Perishable consignments will be tracked at every stage of a cool chain trade lane to identify inefficiencies within the value chain
The Cool Chain Association (CCA) is to pilot a data sharing initiative to monitor perishable shipments on trade lanes from Latin America to Europe, and from the USA to the Middle East, in a bid to improve supply chain management and reduce food loss.
The pilot will involve tracking shipments of commodities such as avocados and berries from grower to consignee, with all members of the supply chain sharing data to identify "temperature excursions" ("spikes") and pinch points and working together to find solutions.
The data will be analysed by a food loss and waste expert, Philippe Schuler, and the results will be made available to the industry to demonstrate how collaboration can tangibly improve the cool supply chain. Initial results will be discussed at the CCA’s Global Perishables Event at Fresh Park Venlo, the Netherlands on 14th and 15th May.
“As we move along the supply chain, we will use the information in a proactive way so that everyone within the value chain can adjust their procedures to improve the cool chain together,” said Eric Mauroux, Director Verticals, Global Head of Perishables at Air France KLM Martinair Cargo and CCA Treasurer.
“We all have pieces of information but there is no platform so far for sharing it and yet data sharing not only helps us improve but also helps create value.”
The pilot will start in April, with CCA members as well as growers and importers taking part to track the consignments.
“The data sharing will be based on information from recorders in the shipments and we will have the full coverage from the producer to the importer so that we can reconcile the temperature curve with the timeline of handling,” said Mauroux.
“You can spend hours writing processes, but when it comes to making it happen on the ground, the best way to asses if it is working is looking at time, temperature, and tolerance. Moving forward, we can test and suggest the platforms on which data are shared.”
The shipments will be monitored over a period of three months to give a sizeable body of data, which can be analysed to provide ideas for collaborative work flows to improve the cool chain.
The CCA is focused on reducing wastage and improving the quality, efficiency, and value of the temperature sensitive supply chain and has already worked on templates for global standards and certification projects for both perishables and pharmaceuticals.
“With a third of the world’s food going to waste, it is important that from grower to consumer, we all contribute to taking action,” said Stavros Evangelakakis, Global Product Manager, Healthcare and Perishables, Cargolux and CCA Chairman.
“The freight industry can do its part, ensuring proper handling, and respecting temperature during storage, build up, and transportation. We can create value and have an impact on shelf life.”