The Latin American market has very diverse characteristics and realities. Therefore, companies from all sectors that operate in this geographical area must adapt to such circumstances in order to remain operational. In fact, refrigerated transport in LATAM does not escape this requirement. Precisely because of the challenges involved in covering large land distances between production and marketing centres. Bearing in mind that maintaining the cold chain with the appropriate temperatures for the type of food, medicine and other supplies that require storage and transportation under these conditions, it is essential to maintain their freshness and quality.
Avoid food loss, a challenge for refrigerated transport in LATAM
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), globally, food waste is alarming. Nearly 1,300 million tons of food are lost annually due to various circumstances. On average, these losses include between 40 and 50% of fruits, vegetables, roots and oilseeds, 30% of cereals, 20% of meat and dairy products and 35% of fish. The same organization calculates that 6% of global food losses occur in Latin America and the Caribbean. In this sense, the region loses and/or wastes about 15% of the food produced. These losses occur in all phases of the food chain, but in particular, during management and storage (22%) and in the market and distribution (17%).
Options to correct this situation
But it is not only food that is lost due to a break in the cold chain. Also, pharmaceutical products and, in several cases, chemicals lose properties due to a lack of adequate refrigeration during storage and transportation. To avoid this, refrigerated transport companies in LATAM must carry out continuous and preventive maintenance of the cooling equipment in their units. Likewise, it is critical to apply this measure in the spaces where the products are stored to anticipate eventual errors. Likewise, it is ideal to have backup systems to ensure the continuity of the cold chain in the face of any eventuality.
On the other hand, to guarantee the temperature levels required by each product at all times, it is important that the refrigeration equipment have efficient telemetry applications. Today, Internet of Things (IoT) devices are becoming indispensable tools for monitoring loads. Through them, it is possible to obtain data on the temperature of the load in real-time and remotely.
Cold chain logistics, a challenge for refrigerated transport in LATAM
Undoubtedly, given the complexity of cold chain logistics, it requires considerable investments in technology, infrastructure and qualified personnel. In short, it is a priority to have air-conditioned vehicles, containers and warehouses. To this, we must add the need to have backup power plants to guarantee the energy supply required in an emergency. Similarly, it is essential to incorporate temperature control systems to monitor in real time variables that threaten the quality of the load.
Along these same lines, cold chain logistics also requires hiring skilled and proactive drivers and warehouse operators. These personnel must have the knowledge and skills to detect risks in a timely manner and implement solutions to immediately correct any variation in temperature. At the same time, drivers and operators must know the specific procedures and programs for the coordinated processing of merchandise documentation as it passes through warehouses or road control points.
Aspects that must be addressed by transport operators
Considering the above, logistics and refrigerated transport operators in LATAM must take care of aspects of product management that affect their temperature. And that, in some way, also influence the use of energy to achieve a constant supply of cold. Among the main actions to be carried out are:
- The anticipated cooling of the loading area of vehicles and warehouses. This process must begin at least 90 minutes before loading the merchandise. The purpose is to remove residual heat remaining in these areas.
- Check that cold air circulates adequately on all sides of the load. In this case, it is important to avoid airway obstruction.
- On the other hand, the pallets with fresh products must have plastic wrap, so that the air reaches the load.
- To avoid any blockage of the cold flow, it is important to avoid placing products in front of the evaporator outlets.
- Any waste of wrappers or paper must be removed from the containers.
- The opening of the doors of the cold store and the refrigerated cargo compartments must be very short.
- At the same time, it is advisable to separate the perishable cargo from those pallets with dry goods, using a partition wall.
Refrigerated transport in LATAM, other challenges in the context
As we said at the beginning, the Latin American market has very particular dynamics and circumstances. Knowledge of these realities and making the right decisions to maintain the operability of logistics activity and, in particular, of refrigerated transport in LATAM is one of the main challenges of the sector. In this context, logistics operators specializing in cold chain services must establish effective strategies to always be at the forefront of the business. In this regard, some elements to take into consideration are the following:
- Be constantly updated in relation to the restrictions imposed by the health legislation of each country. The objective is to implement the required refrigeration measures and controls on time to ensure the quality and good condition of the goods. In particular, food and pharmaceutical products as they go through all the stages of the logistics chain.
- Invest in an organized and constant way in the digital transformation of logistics companies. It is essential to focus on solutions to enable cargo traceability and monitoring of temperature conditions during transit. It is pertinent to remember that in Latin America the transit of cargo between different climatic regions is frequent. In addition, the digitalization of administrative procedures makes the documentation of origin, the transfer process and reception at the destination more agile and reliable.
- Use ecological refrigerants and efficient fuels in order to align with the environmental and sustainability initiatives that must be promoted by all productive sectors.
- Implement a business approach focused on integration with the client’s strategic objectives. In this way, it is feasible to minimize costs and improve the satisfaction of end consumers.
Intersam helps to face the challenges of refrigerated transport in LATAM
En Intersam nos especializamos en el desarrollo de todo tipo de sistemas de refrigeración y climatización a la medida de los requerimientos de su empresa. Nuestros equipos están diseñados para lograr la máxima eficiencia energética y ahorrar en consumo energético.
Asimismo, nuestra experiencia de 27 años en el negocio de la refrigeración, nos ha permito atender no solo al mercado europeo, sino también al de Asia y América Latina. Por esta razón, estamos capacitados para apoyar con nuestras soluciones al transporte refrigerado en LATAM. ¡Contáctenos y comuníquenos todas tus necesidades en el ámbito de la conservación de la cadena de frío!
At Intersam we specialize in the development of all types of refrigeration and air conditioning systems tailored to the requirements of your company. Our equipment is designed to achieve maximum energy efficiency and save on energy consumption.
Likewise, our 27-year experience in the refrigeration business has allowed us to serve not only the European market but also that of Asia and Latin America. For this reason, we are able to support refrigerated transport in LATAM with our solutions. Contact us and tell us all your needs in the field of cold chain conservation!