Temp Control: The More Things Change…The More They Stay The Same

Consumer purchasing preferences are changing drastically across every market segment requiring logistics companies to evolve their delivery methods.  This is especially true in when it comes to food delivery.  Customers are looking for healthier, fresher, and more unique food at “a push of a button”.  This presents unique challenges of providing affordable delivery methods, while ensuring products maintain their quality and proper temperature.

High-End, Craft Foods

Just like the explosion of craft beer, consumers are looking for local, small batch, food products.  These types of products tend to be less processed, come in a greater variety and ship in smaller quantities.  Since these foods are less processed, the temperatures they need to be maintained at can vary greatly and with smaller shipping quantities.

In order to ensure the most affordable delivery method and maintain the cold chain of these craft products, Foodservice Distributors are looking more to multi-temp delivery solutions.

With larger delivery vehicles, distributors have the option of cubing out their trucks or trailers in multiple temperature zones.  This increases the amount of goods that can be delivered, while maintaining the cold chain.  For example, using three (3) insulated bulkheads allow for cubing a truck or trailer into four (4) separate temperature zones; frozen, chilled, air-conditioned and ambient.  Alternatively the use of Center Divide Systems, in conjunction with half bulkheads, allows for the creation of multiple temperature zones.

The other piece of the delivery puzzle is how to ensure temperatures are being maintained when drivers are taking products out of the trucks.  While best practices may be to close the door every time a driver goes into and out of a truck, one stop may require multiple trips.  In those cases installing curtains on the rear and side doors helps ensure proper temperatures are being maintained.

Delivery to Your Door

Just like the rise in popularity of restaurant delivery apps, traditional grocery stores are seeing their model disrupted with companies offering home delivery.

Producers and suppliers not only need to consider how to maintain the cold chain from the factory to the store, but they also have to maintain it from the factory to a customer’s door.  It’s that “last mile” of delivery where proper temperature control is crucial.  While the vehicles used to make these deliveries tend to be smaller, vans or even cars, there are still temperature control systems that ensure product quality.

For smaller trucks or vans, there is special racking that can be installed, allowing insulated boxes or bags to be stored on them.  Also, insulated bulkheads are customize-able and can be produced to fit the specifications of smaller trucks.  Additionally, temperatures can be maintained inside the “last mile” vehicle by installing a simple strip curtain at the rear door of the van or truck.

A completely different delivery method includes third party companies who are contracting with drivers that use their own vehicle to  provide home delivery solutions.  While this adds a layer of complexity to ensure product quality, outfitting drivers with commercial grade insulated bags or boxes helps to maintain proper temperatures during deliveries.

While demands on Foodservice Distributors will always be changing, installing proper temperature control systems ensures food safety is maintained from the producers’s dock to the customer’s door.


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