Saturday, June 15, 2024
Enhancing the cool chain

Enhancing the cool chain

The cold chain industry has seen significant expansion in recent years, with the global market reaching USD 270.98 billion in 2023. Projections indicate a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.9% from 2024 to 2030. This growth is driven by several factors, including shifts in consumer preferences, the surge in e-commerce sales, and the increasing demand for frozen food cold chain solutions spurred by the proliferation of organised retail stores in developing nations.

Furthermore, the enhanced accessibility to healthcare in developing regions has fuelled a greater need for vaccines and temperature-sensitive services. As healthcare infrastructure improves and more individuals gain access to medical care, there is a heightened awareness of vaccination’s crucial role in disease prevention. This surge in vaccine demand has contributed to the growth of temperature-sensitive services.

“As exemplified in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cold chain logistics industry demonstrated an unprecedented level of collaboration among pharmaceutical entities, manufacturers, regulators, and logistics providers,” Harsha Ranasinghe, Global Head of Air Logistics Products & Services at Kuehne+Nagel, a member of the Puerto Rico Life Sciences Air Cargo Community, stated.

“This collective effort led to the rapid deployment of vaccines, setting new benchmarks in speed, efficacy, and cooperation. The success of this collaborative spirit instils confidence that it will continue to thrive beyond 2024, ensuring the industry’s resilience in the face of future challenges.

“Companies are not just reacting to past disruptions, but actively seeking to fortify the resilience of their supply chains. Drawing lessons from pandemics, natural calamities, and geopolitical tensions, they are implementing robust strategies to ensure the continuity of operations. This proactive approach to enhancing resilience has become more imperative than ever, given the criticality of maintaining optimal conditions for temperature-sensitive goods, thereby assuring stakeholders of the industry’s preparedness.”

Integrating Artificial intelligence

In recent years, the rapid advancement of digital technologies in the cold chain industry has significantly boosted customer confidence. Nowhere is this more critical than in the transportation of pharmaceutical products, where precise temperature control and timely delivery are paramount. Below are a few examples of how digital developments have offered customer reassurance. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) hold substantial promise for revolutionising the sector, particularly in cold chain management. By enabling realtime monitoring, predictive maintenance, route optimisation, demand forecasting, and risk management, these technologies empower logistics firms to ensure products reach their destinations in optimal conditions, punctually and cost-effectively.

“At Kuehne+Nagel, we harness insights derived from algorithms and analytics to give customers real-time visibility into their product journeys,” Ranasinghe explained.

“Kuehne+Nagel uses data analytics platforms to optimise the supply chains of our customers by analysing cold chain performance. Realtime visibility solutions enable proactive action if the temperature range of the product deviates and our active monitoring systems predict and anticipate disruptions.

“Leveraging our active monitoring systems, we analyse weather patterns, geopolitical shifts, and other factors to forecast and pre-empt disruptions. Additionally, we continually evaluate past performance on specific lanes, implementing corrective measures to prevent the recurrence of disruptions. 

“We are enthusiastic about further leveraging AI and ML to mitigate risks and enhance operational focus across our network.”


Picture of Edward Hardy

Edward Hardy

Having become a journalist after university, Edward Hardy has been a reporter and editor at some of the world's leading publications and news sites. In 2022, he became Air Cargo Week's Editor. Got news to share? Contact me on


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