The cold chain involves the transportation of temperature sensitive products along a supply chain through thermal and refrigerated packaging methods and the logistical planning to protect the integrity of these shipments. There are several means in which cold chain products can be transported, including refrigerated trucks and railcars, refrigerated cargo ships, reefers as well as by air cargo.
The cold chain is thus a science, a technology and a process. It is a science since it requires the understanding of the chemical and biological processes linked with perishability. It is a technology since it relies on physical means to ensure appropriate temperature conditions along the supply chain. It is a process since a series of tasks must be performed to prepare, store, transport and monitor temperature sensitive products. The main elements of a cold chain involve:
- Cooling systems. Bringing commodities such as food to the appropriate temperature for processing, storage and transportation.
- Cold storage. Providing facilities for the storage of goods over a period of time, either waiting to be ship to a distant market, at an intermediary location for processing and distribution and close to market for distribution.
- Cold transport. Having conveyances available to move goods while maintaining stable temperature and humidity conditions as well as protecting their integrity.
- Cold processing and distribution. Providing facilities for the transformation and processing of goods as well as ensuring sanitary conditions. Consolidating and deconsolidating loads (crates, boxes, pallets) for distribution.
PIMM™ Cold Chain Management (CCM) provides “end to end visibility” for your cold chain. The system monitors, analyzes and manages the entire distribution process from supplier plants, 3rd party carriers, 3rd party cold storage/distribution centers, outbound delivery fleet and in-store cold storage.
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