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Cold chain challenges require agile solutions


Tim Child, Director of Operations at Sealand Americas

The challenges that perishables exporters face each season are never the same. In the Americas, for example, they may encounter severe weather conditions, labor issues, significant cost increases and port congestion.

Adversity will always exist, therefore, consistently achieving predictable cold chain performance requires looking at market hurdles and ever-changing infrastructure with a holistic end-to-end view. After all, how these challenges are met is what makes the difference between delivering a perishable product with maximum quality or a product that is starting to deteriorate.

Sealand – Maersk group company – innovative thinking and problem-solving to fit each piece of the cold chain puzzle together has been a successful approach to increasing efficiency from farm to end user.

We designed a flexible service network that applies the hub-and-spoke model, where the load is centralized in a hub so that it can later be dispersed, which guarantees alternative connections in the transport network. Alternative services such as niche ports prevent disruptions, minimize the impacts of port congestion and provide even greater cold chain predictability, allowing exporters to efficiently schedule shipments and manage costs to maintain good profit margins.

Speed ??and agility for agricultural products

In land transport, the warehouses dedicated to customers in Peru for example, provide an essential logistical solution to increase the speed and agility in moving products from agricultural areas far from the port.

A warehouse serves as a staging area for empty containers and chassis and for packaging containers when products arrive from a farm. In addition, it allows you to effectively program the capacity of the truck in the warehouse to expedite the transport of perishable products to port locations.


Connectivity and higher volume

Another innovation is the refrigerated train in Chile that increases connectivity between the country's main agricultural areas and the Port of Valparaíso. The train is a faster choice, as there may be interruptions on the road, and it still handles a larger volume – the equivalent of up to 31 trucks.

This innovative solution optimizes the flow of exports to the port, reduces travel time, and it is a better sustainable option for shippers.

Specialized ports

Ports specializing in refrigerated cargo, such as the Port of Philadelphia and Porto Hueneme, a deepwater port in California, are one of the main export ports in Latin America. They provide access to a comprehensive and efficient cold chain infrastructure and proximity to consumers across the US.

The Port of Philadelphia has been an important partner in coordinating an innovative end-to-end refrigerated solution for Chilean grapes. Transporting the product involves a complete, integrated, end-to-end container journey that is seamless – this starts from the moment the grapes are packed at origin to final destination, including road transport from the farm to the terminal; maritime transport with RCM visibility (remote container management); terminal handling at the Port of Philadelphia and temperature management with priority fumigation processing.

Innovation, partnerships, and attention to the market become triads to increase the efficiency of the cold chain from the farm to the end user.

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