industrial manufacturing, agriculture, micromobility, and local governments implementing smart city solutions. Businesses and organizations interested in the Particle Tracking solution can visit www.particle.io/iot-asset-tracking.

Author Bio

Content Strategist at Particle - Discovering how the world is using real IoT one story at a time.

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