Food is scarce. Maybe not as scarce as we would see in famine years, but demand is going up along with our world population. Which make technologies like food cold chain logistics even more important.
Most people don’t think about how their food gets to their table. But that’s all we think about. If you’re in the industry, you may or may not realize that food is the most important commodity in logistics right now.
Consumer demand for things like cold and frozen food is growing. In fact, the global cold chain is slated to grow 7% annually through the year 2020. That is, it will reach a value of 234.49 billion by 2020. That is a major world industry.
Rapid urbanization along with a growth in disposable income has changed consumer preferences. People are demanding more and more frozen and cold meals every day.
So, why is food becoming the number one logistics operation in the world? Let’s take a look.
A Brave New World Of Food Cold Chain Logistics
The European Union is now the top exporter of agricultural goods. This is particularly fascinating for those of us following US politics right now. But this is an even more interesting thing for those of us in the logistics world.
When trade capitals change, trade routes change. And the re-routing of trade will affect the globe.
Commodity producers will need to be quick on their feet. They will need to respond to the shifting sands of the market demand in any part of the world. This requires a certain kind adaptability. That adaptability needs to be ingrained in the food cold chain supply and logistics management.
You will no longer be able to depend on “bedrock” markets you’ve traded in for years.
If you are a cold chain supplier, you will have to be cognizant of shifting sources and not be asleep at the wheel. An emerging market might bloom in Asia while you’re focused on South America.
If you work in logistics of any sort, the way the world’s future is looking you will need to build a foundation for nimble supply chains. These supply chains will have to weather all kinds of market conditions.
Where Does Cold Chain Logistics Come In?
Cold chain technologies enter the picture when markets shift and when markets don’t.
You need a place to store you cold foods in case demand slips. You need a way to ship those same foods if demand increases. And you need a way to quickly divert supply if demand moves.
The use of cold chain technology allows companies to minimize risk while still being nimble enough to meet demand where demand arises.
The best cold chain companies are flexible and transparent. They use data-driven practices that bring the food to the vendor in top condition.
What Else Does Food Cold Chain Technology Do?
It Increases Shelf Life
This plays directly into what we talked about above. If you can increase the shelf-life of food, especially food being shipped, you can reach more people with your supply.
Nearly 40% of food in the United States alone goes to waste. A lot of this might have to do with bad individual habits, but some of it comes from poorly implemented food cold chain technologies.
The more efficient a cold chain technology company, the less likely food will spoil after transit.
Irresponsible food chain practices can be to blame for wasted food. If a grocery store allows frozen food to sit outside of the freezer long enough to begin the thawing process, food will gain a film of condensation.
Once refrozen, this can result in freezer burn or even just ice crystals on the food. While the later is harmless, some consumers will throw it away assuming the food is freezer burned.
This low quality can be avoided if communication between logistics companies and groceries and other outlets is improved.
An efficient food cold chain logistics process will improve the shelf life of food rather than lessen it.
It Protects The Environment
Our world is facing a crisis. An environmental crisis.
While some people may rail at technologies like cold chain for its large carbon footprint, they do not consider the cost of having zero cold chain technology for food.
If food does not make it to where it will be consumed. Sometimes this is thousands of miles across the globe. Where does it go? Does it just evaporate into nothing?
The answer is the landfill. Unfortunately.
And what happens in the landfill doesn’t stay in the landfill. It emits gasses into the air. And food waste causes 3.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide.
That’s more than any country produces besides the U.S. and China.
If we could improve cold chain technologies to the point where we waste food in as little amounts as possible, think of the environmental impact we could have.
It Encourages Economic Growth
Now more than ever, a globalized economy allows the little guys to succeed. Developing countries depend on agriculture to fuel their economy. Food cold chain technologies are a key aspect of improving economies across the globe.
India grows a lot of the world’s bananas. But poor infrastructure dampens their ability to ship that food product. In fact, they ship only one percent of their banana supply.
Cold chain technologies could help overcome infrastructure problems. By implementing new technologies in the cold chain, or even re-invented technologies that may not have credence yet, we could help build up the economies of struggling nations.
Food cold chain technology is a vital part of both the world economy and the world food supply. It’s an ever-changing technology with nimble management. At its very core is the principle of adaptation to change.
What are some benefits you’ve seen from cold chain technologies? Let us know in the comments below.
When it comes to cold chain technologies for your food, choose a company that cares. Choose Fresh One Distribution. We are dedicated to changing the world with their advanced and quality cold chain logistics. Are you ready to take on quality?