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The Difference Between Cold Supply Chain and Normal Supply Chain

Across the globe, cold supply chain shipments have transformed the way that we are able to access various products, and the technology behind it has come a long way. Normal supply chain doesn't have the same parameters as cold supply chain, and the most obvious reason is that cold supply chain involves shipping products that need to be kept...cold. But there's a little more to it than that, and while some similarities exist, Thermal Shipping Solutions is here to identify the areas where the key differences lie.

Cold Supply Has More Moving Parts

In the case of normal supply chain, shipping is far more straightforward – freight should be delivered on time and free from any damage. But when products and other items must be kept cold, it increases the difficulty and adds more components that must be considered and addressed. When planning a cold shipment, both the shipper and carrier need to be in constant communication to identify potential issues such as when shifting freight from one container into another. The right containers and equipment must be used, and the freight must comply with food safety standards throughout the journey to be of any value once it reaches its destination. This means that cargo must be loaded very quickly and can't sit out on loading docks for extended periods the way that normal freight can.

Cold Supply Chain Shipments Require Additional Documentation

There are numerous regulations surrounding cold supply chain shipping that don't apply to normal supply chain shipments. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets regulations for cold-storage food and requires carriers to complete temperature control logs so that accurate data can be recorded for each cargo container. This is typically required every hour and is essential to avoid fines and shipping license suspensions.

Mistakes with Cold Supply Chain Movement Impacts Public Health

Constantly monitoring the temperature of cold storage containers helps to keep the public safe, which is something that doesn't apply to normal supply chain shipments in the same way. Cold products that are allowed to rise in temperature above safe limits can be compromised and become spoiled before being frozen again, which can be detrimental to the health of the end customers. Bacteria can grow and make the contents unsafe for both human and animal consumption. Therefore, regulations are in place to protect cold shipments, but it adds a series of extra steps to the planning and execution of cold supply chain shipping.

Risks With Medical and Food Products

Food and medical products are the most at risk when it comes to cold supply chain shipping, and it's essential to ensure that temperatures are maintained throughout the duration of their journey. From vaccines and antibiotics to fresh produce, dairy, and meat, cold supply chain shipping accounts for 25% of the world's global supply chain. These products must be kept out of the danger zone temperatures to prevent food-borne illnesses and other complications. Naturally, this just isn't the case with normal supply chain shipments where temperature isn't nearly as much of a concern.

How Thermal Shipping Solutions Can Help

Thermal Shipping Solutions specializes in producing environmentally friendly alternatives such as our Kangaroo Mailers, Renewliners, and Coolers on the Go that can help shippers and carriers maintain the correct temperature levels during cold supply chain shipping. Our coolers have been designed to help businesses eliminate their excessive use of unsustainable materials and strive for a world with less consumption. Contact us today to learn more about our cold supply chain shipping solutions.