Why the food supply chain requires real-time monitoring

on April 23, 2019

Supply chains are becoming more intricate with issues being encountered from environmental conditions, fraud, poor handling and theft. The food supply chain is very susceptible to the issues listed and until recently, monitoring the integrity of shipments was largely outside a company’s control.

According to PwC agribusiness advisory partner, Greg Quinn, worldwide food fraud results in losses of at least $65 billion a year. Luxury food products are regularly counterfeited and incorrectly labelled, and buyers often have no way to trace the origins of what they are purchasing. Food and beverages were among the top commodities targeted in North American cargo theft incidents last year, according to a recent report from BSI Supply Chain Services and Solutions.

Thieves target food cargo more often than other products because it’s valuable, easy to sell and perishable, and evidence of the theft does not last very long. In fact, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates that cargo theft costs U.S. businesses $30 billion each year, with food and beverage being one of the primary targets. Businesses need to get smart about preventative actions.

It is not only theft that is causing disruption in the food supply chain. The environment in which the products are travelling is hugely important to monitor. Perishable goods must be moved quickly under specific environmental conditions, including temperature, humidity and light. This can be made worse when traffic, delays and general poor reconnaissance of transport routes aren’t fully scrutinised or planned. Products in transit can therefore be spoiled due to a shortened shelf life resulting in a loss of money. FSMA, which FDA designed to better protect consumers by strengthening food safety systems for food-borne illnesses, have also become more concerned on the transparency of supply chain routes.

Businesses that manage food supply chains need to be on top of their game to guarantee product quality and safety and care for their brand.

Guaranteeing product quality and safety can be solved with the simple application of ParceLive to consignments in transport. ParceLive provides real-time information about how long an item has been in transit, if the vehicle transporting the goods adhered to the approved route, and, if the shipment stopped, where and for how long. Data reported on temperature, tilt and humidity are critical information to monitor perishable shipments such as food, dairy products, meat, seafood, fruits, vegetable and frozen desserts.

ParceLive’s service-based model means that users can now collect data from the whole delivery supply chain. Real-time alerts, stamped with time and location data, mean that delivery systems can create meaningful workflows to address improvements and deliver competitive advantage and/or new efficiencies to users.

Network optimisation is therefore improved allowing shipping professionals to identify pinch-points and inefficiencies in delivery networks to improve routing and select the best logistics suppliers; auditable data helps everyone to identify the facts behind late, non-delivery and damage disputes.

CallumWhy the food supply chain requires real-time monitoring

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