Cold Chain Heats Up
By Michael Lee
As the China domestic market increases and manufacturers go West in search of lower costs infrastructure is running hard to keep pace. The government recently announced a spend USD 1.3 trillion in the next 5 years to solve transport and logistics bottlenecks.
Cold Chain is the key word in the supply chain world and major 3PLs see this as a high growth sector especially in the areas of foods and pharmaceuticals. Shipment of these goods on time and on quality not only affects consumer health, but also the repercussions of a failure would be a PR disaster for the principal and the service providers.
Only 15% of food meat and vegetables are transported by Cold Chain in China. This compares with 90% in Europe and USA. Logistics companies have an excellent opportunity to sell their expertise in this area.
Letís take diagnostic reagents for lab testing as an example. This products require to be temperature controlled at minus 8 degrees. Following manufacture in Chengdu the produce needs to be transported to a national warehouse then to local warehouses at coastal cities and finally to end users such as hospitals and clinics. Transport can be by rail and trucking with 6-7 potential pitfall check points. A simple mistake such as leaving the product in the open for several hours would be disastrous.
A current need is to recruit people with Cold Chain experience as the market is immature and the available talent pool is very limited. Companies are having to import this expertise from overseas and are turning to executive search firms who have the capability to execute a targeted approach on company's overseas and who have these resources.