Republication from online publication


In this article we look at the major trends that is influencing the Cold Chain Industry at the current stage. The views in the article have been contributed by American company, SeaCube Container Leasing (SCCL) Ltd, in Foodlogistics.coms’ publication. SCCL have enabled the growth in global trade because they allow efficient movement of goods via ships, rail, and trucks.

SeaCube is a leader in refrigerated shipping containers, including the generator sets used to power the refrigerated containers while carrying cold goods to their final destination or while used for cold storage applications. The article below is their view of how the cold chain transport sector has been influenced due to the COVID pandemic.

How COVID-19 Made Cold Chain Trends More Transformative Than Ever

Recent trends, emerging innovation and nascent cold chain technology will continue to shape the ever-changing requirement for the refrigerated and cold chain markets

  • International shipping delays create an increase in cold chain warehousing capacity

International movement of refrigerated products continues to be delayed as a result of the pandemic. With the advent of new foreign food inspection regulations, port congestion, reefer container shortages, and port congestion being the nemesis of expedited food delivery, cold chain storage has been a hot growth area. Investment in cold chain storage and refrigerated food conveyance is on the top of the charts for investors with double-digit growth projections for the next few years.

  • Other hot trends for cold chain management and transportation

Several catalysts are expected to fuelling the growth in the cold chain sector. The pandemic has created many food category demand shifts, with the most prominent being a shift from high-end gourmet specialty food products associated with travel, restaurants, and entertainment business to retail packaged frozen and perishable products. There are also several other key areas that are driving exponential growth and trend shifts in the cold chain markets. Some of these key cold chain trends include the following:

  • Consumers have an insatiable appetite for fresh foods

Health trends are pushing more and more consumers toward healthier diets, resulting in an increased demand for specialty foods. Some of this has been accelerated by people wanting healthier choices when spending more time at home. Most data are now pointing to consumers demanding fresh diet choices moving forward, which will be dependent on cold chain capacity. With this demand acceleration for fresh and organic diets, grocers must ensure perishable foods are ripe, appealing and that the selection is abundant to stay competitive.

Image source: – Managing COVID-19 cases on board

  • Technology plays a more significant role in the cold chain 

With COVID-19 and the global regulatory framework constantly changing, technology will expand its critical role invisibility, monitoring, and compliance going forward. The need for tracing food sources and monitoring environmental conditions of food cargo events will be elevated since inspection processes will be streamlined as compliance rigor increases. In addition, as transit times increase due to the supply chain challenges connected to COVID-19, controlled-atmosphere refrigerated technology will become more necessary.

  • Access to additional labour, transportation capacity planning and redundancy will be a priority for the cold chain to be reliable

Until the vaccine is widely distributed and available, the cold chain transportation networks will continue to be disrupted. Labour shortages, quarantine impacts, and delivery conveyance will continue to be challenged with inconsistent performance and reliability as a result of the virus. These pandemic-related impacts will create the need for companies to re-visit their planning strategy, incorporating redundancy and contingency options. This will also create demand for incremental outsourcing with services being necessary to accommodate for virus prevention cold chain-related activities.

With the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak occurring just a year ago, we need to take away as much as we can from the last 12 months as we plan for the future, learning from our missteps and building on our successes. Efficient and effective cold chain management will be an ongoing challenge for all cold chain stakeholders who bear the responsibility for ensuring uninterrupted delivery of temperature-controlled products to key markets throughout the world. Fortunately, it has already been proven that the cold chain industry can quickly adapt and innovate to serve the increasingly more complex supply chain. Recent trends, emerging innovation, and nascent cold chain technology will continue to shape the ever-changing requirement for the refrigerated and cold chain markets.