Cold storage is a significant issue for many logistics, transportation, and shipping companies. It challenges those who work in employment related to distribution and fulfillment. Finding the best ways to store goods is an essential part of the business. Here is how 3PLs can overcome cold storage challenges:
Inventory Tracking to Mitigate Cold Storage Challenges
The first step to overcoming cold storage challenges is to track your inventory. In an ideal world, you would be able to manage your inventory in real-time. This can be important when working in warehouses.
You need an advanced WMS that provides visibility into your cold storage facilities. And their respective inventories and even displays them on a single map view. It would be best to have software to locate specific products within each facility. This can be based on various criteria such as product type, SKU number, and more. This will make it easy for third parties to access.
Tracking inventory is one of the most critical steps in the supply chain process. When you can’t track your inventory, it’s hard to know what you have and where it needs to go next.
You will need an effective system for tracking your inventory. This will help you if you want to avoid losing valuable time and money. There are many ways to do tracking. So, choosing one that works for your business model is essential. If someone doesn’t know what they have, finding an item may take longer than necessary.
Stocktaking and cold storage are essential for the success of your business. Cold storage refers to storing your products lower than room temperature. This is done to keep them fresh and prevent spoiling.
The main challenge with cold storage is maintaining the correct temperature. If it’s too hard, the products will freeze and become unusable. They’ll spoil and go bad before being sold if it’s too hot. The second challenge is maintaining a bacteria-free environment.
Before overcoming cold storage challenges, you need to know what you’re up against. How much inventory do you have? Where is it worth? What are the prices that customers are willing to pay for it?
Track costs. Are there any recurring costs associated with storing this inventory? What kind of insurance do they need? Also, check on the type of insurance coverage. You should know what happens if anything goes wrong with the goods stored at their facility. A problem could occur during transit between facilities (i.e., fire, theft, etc.)
Determine where the demand lies. After answering these questions, figure out your product’s target market. Whether that demand increases or decreases over time (i.e., seasonal). This can help determine whether it makes sense for companies. This may include 3PL, which would enjoy accessing each other’s excess capacity. This is possible by sharing space across many locations. You can not compare this to maintaining separate warehouses across the different regions.
How Shipping Affects Cold Storage Challenges
You can’t ship a product if it isn’t stored correctly. So, the first step is to maintain a temperature-controlled environment. The area should be suitable for your products. Here are a few things you can do:
- Ensure proper packaging. Your 3PL should know what types of packaging are required for each product. It should also ensure that they’re used correctly in every shipment.
- Use an advanced warehouse management system (WMS). A WMS helps manage inventory, including when items arrive at the facility. It also allows you to track shipments through barcode scanners on pallets. This helps identify any problems before they impact customers’ orders. 3PLs can help their customers reduce the time to carry goods out of storage.
- Use a forklift. A forklift is an effective tool for moving large items quickly. Yet, it can be expensive to buy and operate. If you don’t have one in your fleet, try negotiating a lease agreement. The agreement must include maintenance and repair services and operator training.
- Use pallets. The pallets area is safe for transporting goods on trucks. A 3PL can use pallets on trailers because they protect fragile products. This could result in costly damage or loss due to breakage or theft. They’re also more environmentally friendly than cardboard boxes. This is because they’re easier to recycle when no longer needed. But, if you’ve been using cardboard boxes, switching over may need extra work. There’s likely no place nearby where these items are available.
Can Employee Training Mitigate Cold Storage Challenges for 3PL?
Cold storage keeps products in the safest conditions until you ship them. This includes retail stores or specific customers. Several things determine the success of a cold storage operation. But one of the most important is employee training. When employees know how to handle products, they can ensure the safekeeping of effects.
Employee training on product handling is critical. This is because you can prevent common mistakes like dropping or mishandling goods. Regular checklists are the best method to accomplish this. You can capitalize on walkthroughs. The walkthroughs help in verifying employees’ understanding of every process.
Employee training is a crucial step in mitigating cold storage challenges for 3PLs. It’s a way to educate employees about cold storage. So they can identify and mitigate any issues that arise.
3PLs must also consider their policies, procedures, and training. They can use these tools to address concerns with cold storage scenarios. Besides, they can train employees on how to handle them. This is crucial because it ensures that your company’s goods are stored in a cold environment. If you don’t implement proper employee training, your business could lose significantly.
Cold storage is a challenge for 3PLs. It involves product care and keeping them chilled at the proper temperature levels. So, it is crucial to keep an eye out for ways to make cold storage more efficient.
An ideal cold-storage solution will save time, money, and space. You can also save energy while keeping your product safe from harmful conditions. A 3PL is a vital part of the procurement process. So, it’s no wonder that cold storage challenges are often overlooked. Cold storage solutions can be a win-win-win situation for 3PLs, retailers, and manufacturers. Contact sales support for more details.