Though less talked about, food loss contributes to a huge proportion of food that is thrown away, adding up to roughly annually. This loss is not only financial, but has great negative effect on the environment, and actively works against retailers’ sustainability goals. A large contributor is the long value chain starting with growers based around the world, retailers have numerous hurdles to overcome when aiming to become more sustainable by reducing their food losses. So, what can retailers do? There are several ways that retailers can get food loss under control with the help of an integrated logistics partner.
Digital tools for remote managementWith help from digital tools shippers can track the location of their refrigerated cargo throughout its entire transportation journey. Additionally, dedicated tools that can monitor the conditions of refrigerated goods, such as remote container management systems, allow visibility on the inside of the container. From locking the container, to delivery at the warehouse or supermarket, remote container management systems can provide visibility on the temperature, humidity, and atmospheric conditions inside the container. This allows shippers to monitor and manage the conditions of their cargo, meaning that goods arrive at their end destinations in fresh conditions, leading to higher profits and more sustainability.
Supply chain visibility for planningOne key way for retailers to avoid food loss is for them to know where their stock is, and when it will arrive. This visibility allows for proper planning when it comes to storage and sales, ensuring that they will always have the right kind of storage available when their goods arrive. For example, if retailers know that one refrigerated delivery is delayed, and will be arriving around the same time as another delivery; they can arrange additional cold storage or set up a sale to free up more space for the new product.
Supply chain agility for reroutingAdditionally, with the visibility that a logistics partner can provide, retailers can be more agile with their shipments. Not only can they plan ahead to free up storage or shelf space, they can also pivot and create new plans when delays or disruptions occur. One way to do this is to reroute stock if necessary, moving shipments to different locations that need it more, reducing overstock and therefore wasted goods. This also opens the opportunity to resell to different buyers in more convenient locations, eliminating loss and maximising profits.
Shorter supply chains for decreased complexity
Working with an integrated logistics partner with global reach allows retailers access to a network of producers. This means that logistics partners can bring retailers closer to the start of their supply chains, creating more contact points with the farmers, fishers, growers, etc. And cutting out unnecessary transportation steps. This streamlining of the supply chain reduces risks of breakages in the chain, ensuring smooth transitions and less opportunities for spoilage and food loss.