Cold Chain Logistics: How IoT Solves for These 4 Common Problems

4 minute read

The cold chain monitoring market is growing rapidly, thanks in large part to the growing demand for temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals, better food quality with less waste, and increased government focus on medical supply chain efficiency. According to a report from Markets and Markets, the cold chain monitoring market size is expected to grow from $4.6 billion in 2020 to $8.2 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 12.5%.

Cold chains are made up of a continuous series of temperature-controlled production, storage, and distribution environments through which perishable items, such as food products and pharmaceuticals, must pass. To maintain quality and safety, you need a mix of sensors, GPS technologies, and wireless connectivity to deliver real-time temperature and location information across multimodal supply chains. In order to ensure quality is maintained in cold chain logistics, it’s important to understand the common problems and how to solve them.

1. Lack of real-time visibility

According to the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), breaks may occur at any point throughout the cold chain. These breaks can occur anywhere in the supply chain, from the warehouse dock to the supermarket floor. One of the largest gaps for visibility occurs in transit, where companies have historically not had access to real-time data about the status of their goods. 

IoT solutions for cold chain logistics now offer visibility and traceability of what happens during shipping through sensors, GPS, and cellular connectivity. Real-time alerts can notify stakeholders of events that can impact the quality and timeliness and shipments, including late departures/arrivals, route anomalies, temperature deviations, and shock or tilt events.

2. Market fragmentation

Historically, bringing tracking and warehousing under one technical system is one solution that has not existed. The market has long been fragmented for various parts of the temperature-controlled supply chain, often requiring multiple vendors, platforms, and technologies for complete cold chain management.

Comprehensive IoT solutions, such as Critical Asset Monitoring, allow cold chain logistics companies to monitor, control, and plan global logistics, regardless of segmentation, with one holistic solution. With intuitive web-based platforms that can be integrated with your own ERP or TMS programs via an API, these IoT solutions bring efficiency to cold chain management.

3. Regulatory compliance

Government regulation has long been an issue for cold chain logistics, and now there is an even greater focus on food and medical supply chains, largely due to COVID this year. In Europe, there are a number of standards (EN12830 for temperature recorders, and EN13486 for monitoring) to ensure these items are stored and monitored regularly at the right temperatures. 

IoT solutions for cold chain logistics provide the visibility and historical reporting needed to maintain regulatory compliance. A user-friendly dashboard provides historical data including sensor data, routes, events, alerts, and more. This historical data, when paired with real-time visibility, allows supply chain managers to optimise their operations and create risk-mitigation plans to remain compliant.

4. Process optimisation

While some traditional cold chain solutions, such as passive data loggers, capture and provide sensor data, that data might not be impactful without a robust dashboard for intuitive reporting. In order for data to make a difference in cold chain management, it needs to come with actionable insights for process optimisation.

End-to-end monitoring from IoT solutions for cold chain logistics allow companies to optimise workflows and processes, ensuring seamless chain of custody and quality management. Actionable data, along with real-time notifications and alerts, enable a proactive and early detection approach to minimise product loss and improve ROI.

While IoT solutions solve for many of the challenges of cold chain logistics, not all IoT solutions are created equal. When looking for a solution and technology partner, it’s important to work with a company that understands the complexities of both IoT and cold chain management. KORE empowers organisations to choose from a suite of comprehensive cold chain solutions to enable monitoring of a refrigerated shipment’s condition and location in real-time.


To learn more about the many ways that IoT is helping logistics’ organisations remain competitive in this rapidly changing industry, download our free eBook “Three Ways IoT Is Driving Innovation in Logistics and Supply Chain Management.

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