Frozen Food and Cold Storage Warehousing: Best Practices
Organizing and executing activities within a cold storage facility is all about information management and systems application. It’s tough to keep up with tasks, let alone stay ahead on new ways of doing business, but those with the right practices know exactly how to manage their frozen food warehouse with little to no trouble.
Read these tips of managing a cold storage warehouse facility and keep you following the best practices for years to come.
1. Create a Contingency Plan
Any number of cold storage warehouse management problems could arise, and you can’t always predict what’s going to come next. That doesn’t mean you have to wait for disaster to strike. On the contrary, you should be constantly creating contingency plans for any possible problem that could pop up at any point in the process. A truck could break down during transport, or one of your refrigeration units could stop working suddenly. You need to be sure your carrier or 3PL is entirely prepared to respond appropriately and avoid loss.
You might have the best monitoring technology and systems on the market, but unplanned rerouting or delay could still jeopardize your shipment. It’s crucial for shippers to work out contingency plans with their transportation partners to fully and clearly map out strategies in anticipation of an unexpected issue or delay. Everyone throughout the process should know the proper steps of the contingency plan so all your bases are covered.
2. Avoid Delays by Training and Fostering Relationships
Minimizing the time a product takes to move through the system is a key way to avoid damage to your goods, but how can you avoid delays? One of the most crucial factors in creating an efficient process is ensuring everyone down the line understands frozen food warehouse management best practices.
Cold chain handling and transportation come with several crucial responsibilities, which means you must thoroughly train employees and make them aware of your expectations. Strong partnerships must exist among all parties for the consumer to receive the most wholesome product with the longest possible shelf life and highest nutrition and value.
3. Manage Temperature Ranges Through Divide-and-Conquer Methods
The fact that it costs more to cool air than heat it makes energy savings an important topic of discussion in frozen food warehouse management. But you can’t just choose one temperature and put every product in your warehouse within that range. Different food items like vegetables, dairy products, ice cream and meat require different temperatures. These vary quite a bit — from 55 degrees Fahrenheit to negative 10 degrees Fahrenheit. An example of time-tested systems in the cold storage industry is establishing temperature zones within a warehouse facility.
In a conventional warehouse, re-configuring space isn’t usually much of a problem. Managers can move items as they choose to make more products fit within the confines of an area. In cold storage warehouse management, you cannot fail to take temperature into account. In most cases, food will require several temperature zones, or the products you store will change with the seasons.
4. Automate Your Processes
Automating your processes is the No. 1 most helpful tip in our cold storage and frozen food warehouse management guide. Most people realize how much the cost of labor, land and energy increase from year to year. This economic climb makes it a best practice for operators to look into automation to control their costs. This process allows for automated palletizing, maximum dense storage in each cube and controlled heat loss. Not only will you realize cost savings quickly, but you’ll also continue to save money over the long term. Automating the supply chain is a leading tip every experienced cold storage manager will pass on.
This blog was originally posted on Cherry's Industrial Equipment blog. Click here to find the original blog.