Interview with:

  • Saddam Huq
  • Distribution & Cold Chain Expert
  • United Kingdom

1. How do you see the main trends which are shaping the cold chain industry?

Sea-freight and Rail-freight are more extensively being explored for markets where there is a demand for high volume shipments. For air-freight shipments, high performance passive systems are being used during inter-continental shipments. Additionally, there is a push towards using more re-usable passive systems than to use one-time use passive systems. Some Market Regulators are wanting to receive full shipment data and registering thermostability data for product to accept shipment excursions.


2. Where do you see main challenges and can you please share few examples of challenging situations and the main learning from the case?

Challenges still exist with long delays during customs clearance of shipments at some destinations, which are still pressing concerns for cold chain shipments which are using time-dependent transport solutions. Pre-clearance arrangements and also to evaluate storage arrangements at the destination airport is increasingly important to mitigate such risk.

In-market parcel shipments are being used without having adequate thermal qualification performed, resulting in shipment excursions. More effort should be placed on the qualification of passive systems and using appropriate temperature-time profile that is representative of the respective shipping lanes.

Validation of cold rooms and warehouse areas are outsourced to third parties, and not having sufficient expertise in-house to evaluate the qualification strategy, results and conclusion.

Security of truck shipments for some routes are still at risk with the increasing number of theft attempts, migrant intrusion at ferry crossings, etc. High Security vehicles are sought for such routes where security could be compromised.


3. Where do you see main improvements and can you please share some success stories to inspire others?

Stakeholders in the transport industry are increasingly aware of GDP requirements. More Shipments are being temperature monitored giving full traceability of temperature compliance. High performance passive systems are replacing the need for active systems which are proving to be more cost effective solutions for air-freight. Road-freight using temperature controlled vehicles is proving to be more robust, far-reaching and cost effective for high volume shipments to North Africa and Central Asia for outbound shipments from Europe.