Fresh food logistics: A better approach with optimization

iStock_000021917347Large_low_resHolidaymakers to France may be familiar with the following situation from my last summer holiday: A relaxing stay in a small picturesque port town on the Atlantic coast, a welcoming restaurant with good wine and a regional specialty waiting for us as the main course – oysters au gratin.

I, along with fellow consumers in Germany who have enjoyed this gastronomic pleasure before, would have wondered at some point, how is it that this delicacy can also be made available by German retailers – without any loss of quality or taste too.

According to online sources, a total of seven regions in France are supplying 6,500 tonnes of oysters per year to the whole of Europe. So when you see oysters from the Languedoc region on the Mediterranean offered at a Cologne delicatessen, for example, it is fascinating to know that the oysters have traveled for at least ten hours, covering a route of well over 1,000 kilometers.

With this in mind, time is certainly money when it comes to the delivery of oysters – and all fresh food logistics, basically. Getting stuck in a traffic jam isn’t a fun situation for anyone, but when you’re delivering oysters, it’s much worse.  The cooling process in food production, by using intact cooling chains, is a much more complex task than just turning up the air conditioning in the car. The cooling chains must not be broken at any time. Such logistics challenges can be mastered these days with the help of supply chain planning and optimization.

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Supply chain planning and optimization solutions can boost business productivity in many ways. They enable you to see the estimated arrival time of the goods, taking into consideration of all factors keyed into the system.

These solutions also provide support for dynamic route planning, choosing alternative routes when changes occur, and restructuring of the supply chain if necessary. Vehicle fleet planning can be optimized as well, for optimal utilization of the vehicles and all cooling zones – this is essential particularly in fresh food logistics.

Read also: How the world’s leading F&B manufacturers boost efficiency.

Additionally, you get real time monitoring. Disruptions are immediately dealt with, and the change in arrival time of goods can be quickly communicated. Apart from making complex tasks easier to plan and manage, transparency along the entire process chain is ensured by using these solutions. Customers can then look forward to an increase in efficiency of up to twelve per cent.

It’s clear that the oysters’ delivery route is more complicated than it may seem at first glance, particularly in comparison with our own holiday journey to the French Atlantic coast. Quintiq offers a 100%-fit supply chain planning and optimization solution that helps fresh food logistics providers address their challenges, especially in meeting the highest quality demands.

We, the end consumers in Germany, are indeed lucky to be able to enjoy fresh and tasty oysters from France, even if we can’t be in the actual country – it is all thanks to efficient logistics.

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