Technologies effect paradigm shift in cold chain efficiency 

Sanket M Sheth

According to Sanket M Sheth, Founder and President of Elixia Tech, as the cold chain warehousing and logistics market in India thrives amid rising demands, innovative solutions are imperative. From automation advancements to eco-friendly refrigerants, the industry is evolving to meet challenges while prioritising sustainability and efficiency.

What growth opportunities exist for innovation in the cold chain warehousing and logistics market?

The cold chain warehousing and logistics market is experiencing significant growth in India, driven by increasing demand for perishable goods, expanding organised retail, and stringent quality standards. The need for efficient cold chain solutions is becoming paramount with the rise of pharmaceuticals, food, and agriculture sectors. It presents a vast opportunity for innovation and investment in the industries. Elixia is one of the startups focusing on logistics. Its forte is cold chain temperature monitoring, and we spend much time and energy on this innovation.

Please discuss automation technologies to meet the country’s expanding logistics requirements. 

Emerging technologies such as IoT, blockchain, AI, and robotics are transforming the logistics landscape in India. IoT-enabled sensors provide real-time visibility into inventory and conditions, optimising supply chain efficiency. Blockchain ensures transparency and security in logistics transactions, while AI and robotics streamline operations and enhance productivity throughout the ecosystem.

Recent advancements in automated door and curtain technology for air and temperature control enable precise air circulation and temperature regulation, ensuring optimal conditions for stored goods while minimising energy consumption.

Implementing automation solutions such as robotic picking systems, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), and AI-powered sorting algorithms can significantly enhance operational efficiency and order fulfilment speed to address the growing demands of e-commerce.

What initiatives are vital for strengthening the logistics industry?

Future material handling systems for faster shipping and last-mile delivery will prioritise agility, scalability, and automation to meet the demands of faster shipping, order customisation, and last-mile delivery. Technologies like drones, autonomous vehicles, and decentralised distribution networks will play a pivotal role in optimising delivery routes and minimising transit times.

Initiatives focused on infrastructure development, skill enhancement, technology adoption, and regulatory reforms are crucial to strengthening the logistics business in India. Collaborative efforts between the government, industry stakeholders, and academia are essential to address infrastructural bottlenecks and streamline processes.

What do you think about PCM and eco-friendly refrigerants?

The recent advancements in phase change materials (PCMs) and refrigerants have led to more efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for preserving temperature-sensitive commodities. Innovations such as eco-friendly refrigerants and phase change materials with enhanced thermal properties contribute to sustainable cold chain practices.

How can the effectiveness of vaccines be maintained during transit, and what technologies can enhance the process?

Implementing robust temperature monitoring systems to ensure vaccine efficacy and temperature-sensitive medical supplies during cold chain transportation are essential measures. These include investing in temperature-controlled packaging, training personnel on handling procedures, and establishing contingency plans for temperature excursions.

Furthermore, IoT and sensor technologies offer invaluable benefits during transport, including predictive maintenance insights to prevent equipment failures, real-time tracking for improved visibility and security, and data analytics for optimising routes and minimising transit times.

How can advanced tracking technologies contribute prompt responses to deviations? 

Ensuring the safe transit of temperature-sensitive goods involves maintaining precise temperature controls along the supply chain and using certified packaging materials. Safety protocol includes regular equipment upkeep, specialised staff training, and contingency plans for unexpected events like power outages or equipment failures. Moreover, leveraging advanced tracking technologies facilitates prompt responses to deviations from optimal conditions.

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