Food industry is reportedly suffering losses as the vegetables and fruits in transit perish faster because of lack of proper cold chain infrastructure. Additionally, the demand for online availability of fresh food is increasing, thereby forcing the suppliers to develop integrated cold chain logistics structure.
Get detailed insights into the trends of cold chain logistics industry including an overview of the cold chain logistics industry, explaining various related concepts such as its structure, characteristics and existing problems. Trace the development of the cold chain logistics industry and throw light on the economic and policy environment of the Cold chain logistics industry along with the market forces driving supply and demand.
The cold chain industry is still at its nascent stage. However, it is projected to report fast growth as the food industry in the country is under the pressure of increasing demand. Currently, fruits and vegetables are wasted in large amounts as they perish while in transit. This becomes an unwanted overheard expense for the fresh food retailers such hypermarkets and supermarkets. Not only wastage of food and losses for retailers, another side effect of an underdeveloped cold chain logistics industry is the spread of diseases caused from bad or decayed food. In fact, food decaying is the primary reason for food safety risks and also waste of resources.
Over the past few years, residents have become increasingly aware about the risk of consuming bad food and thus have started paying close attention to the food they pick. This has further added to the burden of retailers. Thus, there is an urgent need for developing a well-managed and integrated cold chain logistics industry so that shelf-life and marketable time could be lengthened or even doubled. Research reveals that f the shelf life of perishable products like vegetables and fruits was extended from one day to three days, fresh food retailers’ loss would decrease 30%-50%.
The need for investments in the cold chain logistics industry is also propelled by the quantity of food being sold and produced. Meat production exceeded 80.0 million tons, vegetable 700.0 million tons, fruit 260.0 million tons, dairy products 27.0 million tons and seafood 60.0 million tons. Besides, large amount of meat and frozen food are produced every year too. Temperature fluctuation in cold storage and transport is one of the main reasons for food quality decline. To ensure those perishable foods’ freshness and quality, cold chain logistics is needed.
Food E-business is also fast growing, while the e-retailers of food rarely invest themselves in the cold chain logistics, they force the distributors to upgrade so that the food they are selling online is fresh and of the best quality. As of now, Tmall and JD, two of the popular e-food businesses are lagging far behind in their cold chain logistics system such as warehouse, logistics delivery system and door to door delivery system.
As such, the cold chain industry is divided into two categories: cold chain artery and the cold chain home delivery. And cold chain logistics is the sub-industry of logistics with the largest potential market despite its complex operation and high barrier to entry. Cold chain logistics will be one of the fastest growing sub-industries of logistics in the next few years if the demand for cold chain and its development space were taken into account.
Global Cold Chain Logistics Industry
Cold chain is an uninterrupted series of harvest, processing, packaging, storage, transport and sale activities which maintain a given temperature range. It is used to help extend and ensure the shelf life of perishable products.
Some forces driving the fast growth of the global cold chain industry include:
• Food trade transcending national and international borders
• Large number of food e-businesses
• Stricter safety standards for food that can be sold
• Increases awareness amongst the people regarding side effects of decayed food
• Increased possibilities of IT-integration