What is Cold Supply Chain?

cold supply chain

If you’ve ever wanted to ship something that requires frozen temperatures or at a controlled temperature, then you have encountered the world of cold supply chain shipping. Less than 100 years ago, transporting cold freight over 50 miles was a risk. The cold supply chains of the past were nothing more than cargo containers filled with ice.

Today, cold supply chains are much more advanced.

What is cold supply chain?

Put simply, cold supply chain is the process of moving perishable goods that need to be stored in temperature-controlled settings across the world. There are many reasons you may want to consider shipping items in a temperature-controlled environment, including preventing the growth of bacteria and keeping items safe for consumers to use.

Compared to a normal supply chain, cold supply chains have many more steps. For example, in the planning stage, the shipper and the carrier of the goods must work together to make sure they have the right equipment for the goods. There is also the issue of loading and moving the freight. Carriers have to work quickly with perishable items to make sure they stay within their desired temperature range. When it comes to the transmission process, the chain needs to move efficiently. Despite our cargo containers and shipping methods being better than fifty years ago, there’s always the risk of damage during the process.

Cold chain shipping also requires more documentation. There are more regulations for transporting perishable goods under the Food Safety Modernization Act established by the FDA. This act ensures that the carrier accurately documents the shipping process. In fact, this act is so serious that if a carrier is pulled over and doesn’t have the temperature log filled out, they can incur a fine or even lose their commercial shipping license.

Because cold supply chains are responsible for shipping perishable goods, a mistake in the cold supply chain process can impact public health. Letting items get too warm or too cold can affect their efficacy, eventually leading to a recall.

Cold supply chain shipping is a serious business with lots of moving parts. If you’ve ever considered starting a business that requires cold chain supply shipping, connecting with an experienced solutions provider, such as Nordic Cold Chain Solutions, can be key to your business success.

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