Vikram S. Puri

Vikram S. Puri, Inventor, Entrepreneur and Rotarian with multiple technology patents and 34+years of Supply Chain Experience.

Technologies that Cold Chain transportation in India cannot afford to avoid

By Vikram S. Puri, Inventor, Entrepreneur and Rotarian with multiple technology patents and 34+years of Supply Chain Experience

The cold chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain and includes all of the means and measures used to maintain a constant temperature for monitoring temperature-sensitive products.

The Indian Cold Chain Industry is estimated to grow with a CAGR of between 13% and 15% to reach USD 6.8 Billion by 2022. Apart from these numbers India is currently the world’s largest producer of milk, the second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables, and has a good amount of production of seafood, meat, and poultry products. In spite of having a large number of agricultural produce, India is still one of the leading countries in terms of food loss and a sizable share of the population suffers from hunger and malnutrition.

The recently released India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) emphasizes the cold chain infrastructure and discusses the gaps and opportunities. The action plan reports that India has a large inventory of cold storage or refrigerated warehouses, but on the other hand, the remaining elements of cold chain infrastructure–pack houses, reefer transport, and ripening chambers—are largely missing. Reefer transportation is under severe shortage in India, with about 9000 vehicles in place of the required number of approximately 62,000.

As dependence on refrigerated trucking grows, it becomes imperative to achieve real-time visibility and controllability of all products during transportation. 

The upcoming trends that need to be fully embraced by Indian companies are mentioned below. Let’s have a look at them individually.

RFID: RFID is a technology that uses radio waves to identify items and gather data on items without human intervention or data entry. RFID sensors/ labels can be equipped with additional sensors like temperature, humidity, and gas to map its history across the supply chain. As compared to traditional temperature data loggers, RFID temperature tags are as accurate and also offer superior performance because of quick data recovery and live access at any point of the supply chain. This helps in an efficient inspection and decision-making process for better inventory management and fewer batch rejections. 

Wireless sensor networks (WSN) and Internet of Things (IoT): WSN is a combination of sensors, microcontrollers, and RF handsets. These components communicate with each other at a local location.  A wide range of WSN is connected through the Internet to act as sensory organs for IoT. IoT refers to the network which connects various objects via the internet to transmit information for the purpose of object locating, tracking, monitoring, and management, with support of RFID tags, sensors, actuators, and other control systems. IoT is an ideal platform for remotely monitoring and controlling the real-time status of perishable goods across the cold chain to enable the First expiry first-out (FEFO) system. 

Time-temperature indicators (TTI): TTI’s are simple and inexpensive devices, which indicate the time-temperature history of the products they are applied on. These indicators can be configured on user portals, devices and vehicles as per your requirements. TTI’s can be specially modulated to indicate and correlate a specific food product safety and quality status at any point in the supply chain, thus providing an effective decision tool. 

In adopting the latest monitoring, control mechanisms, and automation in data capturing, the Indian cold chain sector has a long way to go. The key to such transformation is to localize the technologies to suit the scale of Indian industries and by creating flexibility in the system to accommodate and modify the elements of complex supply chains.

Fixing Milk Products Supply Chain

By Vikram S. Puri, Inventor, Entrepreneur and Rotarian with multiple technology patents and 34+years of Supply Chain Experience.

India is the hub of Milk Production and it’s consumers. Production of milk in India was about 187 million metric tons in the last fiscal year. In 2016, India surpassed the European Union to become the largest milk-producing nation in the world and currently produces about 25% of the world’s milk output. With a total of 100 million dairy farmers, most of whom own a small herd of two or three cows, the Indian dairy market represents a $225 billion dollars market and is one of the world’s fastest-growing. The potential and size of this industry is humongous but it’s plagued with various issues too.

Milk theft, the spread of disease, and mistrust between farmers and insurance companies are a few of the issues that this industry is grappled with. Transporting millions of liters of milk every day is not an easy feat, but it’s carried out really well in India. Fresh milk is collected from the dairy farm and then driven to a local dairy processing plant in an insulated, sealed tanker truck. These insulated trucks keep the milk at the optimal temperature throughout the journey. Chilled trucks are used to transport processed Dairy products such as Paneer, Cheese, Butter, etc.

As discussed above, milk transportation through these tankers on a daily basis is a tough task that’s been carried out but there are loopholes that need to be addressed in the supply system. Huge liters of milk is stolen from these tankers during the journey by sometimes taking the tanker into an absconded place and stealing milk directly from it or other times milk packets are stolen from vendors. A proper tracking solution can be used to fix these issues and curb down the losses occurring from such theft.

Fleetview with its comprehensive technology offers temperature monitoring solutions to keep your milk at an optimal temperature as well as help to prevent the theft from happening ahead through robust tracking solutions. Some other features provided by us :

  • Measure and transmit temperature
  • Capture temperature fluctuations
  • High/low-temperature alerts
  • Dashboards for detailed analysis
  • Door sensors for alerts
  • Monitoring in multiple chambers
  • Camera recording at door open
  • GPS Tracking to know the whereabouts of your vehicle
  • Real-time insights from your fleet

There is so much more information that needs to be tracked and analyzed than just temperature. Fleetview approaches the cold chain from all these angles, a 360-degree approach to Fleet Management; some of which include: Fuel monitoring, Load monitoring, On-Board diagnostics, live tracking, and RFID/Biometrics.

Covid Vaccine and its Delivery Conundrum for Cold Chain Operators.

With the Covid-19 vaccine expected to roll out by the end of this year or early next year, Indian Cold Chain Operators need to gear up to ensure an efficient logistics network. Safely delivering doses for mass vaccination smoothly to 1.3 billion people is going to be a big challenge in a country such as India which has the second-highest population in the world.

As per executives at logistics companies, the framework to distribute vaccination involves tapping into all available cold chain and warehouse operators in the country. A bulk of the vaccines will be distributed through the Centre’s Immunization Programme (UIP) mechanism, but executives expect that the government will have to rope in private cold chain operators, and their lies the opportunity for private organizations.

India’s UIP is supported by more than 27000 Cold chain facilities, of which 3% are district level and above and rest at the local level, according to the Government’s comprehensive UIP plan for 2018-22.

Apart from delivering the vaccines, the pertinent challenge would be to maintain the optimum temperature throughout the transportation process. The need for trucks, cold storage units to equip themselves to transport and maintain vaccines at such low temperatures will be foremost. After the vaccines are rolled out in the future going through the process of production and safety trials, it’s storage and transportation might just be the biggest issue to handle.

According to executive officer Sunil Nair of Snowman Logistics, “It is important to understand that there is not enough capacity available. So, in each city, they will have to look for companies, including private ones, who have cold storage facilities and who can take care of distribution, of course under the Centre’s directive,” he said in an interview to livemint.

The responsibility of delivering vaccines for a virus that has turned the world on its head is immense and there is no room for any mistakes. The Fleetview Control Tower covers your imperative, non-negotiable needs to manage your Cold Chain deliveries effectively.

Fleetview offers temperature monitoring solutions among other services. We offer a myriad of features that would improve your efficiency in deliveries.

  • A control tower to alert you to possible vulnerable situations, with alarms and dashboards
  • Monitor temperature minute-by-minute across your supply chain
  • Capture temperature fluctuations
  • High/low-temperature alerts
  • Dashboards for detailed analysis
  • Complete incident management and response platform
  • Full compliance and process audit trails

An end-to-end visibility solution like Fleetview gives you complete control over your Cold Chain – a tool that is indispensable for effective operations today.

By Vikram S. Puri, Inventor, Entrepreneur and Rotarian with multiple technology patents and 34+years of Supply Chain Experience.


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Are Your Cold Chains really safe?

By Vikram S. Puri, Inventor, Entrepreneur and Rotarian with multiple technology patents and 34+years of Supply Chain Experience.

Covid-19 has brought with it a significant change to the way people have lived in the past. You would be frightened to see someone not wearing a mask or using a hand-sanitizer. A lot of money is being spent to desperately find a vaccine.

Just around a week or so ago, two cities in China found traces of the new coronavirus in cargoes of imported frozen food, Shenzhen local authorities said on 13th August in a briefing, although the World Health Organization downplayed the risk of the virus entering the food chain. The risk and uncertainty still remain whether Coronavirus can be spread through and into the food chain too.

It’s debatable whether coronavirus can be spread through frozen foods or not but there are few other viruses that do get spread and remain in the frozen foods. Viruses can survive up to two years at temperatures of -20C, directly affecting your Cold Chain.

There is one other microorganism that needs attention and most definitely spreads through the Cold Chain – Salmonella!

  • Salmonella is part of a group of bacteria causing salmonellosis. Commonly found infecting frozen meats, it is also very prevalent in eggs.
  • Salmonella contaminates frozen foods in the supply chain when there is a rise in the temperature during storage or transport.
  • Warmer weather and unrefrigerated foods create ideal conditions for Salmonella to grow. Symptoms of Salmonella usually appear 6 hours to 6 days after consuming contaminated food – diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps.

The other microorganism that you need to be worried about which can cause problems for you in the supply chain is Norovirus.

  • Norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. Food, drinks, and surfaces can become contaminated with Norovirus.
  • Norovirus contaminates fresh produce, shellfish, ice, fruit, and ready-to-eat foods.
  • Anybody can be sick from this virus but the illness can be really severe for young children and older adults.

The slightest rise in temperature can make your entire shipment suspect – you simply cannot afford that! You need to track your temperature every minute.

The Fleetview Control Tower covers your imperative, non-negotiable needs to manage your Cold Chain effectively:

  • A control tower to alert you to possible vulnerable situations, with alarms and dashboards
  • Monitor temperature minute-by-minute across your supply chain
  • Complete incident management and response platform
  • Full compliance and process audit trails

In today’s environment, you need to not only comply with FDA regulations, you need to demonstrate that you have done so!

An end-to-end visibility solution like FleetView gives you complete control over your Cold Chain – a tool that is indispensable for effective operations today.

Keeping your Products safe in Cold Chain

By Vikram S. Puri, Inventor, Entrepreneur and Rotarian with multiple technology patents and 34+years of Supply Chain Experience Don’t you hate it when your ice-cream turns to milkshake by the time it arrives at your doorstep? Well, Fleetview is here to spare you such disappointments. Cold chain plays a vital role in the life-cycle of […]

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