Cold Chain Logistics: Management & Solution Tricks

Mar 16, 2024 | Blog, Pinnacle Services, Trucking Info

Are you dealing with temperature-sensitive goods? Read on to learn more about cold chain logistics, processes, and challenges. 

What Is Cold Chain Logistics?

Cold chain logistics refers to all processes related to the safe transportation and distribution of temperature-sensitive goods along the supply chain.

Such products include food and beverages, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, flowers, as well as artwork and certain types of electronics.

Businesses that deal with this type of goods need to manage prompt delivery and, at the same time, ensure that they arrive in perfect condition.

On top of transportation, every step along the supply chain needs to abide by the level of perishability of each load in procurement, packaging and storage.

For very sensitive goods, a temperature change during any stage of the supply chain can turn them unusable. This not only accounts for lost revenue but also jeopardizes consumer health.

How Does Cold Chain Logistics Work?

Integrated cold chain logistics services deal with temperature-controlled packing, storage, transportation, and handling by trained staff.

In cold chain storage and transportation, every type of shipment needs its own temperature level.

Cold Chain Common Temperature Standards

To facilitate processes, the logistics industry has set some standard temperatures that accommodate the majority of temperature-controlled freight.

These most common temperature standards include: 

  • Deep freeze (-13°F to 22°F):  seafood, meat exports.
  • Frozen (14°F to -4°F): meat, certain types of produce.
  • Chill (36°F to 40°F): fruit & vegetables, fresh meat and certain dairy products.
  • Pharma (35°F to 46°F): medicines, vaccines.
  • Cool-chain (53°F to 57°F): fresh produce, processed food, over-the-counter drugs.

Cold Chain Logistics Services

As for every product in the supply chain, temperature-controlled goods undergo similar stages from production to the end consumer but with extra climate-controlled standards.

Cold Chain Packing

After production, temperature-controlled packaging comes as the first line of defense for perishable products. They add a critical layer of protection if storage/transport refrigeration fails and for the time perishable products may spend at room temperature.

Cold Chain Storage

Cold storage warehousing is designed to store perishable goods that require controlled temperature conditions. 

Chilled storage and frozen storage facilities are specially designed for efficient airflow and temperature distribution. They are equipped with insulation materials, vapor barriers, temperature sensors and monitoring, backup power sources, etc.

At Pinnacle Freight Systems, Inc., we offer temperature controlled warehousing in our state-of-the-art facilities of 112,000ft² strategically located in Florence, NJ, to service the Tri-State area and the ports of Philadelphia, Elizabeth ,NJ, and NY.

Cold Chain Shipping And Tracking

Temperature controlled shipping requires specialized vehicles fitted with refrigeration or cooling equipment.

To ensure goods are delivered according to temperature requirements, trailer tracking systems that record temperatures are vital in cold-chain logistics. Real-time monitoring ensures product quality in FTL and significantly facilitates refrigerated LTL shipments.

At Pinnacle Freight Systems Inc., we specialize in climate-controlled shipments, particularly for high-value pharmaceuticals, food products, expedited grocery distribution and other products requiring special care. 

Our services are continuously upgraded to the latest tech standards to meet the country’s growing demand. In fact, the cold chain logistics market size is expected to reach $142.6 billion by 2024 – a substantial increase of approx. 9.7% from the previous year.

To succeed in cold chain logistics management, carriers and providers must tackle several challenges.

Cold Chain Management Challenges & Solutions

In the cold supply chain, the temperature-sensitive nature of perishable goods comes with several challenges. A recent UN report reveals that global cold chain storage generates 150 million tonnes of food waste yearly.

But also cold chain pharmaceutical logistics must adapt to strict regulations and requirements, especially when dealing with biotechnology products such as vaccines.

To avoid spoilage and protect consumer health, those involved in the cold chain logistics market must overcome a number of obstacles and take care of every detail. For instance:

Detailed monitoring and evaluation of cold-chain shipment

Real-time monitoring with up-to-date applications is essential for error-free warehousing and transporting temperature-sensitive goods.  

Intelligent tracking captures and analyzes temperature and airflow conditions as well as other vital data like shock, vibration, door openings, etc.

Analyzing historical data on temperature-controlled shipments is essential for maintaining high standards and avoiding spoilage.

End-To-End Compliance With Regulations 

Regulatory bodies, like the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and ICH (International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use), provide regulations for companies involved in the cold chain logistics market.

Logistics providers and freight carriers must demonstrate full compliance until the last mile. 

Cold chain regulations include instructions on:

  • Storage
  • Handling
  • Record keeping
  • Temperature monitoring
  • Distribution procedures
  • Documentation
  • Contingency plans

Some requirements can be highly complex, while temperature recordings need to be accurate to the last decimal. Professional cold chain logistics providers stay up-to-date with regulations and ensure compliance.

Effective Risk Management Planning

Efficient cold chain risk management starts with an integrated risk assessment. This helps detect vulnerabilities, analyze potential threats and design an effective plan to overcome or properly handle potential risks.

Here, too, automation plays a major role. Real-time monitoring allows for the immediate detection and correction of any faults in temperature and provides a solid basis for immediate and streamlined communication among all parties involved.

Additionally, well-trained and certified personnel is the cornerstone of cold chain logistics. To stay compliant, the staff that handles perishable goods should receive ongoing training and stay up-to-date with the latest requirements.

Choose The Best Cold Chain Logistics Solutions

At Pinnacle Freight Systems Inc., we specialize in temperature-controlled shipments.

Our cold chain logistics solutions include LTL, FTL and expedited services for the grocery industry, high-value pharmaceuticals, and other perishable goods that require special care.

We provide sophisticated 24/7 temperature monitoring that ensures safe and efficient transportation and optimizes shipping for improved efficiency with reduced emissions.
Plus, our streamlined load-to-ride operational model meets any RAD/MABD dates with less handling and the best-in-class claims ratio. Ready to get started? Contact us today.

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Pinnacle Freight Systems, Inc.
Pinnacle Trucking, LLC
500 Cedar Lane, Florence, NJ 08518

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