Cold chain in logistics can often be a complex battle between compliance and technology, and making sure you have the right tools in place to successfully complete your deliveries within the confines of your compliance requirements.
Well the good news is that Stream can help support your cold chain logistics operation and in this post we’re going to explain exactly how, covering:
- What is a ‘cold chain’ in logistics?
- How Stream can support your cold chain logistics operation
- Vehicle Checks
- Optimised Route Planning
- Vehicle Requirements
- Pallet & Container Scanning
- Track and Trace Barcode Scanning
What is ‘cold chain’ logistics?
‘Cold chain’ logistics refers to the transportation and distribution of fresh products, such as foods and pharmaceuticals, in a low temperature controlled environment.
The cold chain aims to ensure that from production to delivery, products are never exposed to temperatures of atmospheric conditions outside of a desired low-temperature range, in order to preserve and ensure the shelf life of the product.
In industries such as food manufacturing/production and pharmaceuticals, a cold chain supports businesses in the distribution of products in line with their high compliance requirements.
The breaking of the cold chain, IE being exposed to temperatures or atmospheric conditions outside of the set requirements, can result in products spoiling and not being fit for consumption.
How Stream can support your cold chain logistics operation
but Stream has a number of useful features which help businesses transport goods throughout the cold chain efficiently to help them meet their high compliance requirements.
In a logistics cold chain, ensuring the availability of vehicles exactly as and when you need them is a top priority to get the products from A to B.
And that’s why Stream provides the tools you need to help keep your vehicles maintained and roadworthy.
Stream gives your drivers the power to easily complete their vehicle walkaround checks, with no need for storing paper-based documents at the end of it.
Drivers can also identify and report any defects that are uncovered during the check, so you can resolve them before they become a real issue.
You can even create custom checks for drivers to complete which require them to record the temperature of any refrigerated vehicles or storage units and include photographic evidence, which is great for compliance and auditing purposes.
Our Vehicle Walkaround Check feature has helped a number of Blood Bikes charities to complete tens of thousands of successful deliveries to transport medical materials, bodily tissues and equipment across the UK in emergency situations.
“We are using Stream Check for vehicle safety and motorcycle maintenance, as availability is a top priority. We have a duty of care to our riders, to the hospitals and to the patients as we are an emergency service. Our Charity is functioning much more efficiently and our riders are safer.”– Yeovil Blood Bikes
This has not only saved the NHS thousands of pounds, but also saved thousands of lives in the process.
Optimised route planning
When it comes to transporting goods in the cold chain, getting from A to B as efficiently as possible is high on the list of priorities.
Stream’s route planning functionality helps you build out comprehensive routes for the transportation of goods, whether that be from depot to depot, or store to customer.
Not only that, but Stream’s route optimisation feature helps you plan the most efficient routes for runs containing multiple stops, ensuring that your vehicles are travelling as few miles as possible between the start and end destinations.
Selecting correct vehicles based on requirements
While planning routes in Stream, you can assign the right vehicles to the right runs and ensure the right orders and products are added to those runs.
We use product classifications to help you easily identify which of your products need to be temperature controlled, are flammable or hazardous, and then load them onto a run and assign a vehicle with the specific requirements to complete the run.
Pallet & container scanning
Not all cold chain logistics operations use refrigerated vans to control the temperatures of products as they move through the supply chain.
It’s not uncommon for pallets or containers, which have their temperatures controlled individually, to be used for the transportation of goods.
And that’s why Stream gives you the ability to scan and load individual items in & out of containers, and then scan the container as a whole, to update all of the items contained within it at each stop of the supply chain.
Track and trace barcode scanning
Keep an accurate log of exactly where, when and who has been involved with an order/product throughout your supply chain process.
Stream’s barcode scanning creates an event in Stream each time a barcode is scanned using the mobile app, giving you complete traceability and visibility over every order that you’re shipping.
Frequently asked Questions
While not specifically designed for the cold chain, Stream’s logistics software has a number of features that can greatly help with your cold chain compliance and requirements to assist you when transporting and distributing temperature controlled products and substances.
When moving products through the supply chain, certain items such as meats, seafood, vegetables and pharmaceuticals are required to be kept at specific temperatures to ensure they remain fresh and do not spoil. It’s therefore important for businesses to have the ability to ensure the required temperatures can be controlled and maintained as the products are transported.