Posts Tagged “cold chain”
Cross docking has become more popular, especially in the past 10 to 15 years, as shippers deal with shortages of drivers and equipment, and with the rising popularity of loads mixed with several different fresh produce commodities, possibly from several different growers or other entities. This increases the chances of quality problems from the heat or cold at open docks, depending upon the time of the year.
It is common for temperature recording devices to keep a record of how long that trailer door is open. It also will record the spike in temperature in the trailer due to warm weather, or the drop of temperature in colder environments.
“If you are a driver, there’s a full recording of how long that door is open and that can come back to haunt the driver at destination,” states Rich Macleod of TransFresh Corp. of Salinas, CA, whose career has been dedicated to improving in-transist issues associated with fresh produce, and how to improve upon delivering a fresh, quality product.
“If you are at an open loading dock, you need to turn your reefer unit off when the product is being loaded,” Macleod cautions.
Otherwise, a running refrigeration unit will be sucking warm air across the trailer floor and into the reefer unit. This puts exceptional demand on that reefer unit, he notes. If there is warm air coming across the unit’s coils, that results in a lot more condensation — and freezing.
“So the first thing that happens when you close the trailer doors is that unit goes into defrost So then you just further aggravate what ever break you have in the cold chain. So back up to the dock, shut off the reefer, load, and then close the trailer door and re-start the reefer unit. You will have colder loads,” Macleod relates.
One situation Macleod is noticing is when a partial load of strawberries is loaded at Watsonsville, CA and the driver proceeds to the Central San Joaquin Valley to fill out the trailer with stone fruit.
“The trucker backs up to the dock and sometimes that driver will leave the reefer unit running. then they (shipper) re-balance the load, perhaps placing the heavier commodities in the front of the trailer.. They pull the strawberries (off the truck), place them on the loading dock to move in the other product. Typically, those strawberries will start picking up temperature within 15 to 30 minutes,” Macleod says.
Of course, factors such as whether those strawberries on the dock are sitting in the shade, or sun, whether the wind is blowing, temperature, etc.
This has resulted in strawberry shippers insisting the strawberries being picked up and loaded last onto the trailer.
(This is the third in a five-part series featuring an interview with Rich Macleod, vice president, pallet division North America for TransFresh Corp., Salinas, CA. He has been with the company since 1976, and has a masters degree in post harvest science from the University of California, Davis.)
It is not like the flexibility in trucking where a load can be diverted elsewhere due to a labor strike, weather factors or any number of other reasons.
Container terminals reopened Dec. 5 at both California ports as clerical workers in International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 reached a tentative contract with operators and shipping lines, as the union sought limits on outsourcing. In L.A. about 700 striking harbor clerks were backed by thousands of longshoremen who honored their picket line.
About $8 billion was lost in the strike to the local economy.
While the strike has ended, the congestion has not.
The cold chain was maintained, but there were concerns about arrival conditions and the possibility of an increase in orders that could challenge capacity.
It has been report the impacts of the strike will be far greater than just eight days. In 2002 there was a 10-day strike. It took months the boats could get back in the right rotation. This could adversely affect, for example, imported fruit from Chile arriving at Long Beach.
PLEASANTON, Calif. – DeltaTRAK®, a leading innovator of cold chain, environmental monitoring and food safety management solutions, announced the introduction of its DeltaTRAK TempDot Plus time-temperature indicator labels. The low-cost irreversible labels are designed to provide positive indication that the label has been activated and is in the “ON” condition. If a temperature breach occurs the product provides detailed visual information indicating the excursion length. The new labels feature unique graphics and provide the user with a green “ON” button following the IEC 5009 standard. The highly accurate labels also provide individual label serial numbers for traceability.
“The TempDot labels’ design allows them to remain completely inert prior to use so that preconditioning is not required, allowing them to be shipped or stored under most conditions and significantly reducing cost of ownership,” said Frederick Wu, president and CEO of DeltaTRAK. “Additional benefits over existing chemical labels include the easy-to-read activation and progress windows which confirm when the label is on, and the imprinted serial numbers assure traceability.”
DeltaTRAK TempDot Plus labels monitor the cumulative amount of time the label is exposed to temperature above its threshold. When a temperature excursion occurs the blue dye, which is generally recognized as safe, melts and progresses through a window with clearly indicated time markers. When temperature returns below the label’s threshold the dye solidifies and stops moving. This irreversible process allows the label to measure cumulative temperature abuse time above threshold temperature. TempDot Plus labels provide traceable temperature information on all forms of temperature sensitive products helping our customers meet the requirements of state and federal regulations such as the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) and the FDA Fish and Fishery Products Hazards and Controls Guidance. The labels are available in multiple temperature ranges with specific thresholds and run out times for food, pharmaceutical and biologics applications.About DeltaTRAK®
DeltaTRAK® is a leading innovator of cold chain management, environmental monitoring and food safety solutions for the food, pharmaceutical, life sciences and chemical industries. The company’s cold chain management and food safety solutions include a wide range of temperature, humidity, and pH monitoring and recording devices, such as data loggers, wireless systems, and a variety of professional thermometers. DeltaTRAK also manufactures facility and mobile environment monitoring solutions that provide real-time data access to centralized web/cloud based data. Headquartered in Pleasanton, California, DeltaTRAK has an R&D facility in San Diego, California, a manufacturing and distribution facility in Modesto, California, and an electronic assembly plant in Shenzhen, China. Contact DeltaTRAK by phone at 1-800-962-6776 or by email at email@example.com. Additional information can be found at www.deltatrak.com.
The food and pharmaceutical industries are rapidly moving towards returnable transport items (RTIs) and reusable plastic containers (RPCs) for shipping goods through the supply chain. Why? They’re lighter, more durable and now can be made intelligent. By adding temperature monitoring capabilities directly into the RTIs and RPCs, growers, manufacturers, shippers and retailers can both track and monitor the quality of their products as they move through the cold chain to improve quality and operational efficiency while lowering costs.
Press Release: Intelleflex
(Editor’s Note: This also can provide protection from claims for owner operators and transporters)