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Innovations in Cold Chain Logistics

H&M Bay is focused on innovation in cold chain logistics. Temperature-controlled 3PLs face an additional level of advanced logistics to factor into their capabilities, planning, and efficiency. Failure in a cold chain can lead to waste, loss of product, and eventual financial impacts. And the market is only growing. The cold chain logistics services market is estimated to have a compound annual growth rate of almost 16% and reach a size of $1.057 billion over the next eight years. The food industry is heavily impacted by the efficiencies of cold chain logistics, as food production can face a 30-40% loss before it reaches the market, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

Alongside innovations in technology, physical facility changes are on the rise with the growth of the cold chain logistics industry. For major food processors, warehouses that are large, highly automated and centrally located are imperative for efficient distribution. With an ever-growing increase of temperature-controlled products, facilities that are double in size of previous spaces are not uncommon. Cooling systems at these facilities are often heavily monitored to ensure the temperatures stay within the needed temperature window.

In transit, refrigerated trucks utilize sensors that alert drivers to temperature anomalies or potential risks to the products. These technologies are often built into the refrigerated trucks themselves or inserted in pallets or product loads to ensure steady and accurate temperature control. Artificial intelligence has been a beneficial help with the utilization of natural language processing and machine learning to store and analyze data from these sensors to help improve predictability moving forward. Innovative technology like the LOG-IC 360 Bluetooth Data logger offers accurate product temperature and humidity readings up to 300 feet from the product itself, as well as stores data about the duration and period the product may have been outside of ideal temperature windows.

As with many industries, sustainability remains an important consideration when improving logistics and developing new technology. Alongside greener packaging, natural refrigerants are becoming more plausible. The hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) commonly found in refrigeration systems have a large carbon footprint and are often released in supermarket refrigeration system gas leaks. While cleaner alternatives can result in a lengthier process, the environmental benefits, as well as consumer loyalty benefits, may be worth it.

Beyond cold chain logistics, there are other technologies in play that help make the supply chain more efficient. For example, H&M Bay has recently partnered with Owlery to be the first platform to offer a real time API integration. This integration is instantly reusable across H&M Bay customers new and old, meaning anyone can immediately access real time rates, tendering and tracking in our cutting-edge logistics platform – no long system onboarding, complex deployment, or EDI configuration required.

“Temperature monitoring and alerting is a serious component of our supply chain,” said John Walker, IT Director, H&M Bay. “Today’s technology allows you to install an affordable temperature tracker on loads that not only report temperature and humidity, but also track the location of the product. Integrating that into our Transportation Management System (TMS) to make the process of loading the temp tracker correctly, recording the location and temperature of the load and reporting temperature issues before they become a problem has been very benefitial for H&M Bay,” added Walker.

Benefits of this technology for its customers include:

  • Instant Rating: Get real-time quotes for your shipments directly, ensuring seamless cost-effective operations.
  • Integrated Tendering: The same API integration allows users to instantly send orders to H&M Bay, streamlining logistics workflows.
  • Tracking and Visibility: Stay updated with full visibility on your shipments, including confirmation of appointments, pickup, and delivery.

“It was a pleasure to work with Owlery and other customers implementing computer-to-computer API integration. I knew the requirement to build these APIs would come in time, and I couldn’t have picked a sharper group of people for the pilot project. Any customers interested in using the APIs directly with H&M should let their sales or dispatch contacts know,” said Walker.

Already working with H&M Bay? Book a demo to see how you can leverage this integration and upgrade your supply chain in minutes:

Not yet working with H&M Bay and need reefer LTL capacity? Shoot a note to to get setup, then reach out to your Owlery Account Manager to get the same easy-to-use technology with H&M Bay in minutes.

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