Consignments will be tracked on every stage of a cool chain trade lane to identify inefficiencies and help reduce food loss
Cool Chain Association (CCA) members will 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 and ‘pinch points’ and working together to find solutions.
The data will be analysed by food loss and waste expert Philippe Schuler, and the results made available to the industry to demonstrate how collaboration can tangibly improve the cool supply chain, CCA said. The pilot will start in April, with the initial results to be discussed at the CCA’s Global Perishables Event in The Netherlands in May.
CCA told CAAS that the initiative and idea came out of discussions at the association’s last AGM and Perishables event in Luxembourg, where Philippe Schuler presented results of a ‘farm to fork’ study commissioned by the CCA looking at the journey of papayas from Brazil to Europe. At the meeting, the overwhelming feeling was that collaboration and data sharing was the way forward and the board started to look into funding another, more extensive study, which has now been developed into this pilot project.
“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, CCA treasurer and director for verticals and global head of perishables at Air France KLM Martinair Cargo. “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.”
CCA members as well as growers and importers will take 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 is shared.”
The shipments will be monitored over a period of three months to give a sizeable body of data, which CCA said 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, CCA chairman and global product manager for healthcare and perishables at Cargolux.
“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.”