Countering cold chain distribution challenges with confidence | HCLTech
Artificial Intelligence

Countering cold chain distribution challenges with confidence

With integrated chain of custody (ICOC) solutions, organizations can feel confident that their products are being transported in a safe, secure and temperature-controlled environment
5 minutes read
Vaibhav Sharma


Vaibhav Sharma
Travel Industry Solution Expert
5 minutes read
Countering cold chain distribution challenges with confidence

Integrated chain of custody solutions that employ IoT, AI and 5G can help enhance the traceability and integrity of temperature-sensitive shipments

The supply chain is the backbone of any economy. Goods worth millions of dollars are transported from one part of the country to another every day to meet the varied needs of today’s consumers, whose tastes and preferences are continuously evolving. The pandemic further enhanced the importance of the supply chain. With the exponential growth in ecommerce, it became imperative to make supply chains smarter with the help of the latest technologies.

In today’s highly connected world, rapid technological advancements have resulted in a massive exchange of goods between countries. Among them are advanced vaccines, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and food items that are highly sensitive to temperature changes and need to be kept at specific temperatures from production to consumption. The storing, managing and transporting of these products require a chain of precisely coordinated events in temperature-controlled environments often called a “cold chain.”

During the pandemic, the world witnessed the need to quickly transport vast quantities of mRNA pandemic vaccines from one part of the globe to another, resulting in the increasing demand for temperature-controlled transportation in the post-pandemic era. The pandemic also showed that global cold chain infrastructure is highly inadequate to meet distribution and storage norms. Industry leaders, health experts and governments realized the pressing need for safe, reliable and predictable real-time tracking and condition monitoring of the product lifecycle to outlast its intended storage life.

There are several factors that challenge transporting temperature-controlled shipments from manufacturing to distribution centers for last-mile consumption. First, shipments need constant monitoring at different intervals to ensure they are within acceptable temperature ranges. Shipments also need to be always traceable to prevent counterfeiting, illegal diversion and theft between manufacturing and point of sale. Additionally, measuring the legacy temperature at various points in the chain could negatively impact the shipment quality and result in the need for reordering and losses. In a nutshell, it's crucial to have smarter cold chains that are traceable and don't require opening shipments to record the temperature.

Integrated chain of custody (ICOC) solutions can help the industry meet these challenges. By utilizing IoT sensors to track the location and monitor the condition/integrity of the shipments, ICOC solutions make it easier to ensure the traceability and integrity of shipments during the transit period. ICOC solutions provide real-time visibility into the shipment with an interactive management portal. Additionally, using enterprise systems integrations and optional blockchain synchronization, ICOC solutions can automate workflow efficiencies for every stakeholder in the value chain and effectively facilitate intelligent cold chain management.

ICOC solutions bring many benefits that help make cold chain management much smoother, safe, secure and cost-effective. They help make uncompromised delivery possible at the right time and location with real-time insights into a shipment's location. Minimizing the number of manual interventions also boosts the supply chain efficiency, and as shipments are delivered on time without compromising their integrity, the end-user experience is improved.

With ICOC solutions, organizations can feel confident that their products are being transported in a safe, secure and temperature-controlled environment. Emerging technologies such as IoT, AI and 5G allow organizations utilizing cold chains to improve monitoring, increase efficiencies and improve overall customer satisfaction.

Share On