CCA to pilot data-sharing initiative for food shipments

The Cool Chain Association (CCA), a Netherlands-based nonprofit, said its members are piloting a data-sharing initiative to monitor food shipments over a three-month period to pinpoint where excursions in supply chains tend to occur. The goal of the pilot is to reduce the amount of waste in perishable supply chains.

This spring, the pilot will track and collect data on shipments of produce, such as avocados and berries, throughout their journeys across Latin America to Europe and U.S. to Middle East supply chains. The collected data will be analyzed by Denmark-based food loss and waste expert, Philippe Schuler, to provide insight as to where shipments are most commonly compromised.

“You can spend hours writing processes, but when it comes to making it happen on the ground, the best way to asses if it is working is looking at time, temperature and tolerance,” said Eric Mauroux, global head of perishables at Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo, who is also the CCA’s treasurer.

Data sharing between third parties involved in the same perishable supply chain is the key to understanding where and why excursions occur and prevent them in the future, but there has been some reluctance – or, at the very least, foot-dragging – within the industry to actualize this practice.

“We all have pieces of information, but there is no platform so far for sharing it, and yet, data-sharing not only helps us improve but also helps create value,” Mauroux said. The CCA’s initiative could be another big step toward bringing transparency to perishable supply chains, he added.

The CCA holds two events a year: one focused on perishables and the other on pharmaceuticals. Its perishables event will be held on May 14 and 15 in The Netherlands, and its pharma-focused event will take place in Paris on Sept. 24 and 25.

The initial results of the project will be discussed at its upcoming event in May.

To see more about the handling of specialty cargo, such as temperature-sensitive food shipments I Asia, see the registration page for our sister publication’s upcoming Cargo Facts Asia conference, to be held April 15-17 in Shanghai.

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