Put To Test: Festive Rush Keeping The Cold Chain Industry On Its Toes

India is a country known for its rich cultural diversity and vibrant festivals. Festive seasons are an integral part of Indian society, during which people come together to celebrate and exchange joy. However, it is also a time of great stress for the cold chain logistics industry. The demand for cold chain infrastructure experiences fluctuations due to various factors, such as seasonal changes, agricultural cycles, festive seasons, and specific industries’ demands (e.g., confectionaries, chocolates, ice cream, pharmaceuticals, dairy, and frozen foods). To tackle these seasonal demands, cold chain logistics companies employ various strategies like Capacity Planning and Collaborating with other service partners.

The impact of the festive rush on cold chain logistics in India is far-reaching and warrants careful consideration to ensure the efficient and safe delivery of essential goods during these peak periods.

Here are some of the key challenges faced by cold chain logistics companies during the festive rush:

  • Increased demand for perishable goods: The demand for fresh produce, sweets, flowers, and other perishable goods escalates exponentially during the festive season. This puts a strain on cold chain logistics companies, which have to ensure that these goods are stored and transported at the right temperature to prevent spoilage.
  • Increased traffic congestion: The festive season is also a time of increased traffic congestion. This can lead to delays in the transportation of goods, as trucks may get stuck in traffic jams.
  • Power outages: Power outages are a common occurrence in India, especially during the festive season. This can lead to disruptions in cold chain logistics, as refrigerated trucks may not be able to maintain the required temperature for perishable goods.
  • Labour shortage: The festive season is also a time of increased demand for labour. This can lead to a shortage of workers in the cold chain logistics industry, which can further disrupt operations.

Despite these challenges, cold chain logistics companies play a vital role in ensuring the smooth supply of essential goods during the festive season. By employing various strategies and working closely with other stakeholders, they are able to meet the increased demand for perishable goods and ensure that these goods are delivered safely and on time.

Here are some of the key strategies employed by us at Coldman to tackle the challenges of the festive rush:

  • We carefully plan our capacity requirements in advance of the festive season by using historical data and trends to forecast seasonal demand spikes close to accuracy. This ensures that we have sufficient storage space, refrigerated trucks, and personnel to handle the increased demand.
  • We collaborate with other service providers to ensure that they have the necessary resources to meet the increased demand. We even set up temporary storage facilities by collaborating with other service providers or utilising additional reefer trucks to accommodate the higher inventory levels and distribution.
  • At the initial design phase of the warehouse, we ensure that we design Multi-Temperature Storage enabling us to accommodate a wide range of perishable products with varying temperature requirements. This flexibility allows us to adapt to different seasonal demands effectively.
  • After each peak season, we analyse our performance and identify areas for improvement. Implementing lessons learned from previous seasons helps us optimize the operations and better prepare for future seasonal demands.
  • We provide training to our employees on how to handle the increased demand during the festive season. We also hire temporary staff and provide them with proper training to handle the increased workload efficiently. Adequate workforce management ensures smooth operations and minimizes disruptions.

It’s important to note that specific strategies vary depending on the client’s volume, distribution network, and the types of goods they handle.

This article is authored by Sanjay Sharma, Chief Operating Officer, Coldman Logistics – India’s premier customized cold chain solutions provider – and was originally published in the August edition of Logistics Insider Magazine. All views in the article are personal.

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