Optimization of temperature-controlled logistics

Optimization of temperature-controlled logistics

Temperature-controlled logistics is an added challenge to the already complicated distribution of goods. The great challenge is to maintain a controlled, stable and safe temperature throughout the journey from the factory to the final consumer of that merchandise.

As logisticians, we must ensure the safety that this product has not been damaged due to an inadequate temperature, since surely.

There are many products that need temperature, from perishable foods such as foods (fruit, vegetables, or any type of fresh food), medicines, or even precision parts whose temperature could change their shape, to give common and not so common examples. Likewise, we can find different temperature levels:

  • Without temperature: 15º-40º
  • Controlled temperature:
    • Refrigerated: 0ºC → 8ºC
    • Frozen: 0ºC → -20ºC
    • Ultra frozen: Below -40ºC

Products that require controlled temperature are transported by vehicles specially designed to maintain the temperature inside. For this purpose, they are equipped with powerful cooling systems. Some in the form of an autonomous system with their own diesel engines, others connected to the vehicle that provides the energy, or even some are powered by passive cold (incorporating ice loads that preserve the cold).

What challenges do controlling cold in the supply chain entail?

Fuel consumption

Refrigerated vehicles consume much higher than conventional vehicles. Refrigeration is a process that consumes a large amount of energy, and that translates into liters of diesel. The greater the temperature difference between the inside of the truck and the outside, the more work the cooling system must do, consuming more in summer.

Therefore, the products must be in the truck for as little time as possible. Efficient logistics management will try to minimize that time in loading.

Another action that has a great impact on consumption is the opening of doors. Every time a refrigerated truck opens its doors, outside heat penetrates the truck, increasing consumption. The solution is to minimize the opening of doors, and above all, to minimize the time they remain open. Good planning that allows the load to be ordered so that the unloading time is the minimum, will reduce opening time, reducing consumption.

Systems of route optimization that allow efficient route planning, reducing travel time and efficiently organizing vehicle loading are key to reducing consumption, costs and improving service.

Cold chain management and safety

Ensuring that the merchandise has not undergone heating and refreezing is critical. Many goods could be damaged, even becoming dangerous for human consumption. Examples such as fruit, which at high temperatures due to its high sugar content can cause the colonization of bacteria that damage the product, or pharmaceutical material such as vaccines or antibiotics whose effectiveness is reduced due to high temperatures.

Active monitoring of products and/or their transport is key to ensuring that products are transported with guarantees. Dataloggers and all kinds of temperature control probes are key tools for this type of logistics.

camion temperatura controlada


The cold logistics chain has a large number of challenges to face. We have dealt with some examples with the main challenges such as logistics optimization to reduce consumption or temperature monitoring to ensure the cold chain at all times. These are some of the main challenges in a key sector for many industries.

At Routal, we help all types of refrigerated transport companies to optimize their distribution, save time and fuel in just 24 hours. Try it here.

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