Fresh food logistics: the cold chain in view at all times
Getting fresh fish or fruits and vegetables grown further away to consumers requires sophisticated logistics. The so-called fresh logistics or also refrigerated logistics essentially ensures that the entire transport and storage processes are guaranteed according to the required cold chain. The aim is not to exceed or fall below a predefined temperature range. Typically, continuous monitoring of these same temperature ranges takes place in fresh logistics.
Important for fresh food logistics: A cold storage facility
A great deal of planning is required for logistics processes to mesh effectively and run within their respective time windows. A key aspect here is cold storage, which must meet certain requirements (temperature, humidity, etc.). In the processing of fish, for example, there are intermediate storage facilities which, according to certain specifications (temperature, drying, cooling, etc.), ensure that the removal and onward transport is successful.
Due to the frequent cross-border transports, permanent digital monitoring is necessary, e.g. in order to to reduce the laytime to a minimum. That includes real-time coordinated routing, he said. Only motor vehicles, so-called refrigerated trucks, are used. Many producers also rely on reusable crates, which allow for simplified picking. They are constructed in such a way that, for example, fish is permanently under ice and any condensation water that accumulates is able to drain away.
Other aspects that must be considered:
- Reduction of lead times
- Transparent traceability (e.g. NVE in the food sector)
- Flexible storage capacities
- Energy efficiency of the cooling systems
- Higher bearing density due to expansion in height
- Avoidance of icing and condensation
- Further automation, e.g. through weight controls, etc.
Important: Fresh produce logistics also requires the use of modern storage and shelving technology specially designed for the purpose, as (partially) automated intralogistics are increasingly being used here as well. So-called. Deep-freeze high-bay warehouses are the basic element of temperature-oriented logistics, where special stacker cranes are also used.