Cold Chain

Tech-driven logistics keep our goods safe in transit


We have the cutting-edge tech shaping the future of logistics in India. With these tools in their arsenal, Pankaj Srivastava, Warehouse Project Director, TBSC, believes that tackling the toughest logistics challenges via technology incorporation can provide a secure journey to our produce till the last mile. 

 How is technology assisting in handling increasing logistics requirements in the country?

The demand for logistics is skyrocketing. A whole bunch of technologies has mushroomed recently. The first is IoT (Internet of Things). Imagine a scenario where sensors and devices are embedded in everything from trucks to storage facilities, constantly feeding data back to a central brain. It is like having eyes and ears all over your supply chain, helping you track goods in real-time, optimise routes, and even monitor temperature and humidity for perishables.

Automation makes logistics faster, more efficient, and less prone to human error. It applies to robotic arms loading and unloading trucks and AI-powered warehouse management systems. It is a game-changer for labour-intensive tasks, freeing human workers to focus on higher-value activities.

Big data and analytics hold immense power. Mountains of data pouring in from sensors, GPS trackers, and customer feedback can fuel decision-making. Predictive analytics is helping us forecast demand, manage inventory levels, and identify bottlenecks before they become full-blown crises.

Another aspect is green tech. With climate change breathing down our necks, sustainability is now a survival strategy. From electric trucks to solar-powered warehouses or refrigerators, we are seeing a new wave of eco-friendly innovations that can reduce our carbon footprint while cutting costs in the long run.

How have automated doors and curtain technology eased air and temperature control?

According to a study by Markets and Markets, the global market for automated doors and curtains will reach a staggering $17.5 billion by 2026, fuelled by growing demand from industries like warehousing, manufacturing, and retail.

We need to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to maintaining the temperature of products in a warehouse or cold storage facility. The days of manual labour and drafty entrances are past us. Automatic doors are available that slide open with a touch, movement, or whisper. The doors have sensors that detect movement and adjust accordingly. With advanced insulation and sealing mechanisms, these doors are like a fortress against temperature fluctuations and energy loss. 

Need to keep a section of your warehouse chilled while the rest stays ambient? Smart curtains are available to do so. These are high-tech barriers programmed to open and close based on factors like temperature, humidity, or even time of day. 

The brains behind the operation are automation systems. Managing doors and curtains has become easy with centralised control panels and intuitive interfaces. With real-time monitoring and alerts, we can instantly know if anything is amiss and repair and fix the issue before any headache.

Please suggest automation innovations to address the growing demands of e-commerce in warehousing and logistics.

E-commerce and automation are a great combination. We now have robotic picking and packing. Instead of human workers roaming the aisles, there are robots to zip around, scan barcodes, grab items, and toss them into boxes with lightning speed. 

Automation has introduced automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS). Goods are stored in towering racks and retrieved by robotic arms at the push of a button, maximising the floor space while cutting down on the time taken to locate and fetch items. 

Automated sorting and shipping are happening now. The packages whiz down the conveyor belts. They are all sorted and scanned by high-speed cameras and sensors, later carried away by drones or autonomous vehicles for lightning-fast delivery. The warehouses can be converted into well-oiled machines with an automation system. 

AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants are present to provide round-the-clock customer support without breaking a sweat. Automation can come across as expensive. However, according to a report by McKinsey, companies that invest in automation can see productivity gains of up to 20%, which reduces labour costs and leads to fewer errors. 

What initiatives are needed to strengthen logistics business in India?

Initiatives for logistics have already taken place in India, such as infrastructure like roads, railways, ports, and many more. These investments are upgrading and expanding transportation networks to reduce bottlenecks and transit times and improve connectivity across the country. A smooth supply chain is not possible with hours spent in traffic. 

Investment in digitalisation will also strengthen logistics. It has to happen by the government or at the end of the regularity body, meaning streamlining customs, tax, permit, etc. procedures, cutting down on paperwork, and digitising processes wherever possible. This will avoid unnecessary delays and administrative headaches in the fast-paced world of logistics.

Initiative to invest in digital infrastructure, like GPS tracking, RFID tags, and cloud-based software systems, can help us track goods in real-time, optimise routes, and streamline operations.


The most important initiatives are education and training. Equipping the upcoming cohort of logistics professionals with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in a rapidly changing industry is entirely feasible. That means partnering with universities and vocational schools, offering internships and apprenticeships, and promoting lifelong learning among existing workers. From truck drivers to warehouse managers, everyone needs to be equipped with the right tools and knowledge to keep the wheels of logistics turning smoothly.

Lastly, we need to foster collaboration and innovation across the board. Whether it is public-private partnerships, industry collaborations, or startup incubators, we must create a supportive ecosystem that encourages experimentation, iteration, and sharing of best practices. According to a report by Ernst & Young, every 1% improvement in logistics efficiency can boost India’s GDP by 0.5%. 

Please share your opinion on material handling systems that can accommodate the demands of faster shipping, order customisation, and last-mile delivery.

Customers expect their orders to be delivered in the shortest time possible, indicating that suppliers need to amplify their material handling systems. It is not merely about speed; it is also about flexibility. With the surge in e-commerce, customers crave personalised products. This requires material handling systems carrying various items, from small widgets to large furniture. With AI and machine learning, real-time route revamping and packing configurations can ensure that each order meets the customer’s needs.

The last mile is actually where the delivery meets reality. With more people shopping online, the pressure is on to deliver faster and more efficiently. Material handling systems must navigate through urban jungles, from narrow streets to towering apartment buildings. With innovations like drones and autonomous vehicles, we can zip through traffic and make the final destination delivery easy.

What safety aspects should be considered for the transit of temperature-sensitive goods? 

Temperature control is key, whether the shipping is of frozen food or vaccines. These goods need to be within their optimal temperature range at all times. It requires investing in insulated packaging, refrigerated trucks, and temperature monitoring devices to safeguard the integrity of the cold chain. 

Beyond temperature, handling and storage practices require tracking. That means reducing exposure to light, humidity, and vibration, which can degrade the quality of temperature-sensitive goods. Staff must be trained to handle these goods with care, from loading and unloading to stacking and shelving, to avoid any unnecessary damage or spoilage.

No matter how well you prepare, things can still go wrong, and this is where contingency planning comes into play. Backup systems are crucial, whether backup generators for power outages or alternative routes for unexpected road closures. 

However, perhaps the most important safety consideration is compliance. When it comes to shipping temperature-sensitive goods, there are all sorts of regulations and guidelines to follow, from FDA guidelines for food and pharmaceuticals to IATA regulations for air transport. By staying on top of these rules and regulations, we can ensure that our shipments arrive safely and legally. 

With the right mix of temperature control, handling practices, contingency planning, and compliance, we can ensure that our precious cargo arrives safely and intact every time. 

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