Monday, January 11, 2016

Cold Chain on the Agenda with New Reefer Containers, Waste Food Solutions and a Big Logistics Sale

Summit in Singapore Whilst Shipping Line Expands Operation and Supply Chain Outfit Up for Grabs
Shipping News Feature
WORLDWIDE – Whilst parts of the Northern Hemisphere are undergoing some of the mildest of winter weather for many years, cold chain logistics are firmly in the forefront of many minds within the shipping industry around the world. As 2015 closed, Carrier, the commercial refrigeration specialist, held its second ‘World Cold Chain Summit to Reduce Food Waste’ moving from last year’s London venue to the warmer climes of Singapore. Meanwhile ZIM Integrated Shipping Services is to expand its reefer container fleet and Linde, which spreads its interests across various commercial sectors, has announced the upcoming sale of its temperature-controlled logistics unit Gist.

131 delegates from 33 nations, including global leaders in the supply chain private sector, academia, and government turned out at the Singapore event to discuss and develop scalable, sustainable solutions to expand and improve the cold chain to reduce food loss and waste. Led by speakers such as Clementine O’Connor, sustainable food systems consultant at the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and Dr Joseph Mpagalile, Agro-food Industries officer with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) the summit endorsed the UN’s new Sustainable Development 12.3 Goal to halve food waste throughout the entire global supply chain by 2030.

Another keynote speaker, Didier Coulomb, General Director of the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) revealed 23% of food loss and waste in developing countries is due to the lack of a cold chain. For perspective, Ethiopia has just 2 litres per person of refrigeration compared to 344 per person in the US, with a study showing a 90% reduction of waste in such countries if comparable levels of available refrigeration were in place. David Appel, President, Carrier Transicold & Refrigeration Systems, commented:

“One third or more of the food we produce each year is never eaten, yet more than 50 percent of the wasted food can have its shelf life extended by the cold chain. Only 10% of worldwide perishable foods are refrigerated today, so there is immense opportunity to cut food waste and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions by implementing or improving the cold chain.”

Also at the event, Carrier presented a donation of $10,000 to ZeroWasteSG, a not-for-profit and non-government organization in Singapore dedicated to eliminating the concept of waste, to help promote its ‘Save Food, Cut Waste’ campaign.

Elsewhere international shipping line Zim has announced it will order and deploy approximately 1,900 reefer containers in the coming year. The 40 foot High Cube advanced and environmentally friendly boxes were specifically designed to accommodate the ZIMonitor service and received a special prefix: ZMOU.

Zim says the new expansion is necessary due to the demand for its ZIMonitor service introduced in 2015. The system allows customers to track, monitor and remotely control sensitive, high-value cargo stowed in refrigerated containers. Customers can opt to receive alerts regarding their shipment via text message or email, closely monitor their cargo's status and intervene to prevent damages through ZIM's 24/7 dedicated global response team. The alerts are capable of reporting various monitored functions such as temperature, humidity level, GPS location, route deviation and unauthorized door opening.

The German headquartered Linde group has fingers in many pies, from specialist gas supplies to engineering but the name is also familiar in the logistics sector with the fork lift brand often to be seen at many freight terminals. Gist is Linde’s supply chain facilitator with 5,000 staff operating from over 40 European sites and with a particular presence in the time and temperature controlled sectors.

Linde is to shed Gist, stating it is no longer part of the group’s core business and has apparently authorised Morgan Stanley to offer the outfit to suitable purchasers. With a customer portfolio consisting of such names as Marks & Spencer, Starbucks and suppliers to supermarket chain Morrisons, doubtless many of the big guns in European logistics will be taking a look at the operation.

Photo: ZIMonitor offers the chance to study cargo on the move.