Cold Storage 3PL Warehousing Trends Of The 21st Century
Global Cold Storage Market
Globalization and trade have taken the world by storm, and logistics and transport companies must maintain strong transportation standards, especially for cold storage items. Most cold storage cargo these days deals with refrigerated and frozen foods, and the market has grown by billions of dollars since the early 2000s.
Some of the famous cargo vessel fleets that travel around the world transporting refrigerated items for consumption incorporate the use of the latest technologies and techniques to keep the food fresh and brand new until it reaches its destination.
With the advent of technology, 3PL warehouses must make the best use of all the products to create cost-efficiencies and derive maximum value for their partners. Even when temperature-sensitive items are transported to cold storage locations such as exquisite or high-end restaurants that have their cold storage facilities, they require their cold storage mechanism as well.
The Cold Chain
You may have heard of the recent buzzword ‘blockchain’ in which cryptocurrency travels through one part of the cyber world to the other using a chain of terminals. ‘The Cold Chain’ is quite similar to the blockchain. It is a science of understanding perishable goods and using technology to maintain appropriate temperatures to keep these goods from decaying. Its third dimension is the process that is used along ‘the cold chain’ to prepare, move, and store the package along the way.
A Chain is as Strong as its Weakest Link
The famous quote above suggests that no matter how strong a chain is – it can break if the pressure is applied to its weakest link. The same concept applies to the cold chain as well. For example, if a perishable item such as expensive fish or a pharmaceutical product is being transported from Japan to the US, the temperature needs to be monitored along the whole supply chain from refrigerated trailers to the air or sea cargo freezers to the cold storage warehouses at the destination.
Many companies now make the best use of technology by attaching small temperate measuring apparatuses to the package that shows the buyer that the temperature of the enclosed item was monitored and maintained throughout its journey.
Best practices for a cold storage warehouse
Storage in higher density
Some of the best practices to manage a cold storage warehouse include keeping a high-density storage policy, i.e., keeping more products in relatively small spaces. This requires less energy to cool the smaller area, and also once the area is refrigerated, there is less space for heat loss.
Palletizing within a refrigerated environment
In the past, cold storage companies had problems palletizing perishable, pharmaceutical, or edible goods. The issue was when the products had to be taken out of the refrigerated space, palletized, and then transported back into the freezer. This was not cost-effective. However, with the introduction of robots that are indifferent to freezing temperatures, this process can be done within a refrigerated environment and with considerable ease.
Use of touch screen technology to control equipment
One of the latest trends in cold storage warehousing business is to use touch screen technology to make the process fast and easy for the cold storage crew. With touch screen technology and digital display, the temperature and apparatus monitoring are more effective as well as it is visible when it comes to quality control checks.
Helpful tips for the cold storage crew
For the crew working in cold storage facilities, the managers should introduce heat-sensing gloves that keep the worker warm and, at the same time, enable him to move and control the equipment with ease. The navigation for the worker should be clear with indication marks and pathways all across the cold storage warehouse.
The pace at which the perishable goods move around the globe from one part of the world to another is an indication of global requirement changes. To meet these changes, cold storage operators need to introduce best practices and state of the art technology to serve the end-user with quality products.