Best Practices for Managing Cold Chain Logistics, Part 2

Best Practices for Managing Cold Chain Logistics, Part 2

August 27, 2018

Transporting a box of frozen treats or fresh berries hundreds of miles requires strict adherence to complicated practices and regulations, as well as precise and continuous temperature control. Any deviation from plan, such as a faulty refrigerated trailer or an unexpected delay, can result in wasted boxes of mush. As discussed in the first part of our cold chain series, rapid industry growth and regulatory changes make innovation crucial for adapting and expanding with the times.

At Samsara, our connected sensor solutions help companies maintain the integrity of their product while streamlining operations and improving margins. What does this look like practically in day-to-day operations? We’ve compiled some of our customers’ tactical tips for managing cold chain logistics.

Pre-Cool and Monitor Reefers with Two-Way Control

Blue Lightning Logistics, an over-the-road truckload carrier, transports refrigerated loads ranging from produce to frozen goods to pharmaceuticals. They ensure that goods are transported at precisely the correct temperature by pre-cooling reefers before loading and remotely changing the temperature if it’s not set correctly.

“We really like that the AG24 gives us more control,” Blue Lightning’s cofounder Eran Blitzblau explained. “Before a driver picks up a load, we can set the proper temperature on our reefer, which eliminates any room for error. Sometimes a customer wants a load to be at 36 degrees, but the shipper asks the driver to put it at 45 degrees. What our customer wants and what the shipper wants don’t always match, and this helps us operate the reefer the customer’s way.”

Prevent Spoilage with Real-Time Alerts

Katzman Produce supplies a full range of fruits and vegetables to businesses throughout the northeast United States. To ensure their produce stays within strict temperature and humidity guidelines, they leverage wireless temperature sensors for continuous temperature logging and real-time alerts. On a hot, humid day in the Northeast, according to their Director of Operations Andrew Roy, they can expect 3-4 temperature alerts. Each alert allows the company to instantly intervene and rescue the delivery, ultimately saving the business up to $150,000 depending on the load.

“Sometimes the alert is because we’ve backed into a lot and it hasn’t been unloaded yet, so the driver can go to the customer and say, ‘I’m going to pull down the doors to keep the integrity of the product,’” said Roy. “Or we’re in traffic and it gets too hot. Sometimes the reefer catastrophically fails, so when we get an alert we can send another truck out and transfer the load.”

Katzman also uses Samsara to monitor their warehouse temperatures. “We had a catastrophic failure where a unit up on the roof blew out on a Sunday,” explained Roy. “Samsara alerted us and we were able to get a technician out there. We were able to replace a piece of the condenser so we could get refrigeration turned back on. There are no manual temps taken on Sundays, so Samsara saved us.”

Stephanie Katzman enjoying the temperature of one of their warehouses
Stephanie Katzman enjoying the temperature of one of their warehouses

Maintain FSMA Compliance with Continuous Temperature Logging

Cash-Wa Distributing, a broadline foodservice distributor, ensures FSMA compliance with wireless environmental sensors that continuously monitor and log temperature and humidity. Not only does this paperless system improve operational efficiency, it provides proof of product quality to both regulators and customers. According to VP of Operations Jim Hoss, this has helped Cash-Wa decrease payouts to customers for improper-temperature claims by 30%.

“I’m tracking the produce every time it moves, and I have alarms in place to indicate temperature changes,” Hoss said. “So I know that we’re delivering wholesome quality products in every load—I know, for example, that my lettuce never goes below temperature. Samsara gives us that confidence in the integrity of our supply chain.”

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