Food supply chain focuses on improved refrigeration equipment

The startling amount of food that is wasted each year in the United States highlights opportunities for improving refrigeration equipment throughout the food supply chain. Investments in better commercial refrigeration equipment and fleet maintenance software to keep temperature-controlled trailers in top operating condition could go a long way in addressing the problem of food spoilage during transit. Using better refrigerated trailers and delivery routing software to minimize transit time for perishable goods, food waste during transport might be significantly reduced.

A series of recent reports conducted by Global Information revealed the demand for commercial refrigeration equipment is projected to grow 4.4 percent per year through 2016 across the globe. If correct, global spending on commercial refrigeration equipment will increase to $32 billion.

What will be driving these investments?
Already, process changes can be seen in the food supply chain and the technological innovations that companies utilize to boost employee productivity and reduce the amount of food wasted. A few of the factors driving commercial refrigeration equipment investments include continuously evolving technology, changing food consumption trends, rising international food trade, emergence of supermarkets and fast food chains, rise in horticulture and seafood and processed food exports.

U.S. plays role in much of growth
Food distribution is one of the most important supply chains in the United States, representing a high degree of commercial refrigeration equipment investment among domestic companies. According to the research, the U.S. will account for nearly one-quarter of global sales growth through 2016 due to the growing number of retail outlets and restaurants.

Safe food transport is paramount
Businesses that are receiving food shipments expect transportation providers to have fully functioning refrigeration equipment to maintain a safe cold chain. A blog post written by Bob Ferrari from The Ferrari Group discussed a disturbing video that appeared on NBC Today months ago. NBC reported on the hazards that can occur with non-functioning commercial refrigeration equipment in some trailers, with scenes of extreme meat and produce spoilage.

"The zeal for reduced operating costs should not include the lack of timely maintenance of critical equipment," stated Ferrari. "An environment that compels drivers to ignore the fundamental principles of cargo spoilage by turning off refrigeration [to save fuel], or have fears to alert supervisors to these problems should not be tolerated nor acceptable as practice. There are enough adequate and proven controls and technology available to monitor and avoid in-transit spoilage."