Elements of the Cold Chain
A cold chain can functionally be considered as the close
interaction between three technologies:
conditions within the cold chain must be consistent so that the
processes of load and transport integrity of the shipments are maintained.
- Product. A product has physical attributes
requiring specific temperature and humidity conditions. These
conditions dictate its transport, which must takes place in a
manner that does not undermine its physical attributes to an
extent that is judged unacceptable. These physical attributes
relate to how perishable and fragile a product can be; how it
handles the cold chain process. Otherwise, the product may lose
its commercial value in whole or in part.
- Origin / Destination. The respective
locations of where a temperature-sensitive product is produced
and consumed. It underlines the difficulty of making a product
available at a market from where it is produced, which can be an
important constraint. Because of advances in cold chain
logistics, it became possible to use increasingly distant
sourcing strategies, some of which are spanning the world.
- Distribution. The methods and
infrastructure available to transport a product in a
temperature-controlled environment. They can involve temperature
controlled containers (reefers), trucks and warehousing