How to manage cold chain logistics?

Cold chain logistics is not the easiest supply chain you would want to work in. Cold chains typically include transporting dangerous goods and medical products that need to be temperature-controlled and pressure-maintained. In addition, the safety measures that have to be followed are very precise. It takes a trained professional to make sure the products being transferred are well-protected, and the people involved in the delivery are safe as well – especially when dangerous goods are handled.

There are some key points to consider when handling cold chain transportation:

1. Procurement

It is not as easy to procure the right equipment when managing a cold chain as buying groceries. You need to be very particular about the performance of the devices and sensors, their accuracy and their lifetime value.

While there is always pressure to reduce the cost of purchases, it is important to consider that low-quality products will risk the loss of a customer and damage the reputation of the company, which is very hard to earn back.

2. Temperature And Pressure

Cold chain transportation services are tricky because vehicles moving a long distance will pass through areas with different temperatures and possibly, varying pressures. Items like pharmaceutical products – vaccines and medicines – are very sensitive to changes in temperature and pressure. It takes an expert to know how to maintain the temperature and pressure of the products within the specified range.

Word of caution: If you are unsure if you have the right personnel to deal with sensitive products, you should consider the services of certified experts who can complete the job successfully at affordable costs.

3. Direct Human Handling

The part in cold chain services that is most sensitive to errors is when the product needs to be handled by human hands. Even though there are provisions to use machines to move items in cold chains, sometimes the aid of the human hand is inevitable.

As soon as the human equation comes into play, there is a margin of error. Not all staff are trained at the same level and might make a small mistake that can damage a tiny but sensitive and expensive product. There are very strict regulations in the UK when it comes to maintaining the quality of medical products and the risk of compromising on the quality of the product is huge.

If you have cold feet about handling cold chains, you can always call the professionals in for all your needs. FET Logistics is one of the best companies that specialise in cold chain logistics in UK.

4. Standardisation

When dealing with cold chains across large distances, you are bound to cross the border into new jurisdictions where the supply chain standards are different. The units of measurements might also differ, and that can be a problem as well. The certificates that authenticate the service quality and maintenance of product quality are also written differently and might also be in another language.

All these problems are too much to consider for a company that does not deal with cold chains regularly. But the professionals are always prepared for these situations and have clear instructions for the delivery person to follow to maintain the standards specified by the country of origin and the country in which the delivery is being completed.

5. Breakdowns

People and machines are bound to break down at some time in their lives. The good thing about machines is that you can predict when a machine is likely to break down and replace it before it gets risky to keep the machine in operation.

In cold chains, breakdowns are more costly than in other supply chain areas. The reason is that the devices and sensors used in cold chains are not common and might have a longer lead time. It means that if there is a fault in an uncommon device, you will have to wait for the new product to come in before you move forward with your delivery.

Instead, it is better to work with a large and reputed company with backups for all possible failures and breakdowns.

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