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In logistics management, different products have different requirements. For example, bulk products such as steel coils, coal, etc., need sophisticated material handling equipment. On the other hand, temperature-sensitive products require cold chain logistics. This article will explain what cold logistics is, challenges in the cold chain logistics and a list of leading companies.
What is cold chain logistics?
During the movement of goods, certain products such as food items, pharmaceuticals, etc., need to have a maintained temperature, or else they get damaged during shipping. Therefore, it is important to have the right logistics systems for these products. An interesting factor is that not all temperature-sensitive products require similar temperatures. Based on temperatures required, products can be categorised into two segments – products requiring 2-8°C and 13-22°C. Additionally, there is also a deep freezer that operates in a temperature range of -30°C to -3°C.
In a nutshell, cold logistics is when temperature-sensitive products are moved from their origin to their destination in a temperature-controlled manner. Cold logistics need some key elements for transferring goods safely. These key elements of cold chain logistics include cold storage, cold transport vehicles, cooling systems, cold processing and cold distribution. Various technologies are used for maintaining the desired temperature. These include liquid nitrogen, insulated quilts, dry ice, gel packs, etc.
Sometimes, advanced electric or battery-powered temperature controls are used during transportation. While other times, various kinds of insulation products like polyurethane, polystyrene or vacuum insulation are used to maintain the temperature during transportation.
The market size of cold chain logistics in India
According to IMARC Group, the market size of Indian cold chain logistics reached ₹1,814.9 billion in 2022. It further expects the market size will grow at a CAGR of 12.3% to reach ₹3,798.7 billion by 2028. Some of the factors responsible for the growth of the are growth in organised food sector, growth of e processed food sector, increasing demand for pharma and healthcare products, etc.
Challenges in the cold chain logistics sector
Some of the common challenges faced by the cold chain logistics sector include:
- Packaging: Packaging is an important aspect of logistics. Inadequate packaging causes contamination and shipping damages.
- Documentation: All data with regard to cold storing need to be logged. It is to understand whether temperatures and other conditions were met during the transit as well as transportation. Many times, such a record of data is not kept, which may into damage and degradation of products.
- Transport delays: Disruptions in the supply chain usually cause delays. This may result in increased costs of cold chain logistics.
- Temperature variations: temperature variation is yet another problem. For example, the door of the truck being opened and closed multiple times for multiple deliveries may result in non-compliance with the specified temperature range. Another example would be a failure of the temperature controlling system.
List of companies offering cold chain logistics
Here are some of the leading companies in the cold chain logistics segment. Most of these companies offer a range of services such as 3PL-4PL services, warehousing, cold storage, e-Commerce fulfilment centres, B2B logistics and distribution, and so on.
- Snowman Logistics
- TCI Cold chain
- Arihant Cold Storage
- Indraprastha Cold Storage
- Sigma Refrigeration
- Coldman Warehousing and Distribution
- Siddhi Cold Chain
Indraprastha Cold Storage is known to be one of the oldest cold chain logistics companies in India that are still operational. The business is said to be established in the 1940s and has more than 70 years of experience in the business.
The demand for cold chain logistics in India is poised to grow in the coming years. With the growing food processing segment and emphasis on healthcare, cold chain logistics will see improved demand. Therefore, it can turn out to be a business opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Frequently asked questions about cold chain logistics
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about cold chain logistics.
Which company has the largest cold storage in India?
Where are most cold storages located?