The logistics of perishable goods are more complicated than other products. It requires maintenance of a cold chain that keeps the temperature of the perishable products within an ideal range, from production to final delivery at customer destination.
Most small online retail businesses are not equipped with the machinery to maintain a cold chain. Many small businesses also lack enough personnel with appropriate training to rotate and manage inventory with smart storage techniques. The result is that there is a lot of wastage, and short-life products get spoiled. This can have a negative impact on the retailer’s bottom line.
Here are some ways in which on-demand logistics warehouses can reduce wastage of perishable goods and have a positive impact on a store’s profits.
Health and Safety Issues in Perishable Food Delivery
Spoilt and rotting perishable goods can be a health hazard. They can cause food poisoning, which can lead to minor health issues and pain or more serious complications, including possibly lethal ones.
Spoilt food that comes into contact with fresh food can also transmit harmful bacteria. Even if the food doesn’t look spoilt, if it’s been in contact with rotten products and gets consumed, it can have a similarly bad effect.
The UK Food Standards Agency has established health and safety guidelines that must be followed by vendors and producers that supply food products. Food must be stored in a temperature-controlled environment, and raw food like meat must be kept separate from half-cooked or cooked meals. Fresh produce must also be graded according to quality. The complete guideline can be viewed on the Food Standards Agency’s website.
Small retailers can use professional warehouses that have the machinery and trained professionals to manage the cold chain. An on-demand food warehouse can not only improve the quality of food items but also help businesses reduce wastage, making them more profitable.
Organic Food Separation and Local Sourcing
Perishable storage suppliers must also prevent contact between organic and non-organic foodstuffs. One of the major revolutions in food supply during the last decade has been how dependence on organic foodstuffs and local sourcing has led to an increase in demand for more reliable delivery services.
Educated customers today seek organic products that are grown in natural environments and have little to no use of chemicals and toxins. They also want to buy products that are grown locally in order to reduce food miles. Consumers understand that buying food that is grown locally will help stir the local economy and benefit their community in the long run.
Buying locally grown food also means reduced transportation miles. This is good for the environment as food doesn’t need to be transported over long distances, and less fossil fuel is consumed for transport.
On-demand warehouses can play a positive role in developing future economies, where locally produced organic food is grown. This food can be stored and delivered through one or two local warehouses, ending the need for long-distance travel.
Immediate Delivery for Perishable Goods
A unique change in the world of logistics and on-demand warehousing is the need for immediate delivery to the customer. Consider the logistics scenario in the USA, where both Costco and Amazon have altered their grocery delivery conditions as a result of unexpected consumer demand their failure to predict customer requirements in perishable foodstuff delivery.
In the UK, food distribution has been driven by fast food apps. The impact has been more noticeable in the ready meals sector. One major change has been the number of vehicles that a refrigerated warehouse can expect to receive in a single day. In urban areas, this number has tripled in the last six years, forcing many retailers down the line to search for more effective logistics partners.
On-demand warehouses that offer temperature-controlled storage and distribution are essential if you have a perishable product range. Frozen and chilled storage providers have opened up throughout the UK, due to the rising demand for their service.
Transparency in Perishable Supply Chain
In European countries, like Germany, Holland, Denmark, and the UK, there is a lot of emphasis on providing transparency in the fresh food supply chain. The trend began among food companies as a way to enhance quality through easily observable manufacturing and packaging processes.
It later expanded to the entire supply chain and became a part of storage and delivery as well. While transparency improves quality standards for perishable goods and reduces wastage, it also adds complexity to the whole logistic processes, making it more expensive in general.
This can make things difficult for businesses dealing in fresh food where the margins are already very tight.
Benefits of On-Demand Logistics through LogistCompare
At LogistCompare, we offer reliable on-demand storage partners that help you improve logistics transparency while keeping costs manageable. A reliable, low-cost on-demand warehousing partner can make the delivery process easier for on-line food retailers and improve competitive advantage.
Retailers can hire the on-demand warehouse that lies closest to their target market. This will make delivery quicker, improve customer experience, and reduce wastage. If you plan to expand to a new market in the future, hire another on-demand warehouse in your new geographic market.
The on-demand warehouse model also offers scalability like never before. You only need to hire the storage space that you expect to utilise. You don’t need to invest large funds into storage space that you are unlikely to use. If your customer base expands, hire more space instead of making large investments into new buildings or chillers.
Looking to use a smart warehousing partner for your business? Get in touch