Cold Chain Logistics is no different than any other logistics operation having all the perils of the normal logistics and to add on it also has its big share of dealing with all the usual adversaries that affect a normal logistics as well as many others of its own. Many important aspects have to be considered as a risk by a freight forwarding company during handling cold chain transporation.
There can be seemingly unrelated events in providing cold supply chain logistics solutions that can impact a shipment out for delivery and which in no way can be handled by the logistics team. This is more when it comes to temperature-controlled logistics and that is the inherent volatility of a supply chain. Some of the many things that could affect changes in any shipping and logistics strategies can be socio-political unrest, wars, geological events including labor shortages.
Hence from a shipper’s perspective what one can do is to mitigate the risk and expect the worst and strategically evaluate the best options particularly while handling high value and volume shipments. As it’s imperative to say that the supply chain is a costly business in particular when you need to handle a cold chain.
The cost involved while handling cold chain is one that cannot be ignored especially when you evaluate the importance of transporting highly valuable and life-saving items. Hence means and modes have to be taken into consideration and evaluated meticulously to reduce cold chain management risk while still managing your supply chain expenses.
Let us understand the 5 things that can go wrong despite cold chain risk management.
Globally uniformity in infrastructure: Logistics is all about transporting goods from one location to the other and many a time it also crosses international borders. Though there have been scientific advances that have given us the leverage of more efficient and reliable cold chain technologies yet one cannot expect the same kind of uniform infrastructure in every country or location. Hence many times cutting edge tech can often stumble due to the lack of the simplest requirement of infrastructures.
Regulations implemented on cold chain management :
Supply chain managers must be well updated with the global scenario of events and regulations across countries. This always includes the various political and socio-economic developments that many times can force the logistics company to even change their route plans. This can have serious effects when you are handling cold chain transportation. It is not only the political and economic scenarios that can post a threat to your transportation but also the climatic and weather patterns that also can contribute to disruption in operations.
High-security risk in transportation and handling :
Imagine you have a temperature-controlled and sensitive vaccine that needs to be transported and in particular, one that has reentered a supply chain operations after been once stolen. In such cases, improper security measures can be a daunting task as it will affect the likelihood of damages that will go unnoticed. This can be a danger to human life as well.
Retailer handling in the cold chain:
Logistics is never completely free from human handling and one of the major challenges is to be sure how the retailers handle and store cold chain products when it comes to food and vaccines. Retailer’s understanding of how the products need to be handled and the way it has to be stored is a major threat to the quality of such products as this if not properly done can be harmful to the end consumers.
Distribution and delivery risk:
There are two aspects in a distribution process which is one that of transporting of goods and the second being how you store the products while in transit and at the end destination. One can be sure about the storage aspect of the cold chain management as various warehouses are fully equipped today but the concern remains about temperature management.
The challenge in any cold chain management is to deal with the various risks involved with strategic planning and dealing with unforeseen events that can disrupt your operations. There is no scope for errors in this line of operations as many times you will require to transport goods such as life-saving vaccines and medicines. Hence a proper real-time monitoring system is quite essential to keep track of your temperature-controlled shipments from transit till it reaches the warehouse.