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Future Direction Cold-chain In India

The cold-chain is a much bandied about business proposition in India, attracting ever burgeoning attention over the past decade. It has typically been associated with securing national food supply, reducing wastage and with an energy intensive technology. Despite fetching increasing focus driven by the government, its ground manifestation stays limited.

The cold chain industry is understood differently by various pronouncers of the trade. So at first, let us dispel a few notions in line with the intent of this article. Most people, including some of those driving this from within the government, presume the “cold chain” implies solely temperature controlled storage or carriage of goods. This automatically pre-supposes that the application of refrigeration is the singular differentiator.

In reality, the cold chain is a misnomer derived from “cold SUPPLY CHAIN”; and like any supply chain, the production process, packaging criteria and delivery & distribution mechanism is particular to the cold chain. Hence the benefits perceived from the cold chain are not just limited to those derived through application of cooling, but additionally those due to inherent procedural changes it enforces across the entire supply chain process.

For example, the cold chain is dependent on air flow patterns; hence the unit load must not restrict but promote air infiltration around the goods. Consequently shoulder vents, side vents (or Jaali type crates) become important in this supply chain. Such application of specially designed unitised packaging aids in minimising the handling damage. The cold chain also makes obligatory a selection criterion, allowing right cost realisation for various product categories.