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How to protect your cold chain and avoid damaged goods

If you manage a fleet of vans or trucks that transport temperature-sensitive goods, then you know how important it is to maintain the cold chain. And you also know how challenging it can be to keep your cargo at the right temperature during transport. 

Luckily, there are digital solutions that can help you manage your cold chain effectively. We’ll introduce some tools in this post. But before we dive into the solutions, let’s review your important role in maintaining the cold chain.

The role of transport in the cold chain

Cold chain management is a critical link in supply chain management. From the factory or farm where goods are produced to warehousing and final delivery, the cold chain consists of many parts.  

In running a refrigerated fleet, you oversee the transport of temperature-sensitive products. Your cargo may include medicines, cosmetics, chemicals, animals, electronic devices or perishable foods or plants. Whatever you’re transporting, your role in the cold chain is to keep goods at the right temperature, at all times. The purpose of temperature consistency is ensuring product quality and safety. 

Temperature fluctuations can damage delicate items like pharmaceuticals, fresh produce and even some electronic components. Maintaining temperatures is about public safety too. For example, foodborne illnesses are much more likely to occur when food is kept at inappropriate temperatures.  

For some products, most notably pharmaceuticals, refrigerated vehicles must be pre-cooled so they’re already at the right temperature during loading. Doors being opened can make temperature control extra challenging for any perishable cargo, especially in last-mile delivery when doors are frequently opened.  

You need to act quickly in the case of potential issues. So, how can you know if your temperatures slip out of range or if there’s a fault with a cooling unit? If your driver mistakenly set the wrong temperature or is behind the wheel and isn’t aware of events in the cooling unit, you may have no way of knowing what’s happening until it’s too late.   

Delivering cargo at the wrong temperature can lead to rejected loads, eating into your bottom line and straining customer relationships. You also have to consider regulations that require you and your customers to comply with certain standards in transporting temperature-sensitive goods. How can you get the visibility you need to tackle emerging issues and stay compliant? That’s where cold chain telematics comes in. 

Digital solutions for cold chain transport

As noted above, temperature fluctuations can cause all sorts of problems, from spoiled food to damaged electronics and losses for your business. A cold chain telematics solution makes it much easier to comply with strict regulations and fulfill your customer requirements.  

That’s because telematics technology provides constant visibility on your vehicle and trailer locations, and the temperature of their cooling units. As a result, you’re able to analyse the conditions of your road freight from a dashboard—in real time. Just pull up your real-time temperature and location data in your telematics service account to get insights and determine whether any actions need to be taken.  

The technology works through two mechanisms: 1. temperature sensors, which are installed inside your refrigerated vehicles and trailers and 2. tracking devices that read the temperatures being monitored by the sensors and relay that data to your telematics service account. 

This illustration shows how cold chain telematics works.

With everything monitored digitally, you can establish your maximum and minimum thresholds and set up alerts to notify you should these ranges be compromised. The right solution will provide access to your historical data, with the ability to view your archives on your account dashboard or via downloadable reports. Need to track past temperature violations? A solution like Webfleet Cold Chain will allow you to pull separate reports for that. 

Your success in cold chain transport

As an operator of a temperature-controlled fleet, you play a vital role in ensuring the success of the cold chain. Having the right tools and processes in place ensures you can meet compliance and protect temperature-sensitive goods with confidence. With a cold chain telematics solution, you get the real-time visibility needed to address issues quickly and prove temperature consistency to your end customers and compliance regulators. 

Are you looking for a solution to deliver freight at the right temperature every time? Webfleet can help ensure your temperature-controlled operations are efficient and compliant. Watch our latest cold chain webinar Protect your temperature-controlled goods: How to act fast when every second counts.

Looking for a solution to deliver cargo at the right temperature every time? We can help you harness the power of cold chain telematics. Just book a time to speak with us, and we’ll gladly answer your questions with a free consultation. 

Beverley Wise
As Webfleet Regional Director UKI for Bridgestone Mobility Solutions, Beverley Wise has more than 20 years of experience in the automotive industry, primarily within the leasing sector. She firmly believes that being a decisive leader is key to delivering great success. She likes to innovate with her mantra of "Ask for forgiveness, not permission," helping to move businesses forward. She has a strong work ethic and strives to be the best she can be, which she likes to instil into teams she manages, being fair but firm with a high degree of empathy. Beverley has been with Webfleet overseeing UKI sales for six years, where she has seen several changes. She is passionate about the future of the automotive industry, believing that the transition to electric or alternative-fuelled vehicles is a real game changer.

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