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What is the Cold Chain?

You may have heard the term cold chain before. Today on the blog we will be reviewing what it is and why it is so vital for our globalized world.

An Intro to the Cold Chain

According to the Global Cold Chain Alliance, “The cold chain refers to managing the temperature of perishable products in order to maintain quality and safety from the point of origin through the distribution chain to the final consumer.” We can see that a lot of the key concepts of supply chain are present here (see Moon Warehousing’s blog post on supply chains to learn more), with an added layer specific to temperature. Put simply, the it involves perishable products that rely upon refrigeration. Management practices and temperature control technologies have evolved to help meet the needs of these products.

There are a few hundred years of history behind this. For at least as far back as the 1700s, temperature control has been leveraged while transporting goods. In fact, the British purportedly used ice during transportation to preserve fish in the 18th century. Today, food, medicine, vaccines, and other important goods rely upon the cold chain for global distribution.

Key Parts

We can break the cold chain down into a few key parts. First, there are the cooling systems and technologies that help keep goods temperature-controlled. This includes technology in refrigerated containers, dry ice, gel packs, and even insulated blankets in some cases. Second, there’s the crucial element of storage. There are warehouses with various roles from long-term temperature-controlled storage to intermediary distribution and last mile logistics. Third, there are specific transportation technologies that help goods stay temperature-controlled. Ships, trucks, planes, and other vehicles keep goods at specific temperatures. The final key part deals with distribution. Boxes, pallets, and crates also help process and distribute these goods safely and without compromising temperature control.

Its Importance Today

Cold chain operations play a key role in the global economy today. For instance, in North America alone, cold chain warehouses store hundreds of billions of pounds of perishable food each year. Additionally, temperature-sensitive medications rely upon cold chain practices to be effectively distributed to the people who need them. Also, some of the approved COVID-19 vaccines that are being distributed across various countries have to be kept in specific temperature ranges to maintain their effectiveness. The cold chain will allow global vaccination distribution to be possible.

Restaurants, grocery stores, hospitals, and other key organizations require cold chain technology to thrive. For all of your cold storage needs, you can trust Moon Mini Refrigeration. We also offer the option to rent our portable refrigeration units for short or long term periods. We deliver units to your location for on-site refrigeration or freezer applications throughout Kentucky, Indiana and beyond. Visit our website to learn more!

Moon Mini Refrigeration offers flexible rental periods, multiple container sizes, great prices, and top-notch customer service. With our great options and excellent service, we can help you find the reefer container that’s perfect for your needs! To rent a refrigerated container today, give us a call at 502-205-1624.