This is a Podcast transcript from our director talking about how Cold Chain Logistics is becoming an essential part of the modern supply chain solutions to transport more sensitive or vital cargo over great distances through diverse climatic conditions.
Ambimat Electronics, with its experience of over four decades as an ODM of IoT products, wishes to draw the attention of its customers and readers of blog posts towards Cold Chain Logistics.
What is Tracking & Tracing of Cold Chain Logistics
Internet of Things is transforming the efficiency and potency of long-distance food, pharmaceutical, and other perishable supply chains. Previously, cold storage managers had to be physically present inside a cold storage facility to monitor deliverables and ensure frictionless work: shipments, storage, and even last-mile deliveries. With T&T food wastage has also gone down.
IoT-driven logistics systems ensure the integrity of the cold chain. It adjusts discrete systems in the network automatically to avoid a breach in threshold levels of humidity and temperature in warehouses and trailers. Device-generated data provides real-time audit trails for food safety professionals and helps supply chain planners identify and analyze the root cause of issues in the cold chain. Talking about the pharmaceutical industry, today Cold chain logistics along with pharmaceutical serialization has become the backbone of the quickly developing temperature-sensitive drugs. Track and Trace ensure minimal cold chain errors malfunctions, thus limiting product loss. By applying IoT technologies into the cold chain, companies can consistently connect with every step in the logistical process, allowing for cost-optimizing benefits as well as limit the wastage of perishable goods.
Benefits of Tracking & Tracing IOT in Cold Chain Logistics.
With the advent of cold chain logistics it is now possible to track the goods in real-time, Monitor Temperature, receive instant alerts, provide route optimization for quick and efficient delivery, and monitoring the use of fuel for delivery. All of this is now possible on the personal device of the logistics manager while he is on-the-go.
Historical data of all the important parameters during transit is also possible available with itemized level tracking
How Tracking & Tracing data helps Regulatory requirements in Cold Chain Logistics
In partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, UNDP aims to support the Universal Immunization Programme through designing and implementing the Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN), a unique innovation that brings together technology, people, and processes to strengthen the vaccine supply chain by digitizing information on vaccine stocks and storage temperatures. Supported by GAVI-the Vaccine Alliance, the health systems strengthening project aims to streamline and regularize the vaccine flow network by ensuring data-driven and efficient management of the immunization supply chain.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI) proposes to make Food Products Standards and Food Additives Eleventh Amendment Regulations, 2017. They relate to Food Safety and Standards by transforming the nation’s food safety system by shifting the focus from responding to foodborne illness to prevent it. The standards require those who transport food to use sanitary practices to ensure the safety of food.
The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act is the most significant update of US food safety that directly impacts transportation and the retail and foodservice industries, including registration and record-keeping requirements.
An idea of how the Tracking & Tracing systems works: Sensors / Communication systems etc
The cold chain has three main components, each of which works flawlessly to ensure the safe transport and storage of cold chain products:
- 1. Temperature-controlled storage — specialized refrigerated facilities where cold chain cargo is stored until it’s shipped out to a distribution center or destination.
- 2. Temperature-controlled transport — customized insulated cold containers that help transport goods via airways, waterways, roadways, or railways.
- 3. Efficient operational and management procedures — to minimize risk during day-to-day operations and contain it in case of unexpected incidents.
You may also offer an idea of Futuristic IoT systems to come.
British billionaire entrepreneur Philip Green has rightly said: “Good, bad or indifferent, if you are not investing in new technology, you are going to be left behind.” This applies not just to the logistics industry but to every other business on the planet. India is such a diverse country that one can test all possible scenarios. The future of logistics will be driven by technology such as IoT, Analytics, AI, and ML which will drive efficiency across the value chain from manufacturing to last-mile delivery. These technologies make logistics services more predictable and help drive pro-active measures to reduce inefficiency and unplanned downtime, leading to strong logistics growth, which will help drive the economy on a more robust growth trajectory.
What are the different types of Systems / Equipment that comprise a good Tracking & Tracing system?
It can help overcome some of the major challenges currently faced in the cold chain logistics providers by enabling real-time monitoring, providing data insights, and making informed decisions quickly. Some of the solutions that IoT brings to cold chain logistics are.
Itemized level tracking enabling businesses to monitor the food items’ temperature, which is perhaps the most critical parameter in cold chain logistics. Sensors can be used on transportation modes such as trucks, rail cargo, or air cargo to monitor the temperature of the food items.
With a refrigerated van tracking solution, businesses can monitor their shipment 24*7. They can quickly make any changes in the logistics schedule if the chain moves at a slower pace than planned. This helps reduce the time lost in planning and modifying the schedule when the tracking data is not easily accessible. Stakeholders can coordinate easily with different members of the supply chain and efficiently manage the system.
The Inventory Management Tags helps to keep track of products entering and leaving cold storage. The solution comprises tags, readers, and software. It uses a reader to read and write a tagged item, manage the data, and transmit it to a server (local or in the cloud).
Pilferage detection Tag: helps make sure there is no pilferage of material, as the supply chain security system is an essential component in the transportation of goods.
Any use case that regularly uses Tracking & Tracing & has benefited from it. ( Please do not give any client name, but you may offer the use case segment.
F&B/Food Processing Logistics to ensure food quality
One of the many problems in Food Processing Logistics is manual temperature logging because the process is prone to errors. Drivers, grocery personnel, and food service workers are often busy, resulting in an inaccurate or missed record. At best, a hurried misreading of the gauge. At worst, imaginary readings are quickly jotted down to fill in for missed readings. This practice, also known as “pencil whipping,” can lead to spoiled product if the logs go unchecked.
Temperature readings can be taken as soon as a product arrives, as Target often does, but this is no guarantee that the product was kept at that temperature for the entire journey.
The U.S. FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food (STF), have established minimum standards for packing, transporting, and storing produce. IoT Sensors and automation are revolutionizing the Cold Chain. IoT captures real-time data of the condition of shipped food. In sharp contrast with manual logging, automated monitoring enables ongoing monitoring and fast alerts. It can support a predictive maintenance program that ensures equipment is serviced before an entire truckload or restaurant refrigeration unit has spoiled. They are programmed to raise alarms if the temperature and humidity go lesser or beyond the optimum level.
As more organizations and retailers discover the benefits of an IoT-enabled cold chain, there will be an industry-wide push towards adopting the technology for improvements in accuracy and human health and safety.
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